How We Met
Life is really interesting. I always wanted the perfect relationship, but it wasn’t until I stopped looking that I stumbled onto a profile that would change my life. I met Ellen on Instagram. I work in marketing and through the use of a random app, I began following this girl who’s pictured would appear in my feed randomly over the course of a few weeks. After seeing the fourth picture, I knew it was time to say something, so I slid into her DMs. It was the most daunting moment of my life because I couldn’t explain in words why I needed to talk to this girl or why it was so important to me that she responds. Luckily for me, she did. That was September 9, 2018. Ellen and I spoke non-stop for several days, during which time I learned something that was truly crushing at the time. Ellen lived in Ohio. I lived in NJ. But I was determined. I was sure that this was something different, something I had never felt before, and something that would truly be life-changing. So to take her on our first date, I drove over 500 miles, 8hrs.
I had never done a road trip like this in my life and poorly planned my time, getting to the hotel I was staying in just 15minutes before I was supposed to be leaving for dinner. Ellen and I met in the parking lot of a Best Western officially and from the moment I hugged her, I never wanted to let go… and I never have. Six months of hard work, obstacles, and long-distance, I found a job in Columbus and moved to Ohio. There was nothing I wanted more than to be with Ellen. So, on her birthday, I moved in.
How They Asked
Little did Ellen know I was working already on proposing to her. I moved out to Ohio with a ring in my pocket and a plan ready to action. I was going to take Ellen to the location of our first date, pack it with friends and family, and ask Ellen to marry me in August of 2019. HOWEVER, from the moment we began to live together, I knew that I couldn’t wait. She is my best friend and the love of my life and people like her only come around once in a lifetime. So I quickly upgraded my plan. I thought of all of the places I had been, every meaningful spot, and it was clear. Growing up going down the shore (NJ slang), there was always one spot for me. I would hide at the lighthouse. The lighthouse was my source of protection, my place of comfort, and one of the greatest providers of amazing scenery as it overlooks the water and the beach below. I thought about the meaning behind that lighthouse and lighthouses in general, how they provide a guiding light to sailors to bring them home safely, how they help to navigate rough waters, and how they are a long-standing symbol of navigation. Ellen is all of those things for me and (hopefully) I for her. She is my safety, she helps me navigate hard times, and she and I have navigated the roughest of seas and continue to as we build our lives together.
So… on July 19th we made our way to my home state, NJ. We drove 8 hours to NJ to stay with my parents, Ellen having no idea of what was to come. We spent time with family and friends, getting a “couples tattoo”, and eventually leaving Sunday, July 21, in the morning for the beach. We drove down to what was 111-degree weather, got breakfast and spent time running on and off of the scalding hot sand and cold water. We grabbed food at my favorite spot, Nardis, went shopping, and slowly moved our way to the lighthouse. Upon preparation for dinner, which we never made it to the restaurant, we changed into some more appropriate clothing. The two of us met under the lighthouse and made our way up and down the pier and eventually to the gazebo. On the wood pathway over the water, I planted a friend to take some pictures.
He asked Ellen to stare up at the lighthouse and as she turned around I fell to one knee. I pulled out her ring, now upgraded from the one that I traveled with to Ohio, and said:
“Baby – oh don’t cry – uh umm uh .. crap usually I don’t lose my words and I practiced this but now I don’t know what to say which makes this awkward. Ok. I’m good.
Ellen, you’re the most amazing girl in the world. You make me so happy. You have the biggest heart and those eyes and that smile. You are my best friend and the love of my life, my true companion. I love you more than anything and that will never change. Will you… Baby will you marry me?!”
As tears rolled down her face, I awaited an answer I was almost sure that I knew. Ellen said, “Yes.”
Today, we live in our home with our pup Angel in Ohio. We have just celebrated our first Anniversary. Our wedding date is September 5, 2020. I still consider myself the luckiest man in the world and am so humbled and honored that I get to wake up to her each and every day.