Jing and Cai

Jing and Jing's Engagement in Laguna Beach, California

How We Met

In the summer of 2014, when we were 19 yrs old, I met her for the first time at UC-Irvine while visiting a childhood friend. She was an exchange student from China, visiting for that summer only. We became friends through a mutual friend’s introduction, and I fell in love with her wonderful appearance from the first sight, but unfortunately she had a boyfriend at that time so I couldn’t say anything. Instead I saved her contact information and went into hibernation. During the Summer of 2015, I finally went back to China to spend the break, and started to reach out to my friends (including her) to hangout.

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One Summer night with a warm breeze, we met in front of the mall and to hang out. I introduced her my old high school, my favorite dining spots, and we started to walk along the riverbank. The temperature was high, so I guess you could say that was the real reason that our chemicals started to react robustly. As we sat down on a bench in the riverside park at 1am, watching the smoke wafting up from the passing by cruises, listening the chirping of the crickets and night robins, continuing our conversations which had lasted for 5 hours, neither of us wanted to go home. It was that night which made it clear to me what a soul mate was. How could 2 strangers became so intimate in just a span of 5 hours? Her existence gave me a firm belief of true love, so I said “screw it”, I will turn this into a date. We extended the night by going to karaoke, and finally we kissed for the first time.

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From that night, we spent another 2 weeks seeing each other 8 hours a day – we both enjoyed being together but never thought about making it official. The reason was simple, I was studying abroad and didn’t have any intention of going back to China, while she didn’t want to come to the States. However, because we didn’t think we will actually become a couple, we treated each other as our best friends – and best friends share secrets. Therefore, we talked about everything, from our life questions and philosophy, to our past without hiding anything. We both knew each other’s deepest fears and promised will keep that forever. So, before we became a couple, we were already best friends for life!

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After the 2 weeks, my summer vacation came to an end and I had to go back to the States before the quarter started. We said farewell with tears in our eyes, knowing that we both had to move on, but agreed to talk to each other through FaceTime everyday. However, just 2 days after I landed in LA, I asked her to be my girlfriend after 24 hours of insomnia. I couldn’t sleep or eat when I was thinking about her, so at 5am in the morning, I sat back and asked myself

”Do you think long distance will work?”

–“Yes if we keep no secrets to each other”

“Can you tolerate the fact that she’s not physically here?”

–“Well as long as I can talk to her I consider that as mentally together, I am not controlled by pure hormones, I rank intelligent conversations higher than physical intimacy”

“Do you see a future between you 2?”

–“I don’t at this moment, but I am damn sure I will have no future if I don’t go to sleep in another 12 hours due to sleep deprivation. Anyway, I will try to make this work”

After just a few moments of self questioning, I called her up and asked her to be my girlfriend, and told her she was the one I wanted to marry and live my life with. She said yes, without blinking an eye. After 4 years, I surprised her during our engagement session with a pair of wedding bands and asked her the same question again, officially this time, and she said yes so fast that I didn’t even have time to say what I had planned. We knew we had been waiting and preparing for each other, and that we were made for each other.

Long distance is scary for most of the people, and I only got to see her 1 month at most each year, but we believed in each other, and we kept no secrets like we had promised. During the past 4 years, we spent at least 3-4 hours everyday chatting or FaceTiming- there wasn’t a day where we didn’t speak.

how they asked

Our key to the final decision was the fact that we made each other a better person. We have been working towards a common goal, which was conquering the long distance and starting our lives together. By achieving this goal, we never failed to constantly encouraging each other to aim higher, to push the limits. She was a bit nervous and not sufficient in English 3 years ago, but I was always cheering her up and giving her advice on “how to”. I made sure that she knows I am always there for her.A s for me, I went from the brink of failing out of college to getting into my dream school to start off my Ph.D. training, and it was her encouragement and discipline that brought me here. I could have never achieved this without her. It was this positive energy and encouragement between us that transformed us into better people – what more could we ask for?

Being with her was and will always be the best thing that ever happened to me, and thankfully she got an opportunity to come to the States for her masters degree. Now we can finally live together, thus it’s time for our long-awaited wedding.

I love you Jing, and I will continue loving you till the day I die, I promise.

Special Thanks

Frances Tang Photography
 | Photographer
 | Location