How We Met
I met Maxime in January 2017. I had been single for a few months and decided it would be entertaining to try a dating app since I had never tried one before. I assumed there was no way I would meet anyone serious on it but decided it was something I wanted to try at least once. I, very ambitiously, setup 3 dates in 3 nights one weekend as a personal challenge to myself to be more outgoing. The very first date was with Maxime.
I was doing a fast with my church so I wasn’t drinking alcohol or eating meat but when he suggested a wine bar (without knowing I was doing the fast) I figured I could at least find a side salad. Turns out, the only thing I could have at this wine bar was ice water! Even without drinking or eating, we managed to talk for 6 hours straight until they kicked us out because the bar was closing. I knew that was something special; so much so that when I tried going on the next date, I left in the middle because I felt too uncomfortable going on a date after feeling like I’d met someone who would be important in my life!
My one concern about that first date was that Maxime mentioned he had just applied the week before to an MBA program, INSEAD, that was located in Singapore and France. On our 4th date, I asked him “hypothetically” how he would picture his dating life if he went to INSEAD. He told me he thought he could do distance if he’d found someone he was excited about a future with at that point. So I decided we could keep dating and just see what happened. We spent the next 6 months bonding over our love of the outdoors, traveling, and learning more about each other. Because he’s super smart, he ended up getting into the program a few months later. Rather than just forging forward, he called me the minute he got the news and asked what I thought. Probably assisted by the fact that he called me first, I felt calm about him following this dream and that we could figure it out. I told him to go for it!
The next year, we learned how to handle a California to Singapore long-distance relationship filled with early morning wake-ups to video chat between time zones and quick trips across the world to see each other once every 2 months. We would occasionally meet “in the middle” in France to see each other and Maxime’s family, giving me great opportunities to practice French (his native language).
When Maxime returned to the US I was curious to see if anything would change about our relationship. I was so excited to have him home but also knew I’d adjusted to having a lot of time to myself and independence for a year. The most surprising thing for me was that there was almost no adjustment. He came home and it felt like my life automatically shifted to accommodate him. If anything it was easier since he was always running little errands or cleaning to make my life easier. At that point, I knew if he asked me to marry him I would be confident in my answer. Which leads us to…
How They Asked
One thing that Maxime and I have always had in common is our love of wine. We love going wine tasting and often accompany my parents on trips to a winery where we know the owners. My parents had planned with Maxime to tell me that we were going to be able to stay the night with the family friends and would be wine tasting during the day. We showed up at the winery and had a glass of wine inside. The fires in California were happening at this time so when Maxime suggested we go outside I told him I was concerned about the air quality and thought we should stay inside!
After seeing his panicked look, my mom jumped in and said it had been fine when she was outside before we had arrived. I agreed and walked outside to find a rose petal-strewn path leading to a table covered with roses and a sign saying “I have found the one whom my soul loves”.
I began wondering if that was for us but didn’t want to assume but the second Maxime put his full glass of wine down on a table (that never happens), I knew! Full of adrenaline and trying to take it all in, I promptly got my dress stuck in a rose bush and had to get myself untangled!
Once everything was composed Maxime told me he wanted to spend his life with me and I told him “de tout mon cœur oui” (with all my heart yes) because I’ve always thought it was important as a couple from different countries that we make an effort to have the most important moments be shared between our two native languages.
We spent the rest of the day wine tasting with my parents, calling loved ones and then staying at a beautiful hotel in Napa. I’m so grateful that I found someone as incredible as Maxime and that he knows me well enough to plan a proposal that was so perfect for me. Maxime, je t’aime chéri!