Loren and Chris
How We Met
Chris is the type of person whose magnetic force causes everyone around him to want to know him. I fell victim to these charms the first time we met. We were introduced by mutual friends my freshman year of college (and his sophomore year). I immediately thought he was the cutest and most charismatic guy I had ever met. However, it took three and a half years of dating different people and running from our connection before we started our journey to “happily ever after”. During this time, Chris and I became best friends. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything because I got to know him and love him on a friendship level before we began dating. He was there for me during some of my hardest experiences and he was there to celebrate my biggest achievements. We bonded over our similar personalities and interests. He quickly became the person I sought out in every crowd we were in, and luckily – he felt the same way.
Let’s fast forward to the beginning of my senior year. Chris and I were both newly single from long relationships. Chris pulled me aside one day and told me one of the best things I’ve ever heard. He said, “I know you’re confused right now, and you don’t really know what to do next. I feel bad for bringing this up now, but I would kick myself if I never told you. I want us, and I think we could be great together.” Obviously, I agreed, and the next thing I knew, we were heading on our first “trial date”. (He told me if I didn’t like it, we could just forget it ever happened and continue to be best friends.) I LOVED it, and he asked me to go on our first official date: a wine tasting event. After that, it was history. No person, no distance, no anythings have been able to keep us apart.
How They Asked
Chris and I have been doing long distance for almost a year now. He started his Master’s program at Northwestern in January, and he will be in Chicago until December (almost there!!!). During this time, our relationship has been carried forward by short weekend visits, back and forth texts, and nightly FaceTime calls. I have fallen more and more in love every single day that we have been apart, and I can truly say distance DOES make the heart grow fonder.
Chris told me that he had plans to come home for Labor Day weekend in advance. He also told me not to make any plans for the weekend; he said he wanted to have a nice, relaxing weekend together. I happily obliged (there’s no tired like teacher-tired). So, as Labor Day weekend approached, I made no plans. I told all of my friends and family that we were just going to have a relaxing weekend together. Chris and I made dinner plans for the weekend over our nightly FaceTime calls, but we decided everything else would be left wide open.
Friday finally came, and I left my apartment to make the drive to the airport. As I drove, I tried calling different people and looking back now, there was definitely a reason most of them didn’t answer or were short in conversation. His mom didn’t even answer my call (so unlike her- we talk for hours usually). I thought it was the weirdest thing.
I picked him up, and we drove back to Macon! We had decided earlier in the day that we were going to Waffle House when I picked him up, so we stopped at the Waffle House near the apartment. As we ate, we joked and laughed about the weekend we were going to have. This is when Chris threw in a question, “Hey! What do you think about going to the beach this weekend?” I shook my head and laughed, but when I looked at him – he looked serious. This is when he told me about the condo he had rented for the weekend (and the new bathing suit he had bought me). He also told me that his parents had brought his car from their house with some beach clothes already packed (explains the missed call with his mom earlier in the evening). He told me that he had been tracking Hurricane Dorian and that Destin was in the clear for the weekend (minus some minor rain on Saturday). I think my jaw almost hit the table. This was such a sweet surprise, so we went home and packed! Less than 12 hours later, we were on the road to our condo for the weekend in Destin!
That Saturday was wonderful! We got to the beach, grocery shopped, went out on the beach and sat under our umbrella, and really just enjoyed being together. It was cloudy for most of the day, but the rain held off! I had an idea that a proposal was on its way at some point, but I wasn’t sure when. When I made a comment about my Apple Watch tan line, he told me that I had plenty of time to get rid of that. After that, I was convinced it was not happening this trip or his next trip home. He told me we had reservations for dinner at 7:00, so we needed to allow enough time to get ready. He suggested that we go in around 4:00 (okay, I like to take my time but I’m not THAT big of a diva). I went with it. He told me what dress to wear, and even though this was the dress I had told him I loved, I was still convinced that it was not happening. I finished getting ready around 5:30, and I walked in the living room where he was waiting. Earlier in the day when we were still on the beach, Chris had suggested walking down to the beach before dinner, so I decided to ask him about that. He told me that he definitely wanted to go down but that we should probably wait until closer to 6. I thought that was weird, but I agreed. Chris started pacing around the condo, and he even made himself a sandwich! I had no idea what was going on, but I did know that he was acting so strange.
As 6 drew closer, he decided it was time to walk down to the beach. He suggested I put on tennis shoes (????), but I decided to stick with my wedges. We walked out of the door, holding hands and talking about the day. I looked over at him and saw that his face was red and his vein (the one that stands out when he’s stressed) was popping out of his forehead. I laughed and asked him if he was okay. He shrugged it off and changed the subject. As we were getting ready to cross the road to go down the steps to the beach, a scooter zoomed by without looking for pedestrians. I tried to make a joke about the scooter not following the rules of the road – but all I said was, “That scooter does not know how to follow the rules of…” and Chris nervously finished, “The rules of engagement.” (Oh my gosh – he says he about died when he said that.) I looked at him and laughed, and I said “No, I meant the rules of the road. What does that mean?” He brushed it off and told me to come on. We took our shoes off at the bottom of the stairs (so that’s what he meant), and he asked me which way I wanted to walk. The whole space in front of us was wide open, so he suggested just walking down to the edge of the water, and then we would decide which way we wanted to walk.
We got close to the edge of the water, and Chris turned and grabbed my hands. “I’m doing this now,” he said. “Before I get too nervous.” I was in shock. I don’t think anything or anyone can ever prepare you for the moment that you watch the person you love more than anything or anyone in the world go down on one knee in front of you. He told me about what I meant to him, and about how he started saving for this engagement ring after he first met me. He told me how much he loved me, and then he slipped down to one knee. I don’t even know that I said yes (he jokes that I didn’t), but I held out my hand. He slipped the most beautiful, perfect (personally designed and built!!!!!) ring on my finger to where it’ll stay forever.
As we embraced after it was over, he whispered to tell me that Kate (his sister) and two photographers were there! I turned around and saw them, and I think I started crying even harder. We took pictures, and then we went back to the condo so that we could FaceTime and call everyone and share the good news! Then – we went to our nice, private dinner (with reservations at 8:30 – not 7). The rest of the weekend was a dream, and it was so special to spend time together just enjoying being engaged. Little did I know that he had planned a get together for Monday when we got back in town with all of our family and some close friends.
I am the luckiest girl alive, and I am so thankful that everything worked out the way it did. I’m marrying my best friend!