How We Met
I graduated from college in May 2019 and moved back home to figure out post-grad life. Throughout school, I had many failed dating experiences and was beginning to think my expectations were too high, or I was wanting it too badly, or it wasn’t my “time” yet, etc, etc. I downloaded the dating app, Hinge, the week after graduation as post-grad loneliness was setting in and I still had a tiny glimmer of hope that being pro-active would pay off.
About 2 days into app-using, I got a message from “JL”. Jean-Luc is in the Marine Corps and had just got stationed to San Diego in April and was also a little burnt out from failed dating, but still wanting to be proactive.
He initially replied to one of the cheesy prompts that were talking about my ideal perfect date and said: “I think we can make that happen (;”. So naturally, I checked out his profile and made the decision that he was definitely worth talking to! From there we messaged for about 3 days until we decided we should take it one step closer and meet in person.
Our first date was set for May 20th (which was a week away at that point), but the day after we made our plan, he asked if we could bump it up to May 15th instead. Being the eager (but dating-exhausted) girl that I was…I agreed (I had nothing to lose at this point)!
He came up towards me in Temecula and I suggested we meet at A La Minute which is an adorable ice cream spot in town. Our first date was average… Nothing bad! But nothing presumably incredible either. However… we agreed to go out again and the dates got increasingly better and by date 3 we were smitten. We both had been so intentional since the start and agreed early on that we believed in dating with a “purpose”. This exact philosophy was one of the reasons we had failed in prior relationships. So the fact that we started out being on the same page with many values like that one, was so defining for us. We fell quickly for each other though, and we each kept saying how we couldn’t believe that this was a reality because it really always felt like a dream.
How They Asked
Flash forward about 4 months and I was eagerly awaiting a proposal. He had met my family, I had met his. I knew it would happen by the end of 2019 but was hoping sooner rather than later! We would look at rings together and talk about marriage often. Basically, at every date we had set after that I was secretly hoping for an engagement.
On our 6 month anniversary, he planned a date for us. He would pick me up, take us to our favorite dinner spot, then return to A La Minute for an ice cream dessert! Well…he came that night to pick me up wearing a sport coat. I suspected something was up.
We went to dinner and he gave me a letter and on the outside was a “#1”. It was a sweet note about all the reasons he loved me and I held back happy-tears, partly because I was so thankful and partly because I had an even greater feeling that a proposal may follow.
After dinner, we headed to ice cream where he gave me note #2. As I held back happy-tears once again, I was tapped on the shoulder by a woman who said: “I just want to let you know that there have been people taking photos of you all night….” (the engagement photographer!!). Jean-Luc brushed it off saying “well that’s weird, we must be popular” and I tried to play it cool but inside I was screaming because I KNEW what they were doing!! (But also that poor woman had no idea she was in the midst of a proposal!)
We ate our ice cream (quickly, might I add) and then walked around the same path from our first date. We reminisced about that first night in May and about our months following. My emotions were running wild; I was so sentimental but eager, but wanting time to stand still. I knew once we stopped walking that a proposal was bound to happen, but I was so focused on wanting him to be able to fulfill his sweet proposal plan! We eventually stopped walking and were back over by the ice cream shop. He handed me note #3… I was sobbing at this point. I couldn’t even read the extremely poetic and beautiful letter he had written, but when I did get to the end he was down on one knee, cameras were flashing, & I said “yes!” (about 5 times).