How We Met
I first met my now fiancé (!!!), Jade, in 2015 during our time in university.
He was on the school’s volleyball team and I played volleyball recreationally. One evening he happened to be in the gym where I was playing and he saw me make a truly terrible pass and called out “Nice pass!” I turned and scowled angrily at this sassy stranger in what must have been a delightfully charming way and he thought to himself, “Wow who is that girl?”
He then proceeded to ask the team I was playing against about me and figured out who I was and tracked me down on social media and messaged me every day until we decided to meet at the library.
In the heat of the terrible game I was playing, I didn’t recall the face of the boy who made fun of my pass. But when I saw him at the library for the first time I remember thinking that he had the biggest, brightest smile I had ever seen and it seemed to light up the whole room.
Since that day, that smile has lit up my whole life and now I can say that it will continue to forever.
How They Asked
So the night that Jade proposed to me was the night before we were moving across provinces to be closer to our friends and family.
We had been packing for days and were exhausted but excited. Our friends asked us if we wanted to go for one last evening walk with them and bribed me with chocolate so I would say yes no matter how tired I was.
Right when they arrived at our front door to meet for the walk, Jade made up an excuse saying he would meet us in a few minutes. Little did I know, he was using this time to set up a romantic surprise for me later on.
So I go for the walk and Jade joins us about 10 minutes later. We talk with our friends, play with their dog, say how much we will miss living close to each other, and eventually part ways.
But as we turn to walk home, Jade says, “Let’s stay out a bit longer and enjoy our last sunset walk here.” So we head to our hill (which is actually a giant mound of construction dirt, but it’s so high that it gives the best view across fields, trees, and rooftops for beautiful sunsets), where we walk to most nights to enjoy the pink skies and soft bird songs and just generally appreciate the small, everyday joys of nature.
We climb to the top and Jade hugs me from behind and rests his head on top of mine. He is being extra affectionate and giving me lots of kisses all over my head and shoulders (which I was not going to complain about, I love affection!) and I noticed I could feel his heart beating really quickly against my back. I remember wondering if he was okay, if he had received bad news about something or if he was just feeling really emotional about moving.
He talked about how this was the end of a very important chapter for us, how we had grown so much as a couple during our time living here, and how each challenge made us stronger. He turned me around and I remember thinking, “Is he about to – ?! No waaaayyyyy.” And he told me how much he loves our sunset walks together and that he wants to keep going on them for the rest of our lives.
Then he dropped to a knee and I emotionally blacked out (this happens to me in times of extreme emotion, whether good or bad!). And apparently, I just started crying (and didn’t stop for at least an hour), I also dropped to my knees and hugged him and he had to ask me twice to marry him because it didn’t register the first time and he had to physically take my hand to put the ring on my finger because my brain had fully disconnected from my body.
Our friends had been hiding at the bottom of the hill and cheered when Jade proposed, and we lived across from a retirement community, so many of the residents that were out for their evening walk in the park saw what happened and clapped for us as we came down the hill.
We walked home and Jade had set up a blanket on our now-empty apartment floor, surrounded by candles (electronic – safety first), champagne, and a beautiful song playing.
We laughed and kissed and cried and he told me all of the planning details and I stared at my beautiful ring in shock.
Last year, I watched the movie Leap Year which is all about the Irish tradition where every four years, on February 29th, a woman can propose to her partner and he has to say yes. I love hearing about legends like this (even though I know and completely agree with the fact that nowadays anyone can propose to anyone whenever they like!) But I remember how Mike felt when Phoebe proposed to him in Friends, so I asked Jade how he would feel if I proposed to him. He replied that he would like to be the one to do it first, but that he didn’t see why it should only be the woman that gets to enjoy being proposed to and that it could be cool if I proposed to him back.
And then apparently he completely forgot that we had this conversation.
But I didn’t.
So I had a signet ring custom made with our family crest that we had designed together with a while back for just the two of us.
I kept it hidden for months.
And a few weeks after he proposed, I took him to a nearby mountain that we climbed up with my wonderful photographer sister with the pretense of taking some engagement pictures.
And I dropped to one knee and proposed to him back and he was so shocked! (But he said yes, yay!)
It was so much fun getting to plan something special for him in return and it felt very emotional and added another layer of connection to our relationship.
If anyone has ever considered doing this I would highly recommend it (if you know it’s something your partner would like!). I feel like it just solidifies the idea that you are equals, a team, and that you’re both attentive to the inner-workings of the other and are willing to make the effort and go above and beyond to put your love for them first, always.