Our First Chapter | Connection . 2015 .
Bryer and I met in December of 2015 when I was a Senior at Keene State College... on Tinder. Those of you who think it can’t happen, I was with you before. But now I can’t deny that the profile I had for eight weeks... totally changed my life for the better, and I never even saw it coming!
I had gone through a pretty tough break up in early October of that same year, and was dealing with the changes that not having that person in my life anymore brought. A friend of mine told me that I should make a Tinder account, and I didn’t really shy away from the idea. Before Bryer, I had three boyfriends, all of whom I had met online. One lived closer to Keene, but the other two were from Indiana and England. I had causally dated a couple of different guys that I went to school with as a Sophomore, but really had always dealt with getting to know people online first before meeting them in person. It was something I was used to.
Though I can say that Tinder ended up being a positive for me in the end, it definitely had it’s down sides before Bryer, and I had received plenty of disgusting comments and “inquiries” before telling myself I was going to look through my messages one more time before the whole app got deleted off of my phone. I scrolled through the usual only to come across a message that caught my eye...
“If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one skill or ability, what would it be?”
An actual question! Imagine! A guy that wanted to chat with me for more reasons than just my body, and from there the rest is history!
We chatted through text for a week straight and had one phone call before we met in person that December, and every conversation was full of us finding out all the things we had in common; interest in non-profit work, writing, reading, hiking, certain TV shows, bucket list items and travel plans, and then there were even the bigger things... morals, plans for family later in life, etc.
I remember one night asking my brother if he thought Bryer was cat-fishing me. I was concerned that it was too good to be true (he only had one profile photo after all) and River confirmed he felt the same. I spent the night googling him and asking for extra photos, and he quickly put my concerns to rest!
From Left to Right: Bryer and I on our first weekend together in Maine after meeting his parents, Bryer and I in Portland, ME on our first Valentine’s Day, and the two of us three months into our relationship taking photo booth pictures during Spring Carnival at KSC. (Photo #3 Credit: William Wrobel).
Our Second Chapter | Discovery . 2015 .
Of course meeting someone in person that you only know from over the phone or online is nerve racking and scary, but truly, after Bryer and I had talked on the phone and over text that week, I really just had a feeling that we would hit it off in person. He seemed so understanding, mature and intellectual, not to mention he was incredibly good looking!
Bryer drove from Maine to my Mom’s house in New Hampshire to meet me, and I will never forget standing on my porch and seeing him get out of his car. He drove a Lexus (a car that I would spend a whole year adventuring around with him in) and I remember there being a moment in time where I got to look at him before he had even realized I was out there. He was wearing a grey coat and a plaid scarf, and his hair was perfectly tame. When he finally turned around, we locked eyes and gave each other a little wave. Thinking about it, he gives me the same grin and wave every day when he picks me up from work. I love it.
We spent our first day together exploring my “second” hometown (Meredith, NH) where I lived with my Dad growing up. We visited a cafe and shared a fruit plate and a bowl of loaded hash browns, visited the independent bookstore in the area, held hands in the rain, and shared conversation, coffee and tea at Hakuna Cafe (since closed) where we had our first kiss.
The day went perfect; so perfect that I asked my Mom if she was okay with Bryer staying over, and we ended up spending the last day of 2015 and the first of 2016 together, followed by me heading to Maine to meet his parents, grandparents, and best friend.
If you haven’t caught on... everything for us moves a WEE bit fast!
Our Third Chapter | Lock it In . 2016 .
And speaking of fast, on Friday June 17, 2016, I got out of work at the farm around 6 o’clock and headed home to shower after sweating in the greenhouses and deli all day, and what I expected was a night of just relaxing out on the porch with Mom, but when I came out of my room after getting dressed, Bryer was sitting on my couch waiting for me!
It wasn’t unlike Bryer to do special things to surprise me when we were together on the few days that we saw each other during the week, so when he asked me to pick a restaurant and my favorite place to visit to sit and chat, I answered swiftly and was oblivious to any “special occasion.”
The line up was as follows:
1. Dinner at The Soda Shoppe (which was a favorite for breakfast growing up, but I thought why not give it a shot for dinner! It was gross, and knowing now that it was the night I was getting engaged, I would have picked something much more romantic. BUT memorable nonetheless).
2. Graham Central Station Ice Cream from Happy Cow
3. Sitting at Opechee Point (one of my favorite spots on the lake).
We sat for a while and though he seemed a bit antsy or irritated (by the kids and their mom fishing next to us), I didn’t think much of it. It was getting later in the evening; colder and more buggy, so I asked if we could take off. Bryer was quick to tell me he would run and get the blanket out of his car - he was “having a good time” and didn't want to leave yet.
Minutes later he says: “So I talked to your Dad today...”
I must have looked like a deer in the headlights. My heart was immediately pounding and my stomach dropped. Having only been together for six months, I couldn’t think of another reason why he would go and hang out with my Dad alone aside from asking him if he could marry me... and it meant everything that he did.
“Shut the fuck up” was all I could manage to say.
Bryer then slid off the bench we were sat at, and pulled out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. I have a hard time describing that moment because I was so overwhelmed with excitement and nerves there is much I can’t remember! I do remember driving back to my house with the ring on my finger and repeating “so this is real?!” I had never made a decision faster in my life. YES, YES, YES!
Photo Credit: William Wrobel
Our Fourth Chapter | Marriage?
It has been nearly 4 years (this June) that Bryer and I got engaged, and full disclosure... THAT IS OKAY!
In the beginning I put this unreal pressure on myself and had feelings of disappointment when I realized that I was first of my friends to get engaged but would likely be the last to get married, but truly... it has been a blessing in disguise. And the end of this post will tell you why.
I learned a while ago the the “timeline” for life that you set for yourself in your head when you're younger doesn't always pan out and happen the way you want it to - the timing doesn’t always work in your favor, but that all things happen for a reason.
These are a few of the reasons why Bryer and I have not been married yet, and why we are okay with it!
1. We want to be secure financially.
Getting engaged right out of college meant that both Bryer and I would be taking on a lot of student loan debt, and it also meant that our savings were small due to working part-time through school. A wedding is expensive when you are paying for it alone, and we want to make sure that we have enough saved to enjoy the wedding that we desire, but also to enjoy what comes after; honeymoon, children etc. It took us a while to get established with careers in Worcester, but now everything seems to be coming together.
2. We are indecisive on a location for venue.
Bryer is originally from Massachusetts but went to school in Maine, and myself being from New Hampshire has made it difficult to think of where we would like to have our guests gather to celebrate with us. We have thought of having ceremony and reception in the city at a few of our favorite places (because Worcester is our home together), but still are not sure what we will lock in for ceremony and reception. This is another perk of a long engagement... seeing ALL the places, and taking the time to make sure it is special and a place that is close to our hearts.
3. We want to buy a house.
By the time Bryer and I get married, we would love to be thinking about buying our first home and starting a family. Currently we do not have the money or the space to do so. The long engagement has let us save and prepare for that next move!
4. We want to get to know each other better.
I am a firm believer in that you should never stop dating your partner, and that is because both Bryer and I have experienced first hand just how different a person can become in four years... we are almost entirely different people than we were when we met, but in so many good ways! This doesn’t mean we don’t love each other, or that we have “fallen out of love” or that we don’t find each other attractive in all the ways that we did, it just means something different all across the board based on what we have gone through since then! Change is sometimes hard to accept, but it is a good thing and we feel we have been through most of our “growing pains” before marriage which will be a blessing.
5. This is what we want. Period.
The moral of the story is that people can keep asking... people can keep making comments like “it’s about time you...” or asking questions like “are you married yet?,” but the answer until Bryer and I decide otherwise, is going to be no. That said, we can’t wait until we can call each other husband and wife, and our love and commitment to each other has not lessoned in the last four years; it has only gotten stronger!
This post is not me defending our decision, because I don’t feel as though we have done anything that calls for defense; instead this is me telling all of you out there who have found the love of your life, and have committed to being that person’s person for the rest of your life but maybe haven’t had the means, the time, or the desire to get married yet... that is okay, and you should keep doing your thing, no matter what that means! I am routing for you and your partner!