SWIPING RIGHT: with Sarah & Nicholas
As a millennial myself, I can't really imagine an era without the internet. I remember when I was about 12 and had my AIM screen name (dancr904 or xXMiZuNDerStOodXx <--- insert pre-teenage emo angst here), and my parents were lecturing me about internet safety, avoiding strangers via my awesome AIM accounts, and not to give out my a/s/l.
Fast forward 18 years and here I am, making friends via social media and meeting strangers from the internet.
Now, although I met my husband the old fashioned way in person, just about 43% of my generation has met their S.O. online. (Remember, 75% of statistics are made up, so you can take or leave that statistic.)
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of capturing Sarah & Nicholas' love story. And before we even get started with their love story and their badass adventure session (we prefer to call it adventure vs engagement session because I just happen to be third wheelin' with 'em while they're adventurin'), I just want to let you know how much I freakin' love this couple! Is it weird to say that I already feel like we're BFF's? :)
Okay, back to their story. As avid adventurers, equally avid homebodies, and croc lovers, Sarah and Nicholas are so amazing. They have a rockin' sense of humor, an unmatchable connection, and their limbs fit together like little puzzle pieces (see photos below for proof).
Today, Nicholas tells us his version of why he swipes right, and some other beautiful qualities that inspire both he and Sarah to continue swiping right in the real world.
how they met
You could say we are "Tinder Lovers". We met while I lived in Normal with my parents after just coming back from the Appalachian Trail and Sarah lived in Champaign after just graduating from U of I. We were both in very transitional periods at the time. I was completely changing the way I wanted to live and looking for somebody with similar ideals, while Sarah was trying to transition into "the real world". What I ended up finding was Sarah, the girl from the suburbs who had never been camping and rarely left Illinois. I couldn't help myself because she was (and still is) super hot, also her sense of humor absolutely blew my mind. Ridiculously funny, quick witted, and is one of the few people that can handle my personality oddities as well. So we both swiped right, I convinced her to go out on a first date with me, and we almost never left each other's side since then.
Sorry, that was really long, but hey...I really love her.
I knew we would get married after 7 months of dating, but I didn't propose until we had been together for 18 months. So I had plenty of time to plan. And I didn't really come up with much. She told me exactly what ring she wanted, so I was able to drive Uber enough to afford it in September of 2017. Once I had it, I really had to figure out the whole proposal thing. I planned to propose at Six Flags during Fright Fest...because that's the most romantic place on Earth? In reality, we have a connection to Six Flags because it was after a date to Six Flags that I first told Sarah that I loved her, and luckily she felt the same. Anyways, the day of the proposal wasn't so much about the actual proposal, but just about the day as a whole. And it was the perfect day. We were there from open to close, it was a brisk Autumn day, we got the crap scared out of us by ghouls and goblins, and after it all, I proposed to her in the parking lot.
Then we spent the hour drive home planning our wedding. And here we are now!
We really just love to spend time with each other as much as possible. We like to hike, workout, and rock climb together. We recently really started to enjoy cooking together and watching TV before bed. Spending hours in the car together can surprisingly bring out the best in our relationship as well.
how they navigate transition
Oh man, let me tell you, it is wild. It's all hands on deck over here. Shockingly I've taken over as wedding planner, while Sarah has been in charge of getting her school planning in order and finding us a place to live. Stress levels have been higher than usual with so many things to do in a short amount of time, but we always make sure to get in a little time each day for the two of us to just enjoy each other's company without the added stress of our current situation.
how they lean on each other
Like I said, we really just try to make sure when one of us or both of us is stressing out, that we take a second to pump the brakes, and just do something together. Whether it be cooking and enjoying a meal together, or going for a short hike, or just watching the latest episode of American Idol. We have learned that we do not do well if we don't get in our time just hanging out together.
on screen to real life
The biggest issue is the fact that I lied about my height. But once that cat was out of the bag, we really had no issues. After our first date, we really never stopped seeing each other. We were both genuine through our conversations on screen, and that translates to really perfect chemistry once we met in real life.
advice for other couple's meeting online
Well first and foremost, be safe. Do your googling and internet stalking so you don't meet some creep with a mustache.
Secondly, don't be embarrassed that you met online, it's 2018, bars are stupid and people are busy. The internet is amazing and it opens your possibities so much. Your chance to find the person you belong with is so much higher when you don't limit yourself. I guarantee that we would have never met if it wasn't for the internet, and that's the best endorsement I can give for online dating.
best relationship advice they've received...
The wonderful Sue Cellini passed down this advice to us. Much like she has to all her children when they get engaged. I'll be paraphrasing.
A successful married couple always has to be running at 100%, but it won't always be 50/50. Sometimes one of you will not be able to give your 50% for whatever reason and the other half will have to pick up the slack. It will go both ways throughout a marriage, but as long as you're always running at 100% as a couple, you'll be fine.
If anyone out there is still apprehensive about the online dating scene, take it from Sarah and Nicholas-- true love exists no matter where ya find it. And sometimes, hoppin' on the internet brings us closer to love than we could ever imagine. Final words of advice: don't be afraid to swipe right.