Nicole and Jared met in college in September, 2008 at a theatre audition. Jared quips, “I think it was the 27th. I think it was a Wednesday.” He’s serious – Nicole adds, “He’s good with the details.”
They didn’t get together right away, but in time they became friends. Friends turned to good friends, which morphed into dating and a relationship by the end of their time in college.
They moved in together in 2012 after graduation. This was a hurdle for them; they didn’t take it lightly. Jared says, “I’m always the logical side – I’m an engineer – I think numerically. Being that, I have an apartment, the rent is ‘x’. She has a house that she’s renting that she’s at a quarter of the time…”
Nicole adds, “It was just a really expensive storage unit. I just needed it, that was all.”
But the real challenge came on move-in day for Nicole: “Right before we were going to move in together I was like, ‘I can’t do it, I don’t want to do it.’ Six hours later I came back with all my stuff and then we were moving in together.”
Not long after moving in they were engaged – on October 20th, 2012. Nicole tells the story of the proposal:
We went to the Gannon [University] homecoming parade. We both had some friends still in the theatre program. So, we’ll watch the parade, that’ll be cool. The parade ends, he hands my best friend a stack of envelopes and like, ditches. He just, runs. I didn’t even see this happen. I turned around and Jared’s not there. So [my best friend] hands me this stack of envelopes and says “I Think I’m supposed to give these to you.” [Jared] had created – I always call it a scavenger hunt but that’s not right – a journey. In the first [envelope] was like, ‘I’m sorry I ran away, I just thought today would be a good time to bring you on a journey through our past since most of it happened at Gannon. Instead of telling you where I am, I’ll give you clues.’ The first one was like, where we first met, which was the Schuster Theatre. Then where we first became friends which was one of the apartments on campus …. One of them was the sidewalk where we had breakfast tons of time saturday morning, then the only building on campus we [both] had classes in, so I had to take my picture at each one. Then he led me back to the center of campus – friendship green – and he was standing there with flowers and a suit and he proposed on campus, right there. It was pretty cool.
Jared describes the engagement:
We had almost a full two-year engagement to save up money – because weddings are not cheap. [they both laugh] We were fortunate enough that our parents could contribute some. but we were proactive about how much it was going to cost so we started saving and planning … we did it our way, we didn’t have any wedding debt when we got married.
Nicole adds, “we saved most of it … that was a big goal (no wedding debt). Goal accomplished!” [they both laugh]
Then they got a dog, and bought a home. They were married on October 4th, 2014.
Their love lasts through a combination of thoughtful planning and complementary strengths. Nicole says matter-of-factly, “he likes planning stuff – that’s one thing Jared loves – plans”.
We like to joke that I keep her on time, and she keeps me fun. I’m very plan oriented, I’m methodical, I like numbers and statistics and I like to be 5 minutes early and I’m never late and I like to have a good idea of what’s going on. Nicole likes to be more spontaneous and loosey goosey. We give and take. She drives me to be more fun and go out and meet people and be out of my shell more. When she’s making plans or stretching herself too thin I can ground her back, and say, let’s plan things out, are you taking on too much? Even beyond that, how we spend our time, Nicole is very particular and consistent about making sure I’m tactful. I’m very concise about stuff and sometimes that can come off as rude.
How do you and your partner complement each other? How do your strengths play out when it comes to making plans for the future?
Tell us about it in a comment below.
Daniel is a founding author of How Love Lasts.