From Katie: I was looking to settle down and was ready for marriage and kids. I had already gone through a couple of relationships that did not work out, and my clock was ticking! 😉

 I signed up for the Affinity Exchange and came across Derek’s profile. I read along and thought, “Wow, we have a lot in common! I should message him.” We indeed had a lot of the same goals and purposes—which is extremely important to me and rare to find. I kept reading and then saw his age—3 years younger than me! So now the whole, ‘Oh great! He probably still lives at home with mommy and daddy. How could he ever be ready for marriage and kids?’ popped into my head. Ironically, I myself lived at home with my mommy and daddy, so I couldn’t really use that against him. But in the end, the age factor caused me to not message him. 

 Amazingly, a few days later, he emailed me! We started messaging each other back and forth. It turned out we had a lot of mutual friends, and even our Dads knew of each other from the 80’s. We became friends on Facebook, which is where I found out his last name is the same as mine!! Later we found out that our oldest brothers have the same name (Chris Meyer), both of our best friends are named Alex, AND both were artists. Amazing synchronicities like this just kept coming up!

 For 4 months, we talked on a daily basis, skyped, texted, you name it. We were head over heels and knew it, but just wouldn’t say it. So we decide it’s time for me to travel to Portland. I was an absolute wreck that entire flight. Of course, the thought of, ‘What if he doesn’t like me?’ or ‘What if I don’t like him?’ did NOT help. I stepped off the plane, walked what seemed like an endless walkway to a tall gorgeous man with a single red rose. He pulled me into his arms for our very first kiss, and it has been literally a fairytale ever since!

From Derek: A few years back it seemed that love was in the air and I was somehow in outer space. A close friend of mine recommended the Affinity Exchange, which I initially laughed off; but because he met his wife through the website, I did consider it. Meanwhile I was in and out of relationships that either didn’t quite take off, or crashed on the runway.

Thinking back to my friend’s recommendation, I thought, “It couldn’t hurt. Probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but minimally I shouldn’t knock it before I try it”. The site had all types of girls, but the important thing is, it turned out to have one that was just my type—Katie!

 She was a bit hesitant at first because I was 3 years younger than her. I handled her consideration by telling her that she was younger than my ex-girlfriends, and might even be too young for me! Flirty banter ensued and I was happy to see we had the same sense of humor, which goes a long way in my book.

 Between then and 4 months later we were constantly texting, flirting etc. and my admiration for her hadn’t stopped increasing (and it still hasn’t). At this point I had to invite her to visit me to make sure (a) she was real and not a 40-year-old man, and (b) that she was all that I had built up thus far.

 She seemed to take forever to get past the security point. I knew she was nervious, and I’m pretty sure she redid her entire make-up twice in the bathroom. But when she got past security, she was everything that I hoped for and more. 

 For the next year, she would fly up and we would have the time of our lives. So I broached the idea of her moving to Portland. At this point I knew she was “The One,” but I had to do my due-diligence and live with her for a bit before I asked her to be mine forever (just to make sure she doesn’t snore like an tectonic shift or have some weird thing where she labels all of our possessions). She checked out on this with flying colors–and even helped with my laundry!

 I wanted to propose to her at my family’s annual trip to Mexico so I could share it with my Mom. This trip was months away so I had to torture Katie with misdirecting answers and jokes that really weren’t funny to buy myself time for that trip. Luckily I survived her interrogations and made it to the day when I would get down on one knee.

 I had it all planned out, and even asked for her father’s approval about a month or two in advance. My parents, grandfather, aunt, uncle, and cousins had coordinated it so that when were touring around we had a bottle of champagne ready. I had gone over it enough to where I was confident in my delivery, but the importance of the event made my heart start to flutter as I grabbed her hands and held them close to my chest, commenting on how wonderful of a future we were going to have.

 She saw what was coming and spaced out such that I still have to replay this part for her occasionally. I told her that there was one thing that I needed to do before we could secure our future and that I needed her help. I took a step back, got on one knee and asked her if she “would make me the happiest man and marry me”. She said yes, and we headed into “happily ever after.”

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