In the year of 2022, I am now meeting so many “pandemic couples.” Couples who met (usually online) when the world shut down back in 2020. Anna & Gabriel join the ranks of so many other pandemic-and-beyond relationships.
Their first date was on Zoom (“It was a good way of first getting to see if we felt comfortable with each other before meeting in person, especially because, at that time, everyone was very careful about in-person contact,” Gabriel said.) Their second date was outside at a park.
I asked them both when they knew this was forever. “I think this was something that happened gradually,” Gabriel said. “I could see in Anna something more than someone I felt attracted to and who was my girlfriend. I could see in her a life partner because we work together very well, we share a vision of our future, and we support each other very much. Life is better since I met her.”
For Anna, she said she knew after she invited him to spend Thanksgiving with her family, about a month after they first met. Both of their families have played an impactful role in their relationship. Anna’s family welcomed Gabriel with opened arms and their decision to marry happened directly after a text message from Gabriel’s father. “We have talked about the idea of getting married several times, but it happened on our flight back from Costa Rica. It was a conversation more than a formal proposal and I like that because, from the very beginning, we have been good about communicating with each other,” Gabriel said. They had just spent two weeks in Costa Rica traveling and meeting Gabriel’s family. After Gabriel’s dad dropped them back at the airport, he texted Anna saying that he hoped her and Gabriel would be in each other’s lives forever. “Gabriel and I had discussed getting married previously, but we seriously discussed it then.”
I got to meet up with them this past weekend on an idyllic Sunday morning on a quiet campus and we had the best time roaming around. Along with planning their wedding this fall, they are also gearing up for a cross-country move soon (Gabriel completed his doctorate here at the University of Iowa and just got his dream job as a jazz professor in South Carolina!). I cannot go any further here without linking to Gabriel’s YouTube channel where I encourage (insist!) you just go ahead and push play and let his music fill your house for the rest of the day. That’s what I’m doing and it’s really the best.
Their wedding day is going to be so much fun. Not only will it become a destination wedding for them (they’ll be coming back to Iowa from South Carolina for it!), but they’ll be bringing their family and friends together in one location from very different places to share the joy of joining their lives.