Hate it or love it, believe it or not– it was love at first sight.

When you tell your friends and family you have gotten engaged to a man you have only known for a couple months, the responses are not always what you would hope for. For me, when I said yes, my parents were supportive and my friends were skeptical but supportive as well (except for a few, many of whom I just unfriended on Facebook and that was that).

I knew that first time I saw him waiting for me at the coffee shop. Instantly drawn to him I gave him a hug and almost a kiss upon our first hello. But I denied that it was what it was.

The time together was so full, and ripe with adventure. We ate Jeju black pork, galbi and jiggae. We drank soju, makeolli and cider. We saw live performances, orchestras, stayed at 5-star hotels, and drove around in a BMW. We made out like teenagers up against buildings and vacant trucks. We learned so much about each other, most importantly that we resonated strongly. But it would all be cut short because his tourist visa expired.

Our plan was that we had no plan. We just knew we had fun together. Again, I tried to deny him, tried to tell him that we would have a good time until he left and we couldn’t have a good time together anymore. At first he agreed, but then he got the courage to tell me what I already knew: I love you.

By the time we made it to the end of his time in Korea, it had already been established that he would return. Until then, we would do the long distance thing. We hadn’t realized just how much stronger the time and distance would make us as a couple. It forced us to express ourselves in ways we never dreamed of before. It was during this time we decided we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives, no matter where we were or what we did. That’s when he drove three hours, the length from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Lakeville, Minnesota to ask my parents’ permission to marry me.

When he returned to Seoul, he could only wait a day to propose. I said yes without hesitation and with much jubilation. We celebrated with friends and family; but we knew this didn’t change the fact that he would have to leave again. This time, I would join him and our time in Seoul was over. So we hired a photographer to capture the places that meant so much to us. We got married here (legally without a ceremony) because it felt right. And then, he left again.

Even though I’ll have to move to Sioux Falls (those who know me, know this is a bit of a leap), I’m happy just to know that we will be together again. I’m happy just to know he exists. I’m happy to know that despite the skeptics there are people who want to know him and invest in us. I also know nothing will be perfect living there. His ex-wife surely could complicate things. He doesn’t have a job. I won’t have a job. So why is all this worthwhile? Because I love him for giving me the love I had been looking for all along without hesitation.


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