I'd have to give credit to Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Harvey, but mostly my sister and Matron of Honor - Angie. Jonathan and Angie worked together at Ohio State and so they were facebook friends. He'd comment on my posts on her page - obviously because I'm ridiculously hilarious. He friend requested me in May 2010. We'd inbox chat and just share a meme or two from time to time.
My nephew Kingston was born in 2011 so I started to fly home to Columbus more frequently. Jonathan definitely took notice. He'd message me to let him know when I was in town so he could drive down if he wasn't busy, but our schedules never aligned. We finally met in person NYE 2013. Now that was a story in itself where the roads got really bad, he claimed he was hours late because his car got stuck in a ditch (I didn't believe it at the time, but it actually was true). He finally stopped by and we just sat and talked for a couple hours - but just as friends. After NYE we started to text and talk a little more frequently but his coaching kept him pretty busy AND he wasn't really a phone person, so we went back to sending facebook chats whenever the mood struck.
Fast-forward to Feb 2016 when my siblings and I were on Family Feud. You can see the episode here: Anthony Family Feud Episode or here for mobile. Angie called me out for being single on national television [insert embarrassed/caught off guard face here] and my Facebook inbox went CRAZY - I had hundreds of people from all over the world and walks of life send facebook messages and friend requests. And I forwarded some of the funniest ones to Jonathan because I knew he would find them funny and I could joke with him without things ever getting weird.
About a month later, I went to Cleveland for my birthday. We made plans to meet up for brunch that Sunday. I already made evening plans with my girl Qesha, who I stayed with that weekend and we were supposed to have a full spa day. But we lost track of time and ended up stayed there until the place closed. Even after he drove me back to Qesha's we talked another 2 hours in his truck. It just ended up being one of those times where things just flowed so comfortably and it really was perfect. It felt like we'd been together for years even though that was technically our first date. And we've been together ever since.
Now I don’t look at things as merely coincidences and it’s crazy how many connections the two of us have. But I think the strongest connection is the way we both value family. My baby cousins are more like nieces and nephews, my niece and nephews like my own children, and my siblings are more like best friends. So a couple of weeks after that first date, Easter weekend, he drove down and met the whole Shepherd crew. He took the time to get to know everyone – but especially my grandma. He understood how important my entire family was to me, so he made them important to him. And that made him important to me.
What I love most about him is his kindheartedness, his innate desire to stand up and fight for what is right, his dedication to mentoring the youth, his strength, ambition, and desire to always keep me protected while understanding my independent and adventurous spirit. And he’s cute too! (#winning!!!!) He is literally the personification of so many traits that I never even realized I needed in a partner. And I’m glad I found them in him :)