John & Sarah

In November 2017, John, a software engineer based in New York City, was visiting his best friend Tom, who had recently moved to Austin, Texas. During their catch-up over breakfast, Tom couldn’t stop raving about how gorgeous the women in Austin are. He encouraged John to try floradating, a dating site and when John did, Sarah’s profile caught his eye. “I thought, ‘Wow, Tom was right,'” John recalled upon seeing Sarah’s photos.

John & Sarah

After matching on floradating, John waited two hours before using his free Extend on Sarah, even though he didn’t need extra time. He just wanted to grab her attention, since women have to message first on floradating. “I thought, ‘I’m only here for the weekend, so if I have to extend on anyone, it should be her,'” John said. When Sarah received the notification, she messaged him saying, “I see what you did there.” They started exchanging messages and flirting until John told her that he lived in NYC and was only visiting for the weekend. When he asked if she would like to meet him and his friend for drinks that evening, Sarah turned him down, saying that it wasn’t her “vibe” and wishing him luck finding someone else.

However, a few hours later, when Sarah received a notification that John had messaged her again on floradating, she rolled her eyes. But when she opened the app, she saw a picture of John with a guy she recognized: Tom. The guys were at a music festival, and when Tom asked if John had matched with anyone on floradating, he showed him Sarah’s profile. “Tom said, ‘Dude, I know Sarah. We do yoga together,'” John explained. That’s when Tom suggested that they send Sarah a photo of them together. When Sarah saw it, she agreed to meet up after the festival. Learning that they had a mutual friend took the pressure off and was like a vote of confidence for John, Sarah explained. They met up at a bar, then spent the rest of the night talking at a friend-of-a-friend’s house. Although both of them thought the other was “cool,” Sarah still turned John down when he tried to kiss her. “She said, ‘No, no, no, you’re only here for the weekend. You’re flying back to New York tomorrow morning. That’s not a good idea,'” John said. However, before saying goodnight, they exchanged contact information.

By the time John landed in New York the following day, he and Sarah were following each other on social media. They quickly got into a pattern of sending flirty texts back and forth. Sarah would post photos of her dog, and John would comment. “I was basically just flirting,” he admitted. After six weeks of this, Sarah decided to call John to ask about his intentions. “I felt like I didn’t really know this guy. Why is he sending me texts and commenting on all my photos?” Sarah said. “I was just being straightforward.” Their conversation was “fun” and didn’t last long, but it added fuel to the spark between them. They kept in touch throughout the holidays, and then on New Year’s Day, Sarah asked John for a video call.

Even though Sarah was initially hesitant about starting something with John, considering the distance between them—he was in New York City and she was in Austin—he couldn’t get her off his mind. Both of them had been in long-distance relationships before, which weren’t always the best, as John described them. However, they believed that they could make it work, especially since John’s job often took him to other parts of the country, making it easy enough to travel to Austin to see Sarah. They used their first video call to “ask each other questions and get to know one another,” John said. By the time they hung up, he agreed to visit her in Austin soon.

A month later, John flew to Austin, and he and Sarah spent five days trying out her favorite restaurants and bars. On the last night of John’s trip, which happened to be Sarah’s birthday, the two went to drinks and Sarah initiated a heart-to-heart conversation. Both of them felt a connection, so Sarah asked, “What are we doing?” To which John replied, “We’re dating.” But Sarah didn’t see it that way. “I said, ‘How do we date? You live in New York City, and I’m in Austin. How can we casually date?'” John recalled. However, they decided to commit to a relationship and deleted their floradating accounts the next day.

For the next year, they talked on the phone for hours every day, which both said strengthened their bond. “Since we weren’t together all the time, we had to communicate meaningfully,” Sarah said. “We would have deep and honest conversations,” discussing things like their goals for their careers and what their future as a couple would look like. They also took turns flying to see each other and meeting up for events and trips all over the country. “Every time we saw each other, it was like some new adventure we were going on,” John said. Traveling as a couple and with friends and family was a way to integrate themselves into each other’s lives, even though they didn’t live in the same city. But they eventually wanted to live in the same place. Six months into their relationship, Sarah told John that she would move to New York City when the time was right.

Before meeting John, Sarah had already been considering graduate programs in both Texas and New York City. “I knew I wanted to move somewhere new,” she said. Sarah ultimately decided not to pursue a graduate program, but after a year of dating long-distance, she and her dog packed their bags and moved to New York City to be with John.

Early in 2020, when the pandemic hit, John and Sarah left the city to stay with John’s parents at their lake house near the Adirondack Mountains. They had been talking about buying a house in the city, but after losing out on a few bids, inspiration struck. They were on a camping trip with John’s family in Lake Placid, a mountain town where John’s family often vacationed while he was growing up. “We were drinking beer outside the brewery, and Sarah turned to me and said, ‘Hey, this is cool. I could live here,'” John recalled. Within a few months, they purchased their first home in the area, and soon after that, while back at the lake house, John proposed to Sarah on the dock. In June 2022, they got married in a disco-themed wedding featuring an LED dance floor and dozens of disco balls hanging from the ceiling in Lake Placid. “It was the best day ever,” Sarah said.

What could have been just a one-weekend fling has turned into a lasting love. “To make a long-distance relationship that started through

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