Captured & submitted by Victoria Neill Photography
Stefan and I met in Junior year of High School. I was friends with his sister and I believe she introduced us. From the moment we met, Stefan and I instantly vibed well together- He thought I was beautiful, funny, and sweet/sassy, and I thought he was hilarious and so sweet and caring. We had a flirtatious friendship – and I remember always being in “awe” watching Stefan play his guitar whenever we were together.
Stefan ended up teaching me how to play the song “Collide” by Howie Day on his first guitar – which sparked my interest of wanting to own my own and learn more. Over the course of Junior/Senior year, Stefan and I enjoyed many beach trips with each other and our mutual friends. It was obvious that Stefan had quite a big crush on me, as he even wrote me a song on the guitar and had it recorded on a CD for me to keep forever.
I remember going on “one date” together to see a movie in theaters – but we never took the friendship any further as I was soon to leave for college after we graduated from high school in 2007. With me knowing I was leaving for college, I was more guarded then him and never let my feelings get to deep even though I knew I liked him.
In the beginning stages of me being away for college, we often talked on the phone until 1-2 AM. We missed one another and our time together – but as time went on those late night chats eventually came to an end. 8 years had passed and we both had lived totally separate lives. It wasn’t until social media became a huge hit -that I created a account, and found him on there.
I was currently in an unhealthy 7 year relationship, that I desperately wanted to get out of – and reconnecting with Stefan reminded me of his good heart – and gave me the push that I needed to finally leave my toxic situation. When I moved back home to Raleigh, and saw Stefan in person there was an instant connection – as if time never passed- but I knew I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship again. Stefan was so patient with my healing process, and respected my boundaries of remaining friends with the hopes that he would soon one day find that key to my heart.
4 years later (2019), I finally felt ready to open up my heart again – and it was the best decision I ever made. We started dating in December 2019, he asked me to be his girlfriend in February 2020, and the rest is history. We have built such a strong foundation based on friendship- and we can honestly say that we are each other’s best friends and are so happy to have each other as partners for life. We make each other laugh and feel loved every day. We truly believe that our lives came full circle for a reason.