It was June 2007. I had not long turned 20 and was almost a year into a self-imposed “man ban” in an attempt to cure my serial monogamist tendencies.
A friend of mine had been telling me about her adventures in online dating (which wasn’t really “a thing” back in 2007), and one story about a dodgy older guy who ignored the ‘seeking’ age bracket on both of her profiles not long after they were created and sent some pretty hilarious messages. She wanted to know if he was specifically interested in her, or if he messaged every female who signed up. So I signed up. FOR SCIENCE!
Despite my “man ban”, I was naturally drawn to the little link that told me I had matches. I figured looking couldn’t hurt. Right?
And that’s how I found Sam. He was ‘rather_tall’ with, quite frankly, an awful profile picture. I clicked anyway, because the username drew me in. His profile almost read like me writing a wishlist for the perfect boyfriend, so I sent a message. Containing a dead baby joke, the best foundation to any budding romance. A few more dead baby jokes later, and we were chatting to each other (on MSN Messenger!) for hours every night.
A few weeks later, we decided to meet up. He was at university, and I was living a 45-minute drive away in the country. I had stopped working due to my health and I had a car, so I went to him. Because we had been talking for a few weeks, we already knew a lot about each other, so our first date ended up being an entire weekend long, filled with movies, fast food, and a walk around the Hamilton Gardens. We became “official” that weekend, on the 2nd of July.
Things progressed really quickly from there. I had planned to start university in 2008 which would have meant moving from the country into Hamilton, so I started looking for a place to live. I’m still not sure exactly how it happened, but I ended up moving in with Sam and his flatmates. A few months later, just before the academic year started, we moved into an apartment, just the two of us.
For the following seven years (and many more apartments and houses), we lived together with no plans for marriage. It wasn’t until Sam’s mother passed away and we’d started considering moving overseas that our view on marriage shifted from ‘just a piece of paper’ to ‘a symbolically nice and eventually helpful piece of paper’. I had also expressed interest in taking his last name, because come on… Sarjant is a super cool name, is it not?!
We were married on the 27th of October 2015 at the courthouse with my parents, two family friends, and my sister and Sam’s childhood best friend as our witnesses. We then went to the Hamilton Gardens for photos, then had a meal with our closest friends and family, and that was our wedding! Nothing fancy or expensive, which was very “us”.
So, that’s our story! At least the logistical parts of it.
Oh and… in case you were wondering, the dodgy older guy DID message me a few hours after my profile went up. I wish I knew I’d be writing about this ten years later and saved the message as a memento. Because nothing says romantic love story like a comedic message from a pervy old man!