Andy and Brandi, congrats! Some people might not be familiar with your story, so I’ll start by asking you to explain how you met.
What was your very first interaction?
Andy: Back when I first joined 20sb in March 2010, I was in the chat quite a bit. I remember I was being cool in the chat room when a weird person called ‘Kisekae’ came on and started joining in the conversation by asking about music. I graced her with some of my collection in hopes of sending her on her way. Afterwards I sent her a message to ask if she liked them. She did.
Brandi: It all started quite modestly, in the 20sb chatroom.
I had noticed Andy on 20sb chat a few times before (if you know him at all you will know that he tends to draw quite a bit of attention to himself). I was usually more of a lurker, but there were some conversations going on about music, to which I joined in asking for some suggestions. Andy was quick to reply with a bunch of his favorite songs. He got my interest nearly immediately as I loved his taste in music, and his charming model-y avatar didn’t hurt either. I never would have imagined that this seemingly insignificant online conversation would eventually turn into so much more.
When did you realize there might “be something there”?
Brandi: After we started emailing back and forth a bit, I got to see more of Andy’s true personalitiy. He was very witty and almost every email left me in a girlish giggle. At this point I didn’t give much credit to anything more than an internet crush, but I was definitely e-swooned. As we switched from emails, to google chat, to eventually progressing to talking over webcam (scary!), I liked him more and more. And although I never admitted it aloud, by the end of July I knew I had properly fallen for him.
Andy: After casually sending my first message, I was shocked to see a long reply in my inbox almost before I had even pressed send. Thinking she was being competitive by trying to show how fast she could type, I wrote an even longer email, even quicker. The competition went on for quite a while, and we ended up becoming really good friends. I had only seen her cartoon-like display picture, so I had gotten to really like her from our conversations. By late August I suddenly realised I liked her a lot. A surprising amount.
How did you first meet offline? Where did you meet? Who initiated the plans? Were you nervous? How did it go?
Andy: We had talked about meeting for a while, but with the big distance (Birmingham, England to Vancouver, Canada) it was hard to make plans. And also a little crazy. In February we started talking about it much more seriously, and we decided she would come to England and stay with me for 3 weeks. I had to pretend to be nervous to people who thought I was crazy having a girl off the internet stay with me for three weeks, but in reality I was only nervous about wanting to make the 3 weeks so perfect that she would want to see me again after. I’m usually quite a confident person, but I pretty much lost the ability to speak when I saw her for the first time at the airport.
Brandi: Since I was the one making the big step and actually flying 4200 miles to stay with some guy that I met on 20sb, I can honestly say that I was the most nervous I had ever been. I was confident that we would like each other in person as much as we already had online, but it was still terrifying. I nearly fainted at the airport.
It really didn’t take us long at all to be completely comfortable with one another, and on our first night together Andy told me that he loved me.
It was an amazing feeling to know that taking such a risk payed off. We officially became girlfriend and boyfriend a few days later. The whole trip was more than I ever could have imagined.
Now tell us about the engagement! Who proposed? Where? When? DETAILS!
Andy: By the end of the first 3 weeks I knew I wanted to be with her forever. It wasn’t long until I booked my flights to Canada, and shortly after, bought an engagement ring. After much thought I decided how I would do it, and that I would wait until the second week. On the second week we were staying in a really nice resort on a beautiful island. I put the ring in my bag for while we were on a hike, and kept my eyes peeled for the most perfect location to ask her.
Brandi: As far as how I remember it, we set off on a nice hike through the forest, playing little games and teasing each other along the way. At one point Andy stopped and pulled me over to the most amazing viewpoint; a little secluded spot peeking out through the rainforest and overlooking the ocean for as far as you could see.
A hobby of ours had been geocaching, ever since we did it on our first date. Andy had told me that he remembered there being a geocache in that area, which I thought was great! He said that he was sure it was somewhere near a bench (of which there was just one, perfectly located in the most ideal position for taking in the view [or getting engaged]) and sure enough, right below it was a little ‘geocaching’ box. I was so excited that I had found a geocache, let alone what it really was! I sat down on the bench and handed the box to Andy to open (expecting some little toys inside). But instead he revealed a ring box!
I have to admit that I was still oblivious at this point. I never dreamed that he was about to do what he was about to do. It wasn’t until he got down on one knee that it suddenly hit me that in fact he really was! I was in complete shock and to this day I am still feel unsure if it has all been real. That’s when he took my hand and opened the ring box (revealing the most stunning ring I’ve ever seen), and before I had a chance to faint, he asked me to marry him.
My initial thought was to ask him if he was sure.
He said yes.
So I said yes.
I spent the whole walk back bouncing along with a huge grin on my face trying to let it all sink in. It was the most perfect engagement.
How do your friends and family feel about how you met?
Brandi: A few times Andy’s mentioned that he wants to start telling people that we met ‘surfing’ as in ‘surfing the web’, to sound a little less nerdy, but his scheme is flawed in that neither one of us could last a second on a surfboard.
Although internet dating seems to be accepted more and more, there are still a lot of people who will never seem to understand it. I think we can both honestly say that we never expected for things to develop seriously from internet acquaintances (and it took a lot to move from that to the point that we are at now), but we are both really glad that it has. Meeting over the internet gave us a chance to really get to know one another on a personal level and to become friends before anything else. So for us it really worked in our favor. Personally, I think my family kind of just expected it from me, and really wasn’t that surprised when I told them (although they had their hesitations). It made it a lot easier for them to accept it once they met Andy and saw all of the goodness that I see in him. At the point we are at now it’s easy to make jokes at our expense, but I still think a lot of people judge the validity of our relationship in that it started online which is frustrating but something we’ve gotten used to.
We are so happy with the way that things have turned out that we wouldn’t change a thing!
We are beyond thankful that 20sb exists as it was essentially the forum that brought us to meeting each other. We’ve been thinking that we may have to fit in a bloggers table at the wedding!
Thanks for sharing your story with us!