James and Genevieve
As the Oxford University Press online dictionary describes; Harmony, "the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole." Perhaps this is what Dr. Warren envisioned when he founded eHarmony. This definition could be interpreted as the joining of two individuals who share similar qualities but whose differences enhance one another, thus forming a healthy relationship where each person is encouraged to grow. Little did we know that "harmony" would enter our lives on January 17, 2004.
Gennie: Shortly after entering graduate school, moving to a college town and turning 30, I decided one night to give eHarmony a try. Thirty days later I received the e-mail from eHarmony that would change my life forever....Genevieve I would like to introduce you to James. We communicated via phone and internet for about three weeks before deciding to meet in person. He agreed to drive two hours to meet me and was greeted at the door by my 6'5", 250 lb. brother and my ferocious overprotective cocker spaniel.
James: Looking for alternative ways of meeting active and intelligent women, I met Gennie on eHarmony nearly three years ago this winter. After a tantalizing, long distance phone and email romance for several weeks, I made the trip north with a pocket full of treats for her yippie cocker spaniel and my best manners for a protective giant of a brother. With the dog satiated and the brother appeased, we were off to a show and on to the start of a great relationship.
Gennie: Throughout our two and a half year courtship, James has selflessly encouraged and supported me in pursuing my academic goals that included a two-week study abroad in Europe and a three month research stint in Alabama. When I returned from my study abroad James picked me up from the airport and had my dog waiting in the car to surprise me. He knew how much I had missed my dog during my time away and even made plans for the weekend at a coastal hotel that would allow pets. Not more than five days after returning home, it was already time to say goodbye again. James helped me pack up my car and we headed down south to Alabama where I would remain for three months. Despite the distance, James and I continued to grow closer and my feelings for him grew deeper.
James: Work hard, play hard has been a motto passed down in my family, and Gennie has the work hard part of that philosophy down pat. Through grad school, her study abroad and summer internship she has proven her diligence to study and devotion to her burgeoning career. I have welcomed the chance to support her in all her endeavors and remind her that diversions are essential for a healthy happy life.
Gennie: It was December 2005 when James told me he loved me the first time. He can be very spontaneous about many things, but when it comes to emotions, he takes them rather seriously. I was getting ready for his company's annual Christmas party when I opened the shower curtain to find a little black box on the sink. When I opened it, I found a beautiful pair of diamond earrings. James was nonchalantly in his room gathering his clothes when I asked him what they were for. His response was, "They are an early one year anniversary/I Love You gift." Not only had he looked back to see the exact day we were matched, he remembered what I had told him three months earlier about always wanting a pair of diamond studs. I gleefully returned his sentiments as I had known that I was falling in love with him.
James: I mistakenly thought that the earrings might make the difficult words easier to say. There have been several milestones in our relationship and none of them have been easy but all have been rewarding. I have never thought of myself as a romantic man, but I feel that I am learning with the aid of a great jeweler and an appreciative recipient.
Gennie: It was only a couple of months later when I challenged this newfound love. I told James that I had come across another educational opportunity that would be beneficial for my career. He could have discouraged me from applying for the post-master’s fellowship, especially since it was 12 hours away, but instead he encouraged me to pursue it. In April he even drove me 750 miles to Connecticut and walked with me to the interview site from our hotel to wish me well because I was so nervous. Let's say that when I received the acceptance letter it was bittersweet and a bit of a shock for both of us. I remember telling him that I was accepted and sitting in his lap crying over the thought of being apart for a year. We discussed it and he told me that he would support me through it.
James: From the very beginning, one of Gennie's most attractive qualities is her unassuming nature. I had much more confidence in her ability to quell the competition for the fellowship. The acceptance letter was not as much of a shock as the realization of how many boxes of clothes and shoes there were to cart up north.
Gennie: In May 2006 his company flew many of their employees for a three day trip to the Bahamas. It was our first night there, and he recommended that we take a walk out on the pier overlooking the ocean. As we watched the magnificent sunset, out of the blue he presented me with a ring and asked me to be his wife. I was completely stunned and we were both overwhelmed with emotion. It was an intimate and romantic moment that I will always remember. The loyalty, support and love James has given are more than I could have ever imagined. Our time apart has been difficult, but we have looked at it as another opportunity for individual growth as well as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship.
James: My mind had been made up for nearly 7 months previous to the Bahamas trip. True to my newfound romanticism, I searched months for the perfect ring and spent a significant amount of time preparing for the moment. All the preparation was a complete waste of time because I failed to consider the nervous factor. When the time came to pop the question, all of my brilliantly scripted prose seemed to be narrowed down to some barely audible gibberish. In the end my trusty jeweler saved the day, got my point across and prompted the desired response from my elated bride to be.
Gennie and James: Challenging and rewarding are two words that come to mind when we reflect on our two and a half years together. We learn from each other's differences and enjoy the fact that many of our core values and beliefs are quite similar. We are true believers in the compatibility profile; eHarmony provided us an amazing foundation in which we have chosen to nurture with love and patience and have seen our relationship flourish over time. We are so thankful that eHarmony creates the opportunity for compatible individuals to meet and create long lasting relationships.
James & Gennie