The job opportunity of a lifetime

How a phone call about an open role led to a love story.

When Raul reached out to Alexia, he was looking for a reference, not a partner. 

The architect was on the lookout for someone to hire for his firm, and knew that his bright former college classmate might have a lead. What he wasn’t expecting, however, was that Alexia would recommend herself for the job. 

A week later they were colleagues. Though both were in relationships at the time, they enjoyed their professional partnership. A few months later they were single and quickly started dating. 

And while love found a way to bring the two of them together, Alexia also ended up being correct when she said she’d be a good fit for the job: she’s now the president of the firm. 

Here’s their story. 

Editor’s note: Portions of this interview have been translated from Spanish.

How did you meet? 

Raul: We went to university together. We both studied architecture. We didn’t talk too much, but I remember once I had an important exam for class, and I had asked my friend to study with me. But when we started going over the material he said “Oh, I don’t know this. But I have a friend who does.” And it was Lexi. 

Around three years ago, I opened an architectural studio. She was a great student, so I had kept an eye on her. And when I was searching for someone who could be my right hand, I reached out to her to see if she knew anyone who might be interested in working with me. And she said she was. 

We got on a call. We weren’t very close, so it was a little bit awkward. She wanted to quit her job and asked me when she could start with me! She basically ended up hiring herself. 

Within a week she started working in my studio

Alexia: My first memory of Raul was that I was walking through the hallways of the university and seeing a handsome guy walking by. I remember thinking He seems different. There’s no one like him here. I remember exactly how he was dressed. To this day I tell him “When you wear that blue shirt, I think about the first time I saw you.” 

Anyways, when he reached out, it was like a message. Do you know the feeling when you’re in the car and you’re sad and looking through the window? I was thinking What do I do? I want to quit my job. And then my phone rang. I think it was meant to be. 

Raul: It was like destiny. She was in a very bad situation in her old job

How did you get together? 

Raul: We were both seeing other people when she first joined my firm. So at first it was purely a professional relationship. But a few months later when we were both single, I think we noticed that we had a spark. 

Alexia: There was one time! We had gone out and were both still in relationships and I remember thinking I wish I had something like that when I saw the way he treated his girlfriend. 

Raul: Three or four months after she started, once we were single, we went out to a party and started dancing. And then one thing led to another…

At first we kept it a secret. For me, since I was her boss, it seemed like something that could affect certain interests within the office. The first few times it was like we were going out as friends, pretty discreetly. 

Do you and your partner want to share your story with the Love Letter? Email us at [email protected]!

What did you do for your first date? 

Raul: I’ve always liked trying all the burgers in the cities where I’ve lived, and I really like going on dates to try new ones. So when we started to date I invited her on my goal of trying all the burgers in the city. 

Every Saturday we’d go try a burger and then we’d go to the movies. And we kept doing that for years and eventually got engaged this past December 29th!

What’s the best part of working with your partner and having your careers intertwined? 

Raul: Because of the time that you invest in a career like architecture, it’s very easy for a partner who isn’t an architect to feel like you don’t want to spend time with them. When you start an architectural project, if you’re passionate about the creative process, you pursue it and can’t let it go until you’ve gotten the result you want. It can be very time consuming, and it can be hard for a partner to understand that. 

That Alexia is a part of it, and that she sees everything firsthand and is there for all the stresses and work that we do, it’s incredibly important for strengthening our relationship. It doesn’t generate conflict the way it might if I was with someone who didn’t work in architecture. 

Are you happy you took Raul’s job offer? 

Alexia: Of course. It was the opportunity of a lifetime!

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Interviewed and transcribed by Nicolas Vega. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.