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- When You Know, You Know
When You Know, You Know
Trusting and exploring your gut feeling can lead to the ultimate payoff
When you know, you know. And Devin — one half of this week's Love Letter featured couple — knew.
Less than five months after meeting girlfriend Jane on a blind date, he was ready to ask her to move in with him. After all, it would be a big upgrade over moving in with two strangers and a dog. Plus, he tells Meet Cutes NYC, he had a great deal on his apartment.
She said yes, and the rest is history. The two have been married for four of the six years they've known each other.
Devin doesn't really understand how he knew. He describes it as a "gut, primal feeling." Jane, meanwhile, thinks back on their first date, remembering a chilly New York City night and an underdressed Devin. "I was like, I think I want to keep this person warm," she says. Here's their story.
How did you two meet?
Devin: We met through a mutual acquaintance. Somebody who I had worked with knew Jane from her time living in Paris. They had tried to set us up a couple of times in a pretty concerted way about a year before we met. But I think we were both not really available at the time. But then it finally stuck. We met each other once and it was really kind of love at first sight, I guess. It moved pretty quickly once we actually met.
Who was this acquaintance?
Jane: I used to live in Paris for about eight years, and I met this girl through my friend who I used to work with. We were working in the bar scene. She moved back to the US a few years before I did, and when I moved back to New York we got reacquainted. She was saying to me about how she had this guy that she wanted me to meet.
What did she tell you about Jane?
Devin: She wasn't really saying anything other than basically I've got this friend that I really want you to meet. I guess what happened at the end is that she almost ambushed us. She texted me out of the blue while she was actually right next to Jane. So she kind of forced our hands to actually communicate with one another.
I sent Jane a picture of my cats right at the beginning, and it turns out that one of my cats was basically the twin of one of the cats Jane had a couple of years ago. So I think through chance and randomness we kind of just took off from there. If that hadn’t been a thing I don’t know if we would have really pursued it.
What did you do for that first date?
Jane: I lived in Long Island City, and Devin wanted to meet at a bar called Dutch Kills. I have a terrible sense of direction and it was raining that day. I lived really close to the bar but I was late, so I felt really awkward. I arrived wet and late, and Devin was at the bar already. I was very nervous, and I thought he was very handsome. I remember texting our friend saying I thought he was handsome.
What did you think about your blind date keeping you waiting at the bar next to her apartment?
Devin: I think I had no expectations. We were in our early 30s when we met, so I had already had so many bad dates already. I seem to remember that it wasn’t really a thing. But I was very glad when she actually did arrive, and I thought she was very pretty.
Did the date go well?
Jane: I liked him immediately. He's very calm and even tempered, and he's got a great laugh. He made me feel comfortable. I remember, after we had our drink, he wanted to go eat. And I was really nervous because I didn't really know any places even though I lived there. But I remember going to this one ramen spot and being pretty proud of myself for being able to direct us to it.
It was cold that day and I remember we were walking and he wasn't wearing a very heavy coat. And I was like, I think I want to keep this person warm.
Devin: I liked Jane. She was very interesting. And I think I found her to be pretty fascinating right from the beginning with the way that she had chosen up to that point to live her life, having moved abroad.
The way that she thinks about life and things I found to be unique and not like anybody else I had ever met. I thought it was very interesting and stimulating. I really liked it. And I still do.
How did things grow from there?
Devin: She went away for a couple of weeks after our first date. I think maybe it helped because there wasn’t any pressure right away to go on a second date. We were able to kind of sit on that. And then when she came back everything happened pretty quickly.
I think we knew right away that we really, really liked each other. And a few months after we met she had a situation where she needed a new apartment. As the New York City apartment search drama continued, eventually I just told her “Well, why don’t you just move here?” So she moved in pretty quickly, maybe five months after we met.
Jane: I went through a nightmare looking at some apartments and really seeing what New York had to offer. I had found one that I thought I could live in. It was going to be with two other people, and they had a dog. I told Devin and he was like “Oh, well why don’t you move in with me?” And I thought “Okay, that definitely sounds better.”
At that point I was in love with him. And it felt like it made more sense. Plus, he had cute cats.
Devin: I had had many relationships before that I was just so skeptical about. I don't know if it was something about the person that I felt was wrong, or maybe it was just timing with other things that were going on with my life.
But when I met Jane it was the combination of her being the perfect person and also the timing was great. I wasn’t skeptical. I was ready to embrace it with open arms. It could’ve gone poorly if she turned out to not be a great fit, but we got lucky I guess.
How did you know it was time to take the plunge?
Devin: The one thing I learned from meeting Jane, and then ultimately marrying Jane – as well as from bad relationships I've had in the past – is that I think that if you trust your instincts, things can pay off.
I think I had an instinctual sense from meeting her right away, like a gut, primal feeling almost that this was a person that I wanted to give a real shot to.
So if I could say anything, it's trust your instincts. If you have that nagging feeling that this person is not right, then you should pay attention to that. But if you do feel like this is the right thing, what is there to lose, you know? Go for it.
Jane: I agree. And understanding the way someone makes you feel is really important. One of the things that I love about Devin is that he always makes me feel very comfortable. He’s always very patient with me and very supportive. Having that sense of comfort helped me trust how things were going and to trust him and trust myself in the situation.
Do you have any date recommendations?
Jane: We like to take adventures, trips together. A lot of our anniversaries have been seeing beautiful national parks or an attraction that happens to be in the mountains, or going to a beach. Being part of nature has always made me feel closer to him. We’ve done a fair amount of camping and road tripping together. And it’s really special to see something new together and experience something that someone really cares about in a new way.
Devin: It can be really fun if one person is being pushed outside their comfort one but the other is in their zone. The experiences with Jane that were always really fun were doing something she was very comfortable with but I wasn’t very comfortable with. So long as she was there, in the end I think those turned out to be some of the most fun experiences we’ve had.
🤔 Poll of The Day
What is the ideal amount of time to date before moving in together?
Click below to vote!
📊 Last Week We Asked…
[poll] “Do you prefer to control the music when in a relationship?”
14% said “Yes, I need control of the music”
10% said “No, I prefer not to control the music”
76% said “Ideally, we split the duties”
[trivia] “What rom-com movie are we thinking of?”(Clue 1: Two recent graduates meet on a long car ride to NY; Clue 2: A famous scene in Katz’s Deli)
Answer: When Harry Met Sally… ❤️ Special shoutout to Jacki A — the first person to answer the question correctly (and our first trivia winner ever)
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Interviewed and transcribed by Nicolas Vega. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.