Gabriel and Ava
Why did you join eHarmony?
Ava: I wasn’t meeting the kind of guys I was interested in at normal friends’ get-togethers and pubs, and I thought eHarmony was going to give me a better selection of like-minded people.
Gabriel: I had just returned from a work commitment in the USA and hadn’t previously had anything more serious than a couple of flings, so I joined eHarmony for fun. I had tried other free dating sites before, which were honestly quite terrible so I had no high hopes. I had also met a guy at Denver airport who had met his now wife on eHarmony so it was in the back of my mind.
Were you in a relationship before joining eHarmony or had you been single for a while?
Ava: I had been single for a while (2 years).
Gabriel: I had been single for 6 years.
When did you first start communicating with your partner?
Ava sent a smile and first 3 questions on the 4th of May 2015.
When did you go on your first date? What did you do?
Gabriel: We went on our first date on the 9th of May 2015 and Ava had arranged for us to go see the show ‘Le Cirque Noir.’ As there is about 3 hours between us, I rented a hotel room and bought a bus ticket with a return on the following afternoon, thinking that even if it doesn’t work out, I can at least have a look at Canberra.
I left the hotel lobby after I got a text from Ava and as I was leaving, I saw golden blond hair and a red coat. As I came closer, I said ‘Mrs. Black’ (a nickname I had come up with) and Ava turned around and said ‘Captain’. It was a little weird in this moment, as I did not know if to lean in to hug or do something. But luckily Ava to took the lead and off we went to a Thai restaurant, where I basically spent the entire meal talking so I did not get a chance to eat much at all. We then went to the Canberra theatre to see Le Cirque Noir. It was a fantastic choice of sexual innuendo, paired with us taking our first pictures together, laughing a lot and in the end holding hands.
Funnily enough, afterwards I was hungry and as we could not find any establishment open at that hour, I foolishly suggested to go back to the hotel room to order room service. Once I heard myself say that out loud I thought she was going to bail, but no, we spent an amazing evening/night together looking at pictures, laughing and just having fun. In retrospect, I am still amazed by how natural it all fell into place very quickly. We spent the next morning having breakfast together and have been inseparable ever since.
When did you realise this was something special?
Ava: During the show on our first date, Gabriel put an arm around me and it just sent shivers up and down my spine, which I had never had experienced before. That is when I knew.
Gabriel: I think there are two instances. The first one that gave me hope was when I first looked her in the face which I remember as an overwhelming experience. But I did know for sure on the second occasion, when she actually came to Wollongong to see me. Because no one just travels three hours on the bus for nothing!
What makes you two compatible?
Ava: Well we like very similar things, but at the same time we both know what makes us unique individuals and we keep that part of ourselves. We are not quite opposite, but we did have very different upbringings and it had an impact on both of us. I think we complement one another.
Gabriel: In my personal opinion love is very circumstantial, e.g. you could fall in love with someone if you just spent enough time together in a room. What makes us compatible I think the most is that we are both incredibly taken by surprise how little thought it required for us to make the decision to be together. With me being a scientist and Ava training to become a medic, both of our lives are dictated by logic, reasoning and science. The shear initial attraction paired with minimal effort and us keeping our individuality is what makes us really work. We share important passions, and yet we are very different. Diversity creates a balance which we harvest.
What does the future hold for you two?
Gabriel: Future is a very large term. For us, the future holds the difficulty of us both completing our doctorates, finding employment, completing residencies and post-doctor-ships, moving together eventually, being separated for a while due to work, potentially getting married… but does this at all matter? I think what the future really holds for us is a mystery, and that is what makes it fun. The real future is going to be difficult, but the outlook at all the interesting, intriguing, fun and memorable moments that lie ahead is much more pleasant to think about. And that is what our future holds: fun, companionship and life.