Fast forward 12 years, age 26 (28 for Dan). I hadn't talked to Dan very much at all since high school other than maybe in college a few times because he was friends with someone I hitched a ride home with on weekends once in a while. In December of 1997 we were at a mutual friend's Christmas party and caught up and chatted a bit. I remember thinking he was very nice, but that's about it. (Oh, I also thought he looked like a lumberjack...flannel shirt and full red beard, ha ha!).
Fast forward again, 5 months later, May of 1998 and I was preparing to move from Pennsylvania to Atlanta for a job. The night before I moved I was out with this same mutual friend of ours who said we should go say goodbye to Dan before I left. I was like "Huh?? I don't talk to Dan.....haven't seen him since December at your party and before that probably the early 90's!" But..I agreed because I was sick and needed tissues and had a full bladder and needed to pee. Ha!
It was midnight and we woke him up. :/ We visited for a bit, I used his bathroom and his tissues and we were on our way.
Within the next couple of days he had emailed me. The details are sketchy, but apparently he had wanted to get in touch with me and never had after that party in December. So we emailed for a long time, at least a year, just as friends. We got closer and closer through email, phone and instant messaging. There were a number of obstacles to actually forming a romantic relationship, the distance between us being just one of them, but we saw each other a few times during that year when I would visit home and it became clear we were becoming more than friends. After about a year he made his first visit in Atlanta. Emails, calls, and visits back and forth continued for another year.
In May of 2000 he helped me move back to Pennsylvania and 2 weeks after that we got engaged. 6 months later, we were married!
We've been happily married 11 years now, have a 4 year old son and 3 year old daughter.