Meet Happy Couple: Who We Are
Cupid’s helper through the years:
how an app helped guide this couple from long-distance friendship,
to romance, to popping the question
It took 11 years, but with a little help from a mobile app that helps people build strong relationships, Amanda and SarahBeth went from being longtime best friends who had never even met in person, to falling in love, to getting engaged on a beach in Malibu on a recent weekend in February.
Their unconventional love story is rare proof of how technology CAN help people get closer, when we so often hear the opposite. If there is an alternative to the loneliness and isolation that people often face by being addicted to watching the world through their phone screen, Amanda and SarahBeth are the perfect example. They used a relationship-building app, Happy Couple, as a guide to follow their hearts and ultimately find and build true love by answering daily quiz questions to get to know each other better.
“I wanted to make SarahBeth feel special in a way that would make her laugh, cry, and feel as loved as she really is. So I reached out to Happy Couple. I knew there was no better way to pop the big question!”
Since it was such a big part of their romantic journey, Amanda secretly reached out to the Happy Couple developers to surprise SarahBeth with personal questions and pop the question through the app.
“I wanted to include Happy Couple in my proposal because SarahBeth and I both know the importance of Happy Couple in our relationship, Amanda said.
“I wanted to make SarahBeth feel special in a way that would make her laugh, cry, and feel as loved as she really is. So I reached out to Happy Couple. I knew there was no better way to pop the big question!"
How it Began: The Friendship
The two women met on a dating website in 2007, but were never able to meet in person before Amanda moved to California 2 weeks later. “The flirting and sharing of feelings was instantaneous,” Amanda says, despite the distance and not being able to have a “real relationship.”
Less than a year later, after talking every day for hours (with SaraBeth often losing sleep because of the time difference), SarahBeth told Amanda she was falling in love with her.
“I felt the same way, but I wasn't ready to come out to my family, so I tried my best to keep most of those feelings hidden, even from SarahBeth,” Amanda says.
"We were seeking something that would help us connect across the miles and in a deeper way than we had before."
The women were best friends and provided a devoted support system to each other, helping SarahBeth get through college and grad school. They still hadn’t even met in person. But after four years of nurturing their connection after their online meeting, Amanda and SarahBeth met for the first time. They were close friends, but in relationships with other people.
“It was a bittersweet moment, finally meeting her, seeing her in person for really only about an hour, hugging her, but "knowing" that we could only ever be friends,” Amanda says.
A Growing Love
Another 5 years went by. SaraBeth finally came to visit Amanda in California, and they both knew they’d be kidding themselves if they tried to make it another friendly visit. While they enjoyed the beauty of the West Coast’s sites, laughing together and enjoying each other’s company, they quietly affirmed their deeply- rooted love for each other.
“I FINALLY shared my feelings with SarahBeth with 4 simple words "I'll wait for you," and SarahBeth knew exactly what that meant, that I was ready to give love a chance,” Amanda says.
Navigating the transition to a relationship
Now in love and in a long-distance relationship, they found a way to keep the connection going. In 2016, Amanda discovered Happy Couple while looking for something in the app store to help bring them closer.
“It was the only app I found that offered couples meaningful content to help build a relationship,”
“We knew so many things about each other from our long friendship, but now we had to navigate getting to know each other in a whole new way. We didn't have to ask each other the normal "getting to know you" new dating questions, we knew all of those answers already. We were seeking something that would help us connect across the miles and in a deeper way than we had before. That's when Happy Couple comes in.”
Amanda and SarahBeth say that the app’s quiz questions and the conversations they prompted helped them overcome the normal awkwardness that comes with dating your best friend.
“The first part of Happy Couple that we loved was that it seemed to be able to be tailored exactly to our relationship. There were not many apps out there that cater to same-sex long distance relationships the way that Happy Couple does. We faithfully answered our 5 questions, often purchasing 50+ question packs when we were really missing each other.”
“It was the only app I found that offered couples meaningful content to help build a relationship. We knew so many things about each other from our long friendship, but now we had to navigate getting to know each other in a whole new way."
They were able to navigate who was going to “close the gap” of their distance and when, and discuss the harder questions about raising children, and death. Happy Couple was also a guide for them to get into the more fun topics you don’t usually ask your best friend, like preferred length of foreplay or favorite parts of each other’s bodies.
“When SaraBeth decided to move to CA in March 2017, we were so excited to be able to change our Happy Couple settings from “long distance” to “living together!“ Amanda says.
For the moment of the big question, Amanda had a special surprise up her sleeve. She had secretly contacted the Happy Couple developers to create personalized questions for SarahBeth to answer, that included details about their lives and relationships.
As SarahBeth went through the questions, they included things like references to Amanda’s son, Jayden, and SarahBeth’s love for bald-headed men.
“As I got to question 2, I realized something a little fishy was going on. These questions were most definitely not just a normal "pack." These questions were for ME!” SarahBeth says.” I started shaking a little, knowing that Amanda was recording me, and a little nervous about where the next questions were going to take me. As I got to the last question,
"There are thousands of questions more we can ask, but none as important as this. Amanda wants to know: SarahBeth Rennie, will you marry me?"
“I already knew my answer, but I just couldn't believe that she was able to get one of my favorite parts of every day, Happy Couple, to ask me to marry her! I couldn't have been more surprised than I was at that moment.”
“I realized something a little fishy was going on. These questions were most definitely not just a normal "pack." These questions were for ME!”
“I'm very proud that they contacted us to be part of that special day,” says Happy Couple Founder and CEO Julien Robert, who helped do the programming to get the secret questions to SarahBeth’s phone exactly on time for the proposal. “And at the same time I'm not surprised because this is the core of the mission of the app. It's to build happy and healthy and long-lasting relationships. It helps people to commit to each other. When my wife Erin, who is also a Happy Couple co-founder, and I got married, maybe we were the first Happy Couple marriage, and I'm sure there are others.”
Amanda and SarahBeth say they’re looking forward to their life together, including raising a son. “The best part of the entire experience was the look of approval on Jayden’s face as we told him the big news and showed him our beautiful rings!” Amanda says.
Now that we've gotten into a routine and we have our careers and family with Jayden, Happy Couple has become an even more important part of our day, because it gives us a daily "check in" with each other. Now we answer the questions together each evening, and review our answers together, talking about any differences we have and celebrating when we get "hard" questions right!
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