By Kaitlin Menza
When Emily spotted her future husband Adam’s profile on Bumble in the summer of 2018, two things stuck out to her: one, that he was handsome, and two, that he was also in healthcare. “I saw that we worked at similar hospital facilities,” she says.
Healthcare was actually just one of her jobs: Emily worked as a part-time research assistant at a hospital while simultaneously holding down a role as a product specialist for an automotive company. She worked both of these jobs while also studying for her master’s degree in basic medical sciences. Her positively “dreadful” schedule, which required frequent trips for her automotive job, “was not ideal for having a romantic life of any kind,” she says. Still, she was looking for somebody who was ready to get serious, and who understood her long hours and travel schedule. Her friends suggested she try Bumble, promising that the men there would be more ready for a commitment.
Adam, who worked as a physician’s medical scribe at the time, was also ready for romantic commitment. He too had worried about finding someone who would be okay with his schedule, as he routinely put in 12- to 14-hour shifts at a hospital. He turned to Bumble, looking for someone who was also willing to work hard to get where they wanted to in life, while also “helping as many people as possible along the journey,” he says.
After matching, Emily and Adam, both based in Mich., chatted for weeks before meeting in person. Emily had been burned too often by guys only looking for a casual thing, so she wanted to establish a solid connection before taking Adam seriously. They messaged on Bumble before Emily trusted Adam enough to share her phone number. From there they texted, and then logged a few video calls before their first date. The chats were “full of laughter or crude medical humor,” Emily says. “We just clicked.”
It was a good thing they had gotten to know each other pretty well before deciding to meet up, “Our first date was awful,” Emily laughs. It wasn’t their chemistry or conversation, but the date choice: they went to see a movie. She laments now that it meant she just sat silently next to him for two hours. Ultimately, though, it worked for them. “It was nice because we’re both more reserved individuals, so it allowed us to at least feel more comfortable around each other,” Emily says.
Adam remembers it a bit more warmly. “I picked her up from her apartment and we were so lost in our conversation that I forgot how to get to the movie theater, even though I’d been there a hundred times,” he says. “I missed all the turns I needed to make.”
The relatively quiet first date gave them an easy excuse for a second, Emily says, and her impressions of him were great. “He was a gentleman—very, very, very sweet,” she gushes. She noticed an innate kindness and gentleness in the way he spoke to her and to others, always opening doors and making sure she felt comfortable.
Their odd work schedules actually helped the momentum of their relationship. “There were some times where we had entire days free, so we would just hang out all day,” Adam says. “There were blocks of three days in a row where we had nothing to do, so we had little vacations together. It was a good way to get to know each other quickly.” He would tag along on Emily’s work trips, extending their stays to hike in Glacier National Park or sip wine by the California coast. The pair traveled to nearly every state in the U.S. together, and even took a trip to Paris.
When COVID-19 struck, travel became difficult for her automotive job, so Emily pivoted fully into a clinical research role. The couple were able to lean on each other during the all-consuming experience of working in hospitals during the pandemic. “It was intense, very exhausting, and it was nice having each other,” Emily says. “You experience a lot of the same fatigue and excitement.”
In August 2020, they embarked on a road trip from Michigan to the west coast. They returned to Sonoma, Calif., where they’d spent time during one of those work trips, going back to a special stretch of the coast called Goat Rock Beach. While taking a walk there at sunset, Emily spotted a rock she wanted to take home as a souvenir. When Adam bent down to pick it up, an engagement ring fell out of his pocket and onto the sand.
“I think he turned 50 shades of white,” Emily laughs. After they both stared at the ring for a moment in stunned silence, Adam recovered and proposed. A hired photographer, hiding nearby, captured it all.
While they would have loved a destination wedding befitting their love of adventure, pandemic restrictions kept them closer to home. A year after the proposal, the couple hosted an outdoor wedding for just over 100 people in their own backyard. They hung thousands of twinkling lights and celebrated under the stars. The result was “just intimate and beautiful, with all our closest family and friends,” says Emily.
One day, they would like to have children, but first up they’ve expanded their family with a Doberman pinscher puppy they’ve dubbed Mr. Fredericksen. And they’ve set their sights on yet another professional challenge: The couple have both applied for medical school. They’ve pushed each other to reach new heights together, and says Emily: “I could not be happier.”
Main photo credit: Brian Weitzel Photography