By Jessica Goodman
When Hannah, a healthcare worker, found herself recently single in fall 2017, her roommate Halie had a plan. She wanted to set Indianapolis, Ind.-based Hannah up with the cute new medical student she kept seeing around work. Except, her roommate felt too awkward to make the match. “She kept saying, ‘I wish I knew how to introduce you two,’” Hannah says now.
Hannah didn’t think too much about it, and instead got on Bumble to meet someone new. During one of her first swiping sessions, she happened to land on a cute medical student named Gabe. “I was joking like, ‘hey is this the guy you were talking about?’” Hannah says. But much to her surprise, Halie exclaimed that Gabe was the person she’d wanted to set her up with. Hannah was drawn to Gabe’s looks, in part—but more than that, she liked that he had a dog in his profile photos. She quickly swiped right.
Gabe, meanwhile, had no idea Halie had considered setting him up with Hannah. When he spotted Hannah on Bumble, he was eager to get to know her. “She was stunningly beautiful,” he says, “but there was also this picture of her in a giraffe onesie that made me laugh. The fact that she would be open enough to post a picture like that felt genuine.” The two started chatting on the app, covering all “the basics,” says Hannah. “What music do you like, what do you do for work, all that sort of stuff.” Within two weeks, they had plans for their first date: drinks at a local bar.
On the date, the two hit it off, talking about their careers, families, and shared interests. Gabe was relieved, as Hannah’s job meant she understood the medical field. He knew his work would be busy and consuming as a medical student and soon-to-be resident, and he wanted a partner who’d get that. He had plans to continue his evening with friends, and Hannah jumped at the chance to invite herself along, a move that Gabe found charming—especially since he says there was an “instant connection.” That night, Hannah got along with all of his friends and was able to joke around with them right away. “I was really impressed that she was able to hang like that with us,” he says. The two went out again the next night, and, as they say, never really stopped hanging out.
“I wasn’t looking for a relationship,” says Hannah. “I just felt that being on Bumble was a fun experience and I had no set expectations.” But the two became official fast, and they spent the next few months hitting up Indianapolis’s best restaurants and cocktail bars, getting to know one another’s friends, and testing the waters with their first vacation, a trip to Montreal.
Five months after matching on Bumble, Hannah confessed to a friend that she wanted to marry Gabe. “I knew pretty quickly that this was for real,” she says. Even though they didn’t discuss it at the time, Gabe agrees. “We’ve always been on the same page in terms of the growth in our relationship,” he says. “There’s never been pressure from one another.”
But they didn’t rush into an engagement, and instead spent the next few years strengthening their bond. They welcomed a pup, Obie, into their home—and took more trips to places like Boston, Mass.; Savannah, Ga.; and Charleston, S.C. Though they spend lots of time with friends, exploring new restaurants and venues in town, Hannah says she’s grown to appreciate that their “social meters are the same.” “We just love each other’s company and being in our home together, as well as going out,” she says.
Hannah also realized how much Gabe cared for her when he came, unprompted, to visit her at the hospital when a family member was ill. “Being there for me when it wasn’t something that I felt that I needed—but ultimately did need—was so great,” she says. For his part, Gabe says that he so appreciates Hannah’s small gestures of thoughtfulness, like when she brings him a cup of tea without being asked. “It’s a constant reminder of how much she cares about me,” he says. “It doesn’t seem like a huge deal but it reminds me how fortunate I am.”
In fall 2021, Gabe and Hannah joined Gabe’s parents on vacation to Arizona, where they planned to hike the Grand Canyon. Though they had, by this point, talked about wanting to get married, Hannah hadn’t thought much about timing.Their tour guide led them into magnificent Antelope Canyon, famous for its natural sandstone spiral and wave formations. The guide then suggested they pose for a photo in front of a heart-shaped opening in the canyon. Hannah was shocked as Gabe then got down on one knee. “She thought I was making a fool of myself for the picture but then she looked down and saw the ring,” he says. “She cried.” Hannah laughs: “I was very excited!”
After a year of planning, the two walked down the aisle in a historic train station in downtown Indianapolis, surrounded by all their friends and family—including Hannah’s former roommate Halie who had wanted to set them up. (Now, she’s just glad they found each other at all!) As they look toward the future, Hannah knows their relationship is stronger than ever. “He takes such good care of me and is a genuinely good person,” she says. Gabe feels the same about the woman he could have met on a workplace blind date, but ultimately found through the magic of Bumble. “I couldn’t have imagined meeting someone better than Hannah,” he says.
Main photo credit: Elisa Lopez Photography