By Kaitlin Menza
Windsor decided to join Bumble a few months after ending the seven-year relationship that had inspired his move to the U.S. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, he was spending much of that summer of 2018 traveling. As he visited Brazil, Spain, Germany, and more, he used Bumble to connect with people nearby. “I was just trying to meet locals, and maybe someone I could date,” he says. “Bumble worked in all those countries, and felt like a network that I could trust.”
In September he arrived in Mexico City, and when he opened Bumble he saw Paulina’s profile. Her cute face and photos from her travels piqued his interest—as did a handful of shared Badges, suggesting similar interests. Paulina was less enthused by what she saw. The photos he added weren’t particularly flattering. “I’ve since told him that it was not a good profile!” She swiped right, though, because they both worked in or around e-commerce, and she figured that because of their similar professions, there might be something interesting to talk about. “I just thought, ‘Let’s see what happens,'” says Paulina.
They tried to set up a first date twice, but it didn’t work out in the one week Windsor had in the city. Still, Paulina’s questions continued. “‘What do you do in e-commerce?’ ‘What were you doing in Mexico?’ ‘Why are you going to Colombia?’” he recalls. “I kept giving her details, and we just kept the conversation going.”
Though she saw no point in continuing to chat with someone who had already left the area, Paulina couldn’t resist. Her other text chats on Bumble so far had mostly fizzled out. “I’d talk with a lot of guys and it was like, ‘What are you doing?’ Nothing, and you? ‘Nothing.’ It took a lot of effort to continue the conversation,” she explains. “With Winsdor, it was an immediate click. I remember once talking with him until three in the morning, and it was like, ‘Okay, I really need to sleep, I have work tomorrow!’”
One night, after sharing that she was just hanging at home, Paulina got a surprise video call from Windsor, who was in Colombia by then. “I was so nervous that I dropped my phone!” she says. But she remembers it now as the moment that changed everything: she realized he was an actual person, not just a conversation on a screen. “I felt more connection, and I started to develop trust,” she says.
The video, phone, and text chats continued for two months, then Windsor surprised her again: He found an excuse to come back to Mexico City in mid-November, and decided he’d just go for two weeks and see if the spark was there in person. “I was really interested in what was going on between us,” he says. Paulina, meanwhile, felt out of her mind. “Driving to the airport, I was so, so nervous,” she recalls. “I was just like, ‘Paulina, why are you doing this?’” But she tried to tell herself she didn’t mind the outcome either way. “If it doesn’t work, he goes back to his life, I go back to mine, and we gave it a chance,” she says.
Windsor decided to cut through any remaining anxiety when they finally met. “I saw her at the airport, with a balloon saying ‘Welcome,’ and I gave her a kiss right in the moment, without saying anything,” he says. Paulina responded by inviting him to stay with her instead of at a hotel, and almost immediately, they fell into the routines of a long-term couple.
“We woke up and he’d prepare breakfast while I made coffee, then he made the bed while I prepared lunch to go to the office,” she says. “It felt so natural, like we’d known each other before.” She even lent Windsor her car while she went to work, a level of trust he couldn’t believe. “I felt I could be my true self with her. I didn’t have to make any extra effort,” he says. “The morning rituals, and going on dates to movies and restaurants, we were just enjoying ourselves all the time. Everything clicked.” They found that they bonded over the little stuff, like their love for good coffee and trying new foods, and the big, like their passion for work and travel and desire for a calm home life.
He extended the trip by an extra week. Since they were working on the weekdays, their weekend together flew too quickly and they wanted more time together. By the end of the third week, when Windsor served as Paulina’s date to a dear friend’s wedding four hours away, they made another big decision. “We decided, ‘Okay, we’re going to try long distance,’” she says. “It’s going to be so hard. We’re going to have to communicate really well, put a lot of effort into this, and trust each other.” They became exclusive, and set a ground rule of seeing each other every three to four weeks. They spent the 2018 holidays together with his family in Colombia, then Windsor worked from Mexico for a month in January.
After one full year of flying back and forth, crisscrossing North America and spending time together in New York, Texas, and California in 2019, they decided it was time for one of them to move. They met with an immigration lawyer in the hopes of shifting permanently to the U.S. When counsel suggested they marry, they exchanged quick, no-nonsense vows in February 2020—only to be separated for six months by the pandemic, with Windsor in New York and Paulina staying in the Mexican city of Guadalajara with her parents. “We were making video calls daily, but we really struggled,” Windsor says. “But what else could we do?”
When they finally reunited in Mexico that fall, Windsor gave her the romantic engagement moment he felt she deserved: The pair went skydiving, and he proposed as they landed. Due to pandemic travel restrictions, they waited until October 2022 to hold a proper wedding in the beautiful mountain town of Tepoztlán, Mexico. Paulina’s voice cracks at the memory. “Seeing him at the end of the aisle, and people cheering so much—there was so much love and happiness around us,” she says.
The couple are in the process of settling in Miami, a city they love for its pace, weather, and relative proximity to their families. After all the back and forth, Paulina and Windsor are just excited to finally live in the same place. “Her confidence in me, her trust in our commitment to the relationship while being away, and the connection we have had through time is like no other,” says Windsor. “I just love being with her.”
Main photo credit: Wedding Memories México