A whirlwind romance was never something 28 year-old Michelle Gerson expected, but it was exactly what she got two years ago when she met her now fiancé, Jason Wagner, online. Michelle and Jason, better known as ‘welljustbecause’ and ‘Coldsideofpillow’ on OKCupid, first met in June 2011. The chemistry was instant, and they began emailing and texting for hours at a time. As time passed and their connection grew, they decided to meet face-to-face, and Skype video calling helped this new couple tackle the obstacles standing in their way.
The chemistry was obvious from the start to both Michelle and Jason, but as Jason was about to be assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the threat of distance loomed over their heads. However, with determined hearts and secure WiFi, they were able to “meet” for the first time via Skype. For Michelle, it was a butterfly inducing moment that she spent grinning from ear-to-ear. Jason recalls purchasing an outfit for this special occasion – a memory he says “will always bring a wry smile” to his face.
Michelle and her fiancé Jason using Skype video calling.
Before their call transpired, Michelle revealed that she was deaf, and while she could speak and lip read, she preferred sign language. Jason didn’t hesitate – he immediately began teaching himself American Sign Language, looking to Michelle for guidance, and using video calling and instant messaging to perfect his skills. Michelle explained how “Skype was instrumental in providing us a ‘place’ to talk and have that sort of access to each other — where I could type out the sign I was about to show him, then show him, and have him mimic it back.”
As things progressed, they were able to meet for the first time in person two months after connecting on OKCupid. Their relationship blossomed, and even during Jason’s deployment they spoke as often as possible. Early on when Jason was in training, they spoke several times each week, and although at times that changed when he was out at sea, they were able to communicate and see one another anytime he could attain secure WiFi.
For a couple who spends more time apart than together, they agree that it seldom feels that way. “Seeing” one another is what’s most important, something that is a “big deal” for the two. “I really can’t say it enough how great Skype is. As long as we have our phones or a laptop and a solid connection, we’re golden,” says Michelle.
Michelle and Jason plan to marry in September of 2013, and continue to use Skype video calling daily when Jason is on base to help maintain their relationship.