While being engaged as an undergraduate can be difficult, it does have its advantages. Perhaps true love does conquer the difficulties for those undergraduates who are engaged here at Shepherd.
High school sweethearts Jordan Lubel and Joseph Mullins believe their engagement was truly meant to be. The couple dated on and off throughout high school but could never find anyone who compared. They were simply drawn to each other.
Mullins said, “As crazy as it sounds, we have known since the tenth grade that we were going to get married.”
The couple continued seeing each other exclusively but were both under the impression that it would be a summer romance. Mullins had been accepted to Virginia Tech and Lubel had been accepted to Clemson. Due to unforeseen circumstances, neither of them attended those schools and both were able to take a semester off, stay home, and continue their relationship.
Lubel said, “I remember it was a month before high school graduation when Joseph asked me on a date, and I happily agreed. We went for ice cream. This was a really important experience as I had been vegan all throughout high school and I was slowing becoming a carnivore again. He just knew I had been craving ice cream for the past four years.”
On their two year anniversary, Mullins took Lubel to the hill where they had first kissed and proposed.
The couple’s challenges always come from the following categories: money, communication, and family baggage.
Lubel said, “We have been together for over six years, so we tend to think that we can read one another’s minds, and this is certainly not the case.”
They also come from very similar family backgrounds and have similar characteristics that seem to find ways into the relationship.
Mullins said, “I wouldn’t say we face too many challenges. We fight, as all couples do, but we are quick to work things out and are never afraid to tell each other what we are thinking or how we are feeling.
The couple’s advice to other couples is never go to bed angry, keep the sex life active, and tell each other “I love you.”
Lubel said, “Have lots of sex. It does not always have to be mind-blowing but the more you do it, the better it gets, and the happier you are about everything.”
There are times that Mullin and Lubel are angry enough that they cannot look at one another, but they always seem to find a way to work through it.
Mullins said, “Our relationship works because neither of us will ever give up. We are both willing to fight for one another no matter how much we hate each other at that exact moment.”
Another engaged undergraduate couple, Cheyanne Fletcher and Joseph Bender, met in math class.
Fletcher was there to help the students in the math class, and due to Bender’s conflicting work schedule, she helped him with his class work after tutoring hours. The couple became very close but due to moral reasons, they decided to postpone their relationship until after the class was over.
A mere eight months later, they went to Washington, D.C., for a birthday and anniversary trip. Bender asked a bystander to take a picture in front of the statue of Lincoln under the pretense that Fletcher’s sister wanted pictures. Bender got down on one knee and proposed to Fletcher.
The couple is now planning for a wedding that is less than a year away.
Bender said, “It works because we can focus on our school work and still make time for each other no matter how hectic it is. We force each other to make time for us, even if that means throwing in a movie and doing homework. As long as we are together, it works for us.”
Fletcher and Bender find difficulties completing their school work on time while finding time to plan their wedding. School schedules and demands also make dating quite difficult.
Fletcher said, “What is difficult now is to focus on completing school work but also finding time to plan a wedding. Neither one of us have steady full-time jobs, so that is a worry.”
The relationship works out in the end as each are able to support one another between difficult assignments and other daily stresses. The couple recommends taking the time to talk to one another.
Fletcher said, “No matter how crazy and upsetting things can get, make time for each other and talk about your day, even the miniscule details.”
Laura Young and Yasmeen Alkordi met on OKCupid, a free online dating Web site. Young was first to confront Alkordi through chat and eventually got to talking in person. The two visited one another during the summer at Alkordi’s home in Charlestown, W.Va., to watch movies and discuss similar interests.
The couple has been together since July 2011. Young proposed on Alkordi’s birthday, March 31 of this year.
Young said, “Meena comes from a Middle Eastern background. Her cultural background fascinated me, and I fell deeply in love with her.”
The couple enjoys different kinds of music, art, and history and both have huge senses of humor. They also enjoy going to the movies and eating all kinds of cuisine.
Alkordi said, “We don’t try to change each other. We both have our own sense of style and enjoy different tastes of music. She enjoys Usher and Trey Songz, while I enjoy the sounds of bands such as Eisley and Gotye. Sometimes she can’t stand my music tastes, but it all works out.”
The two face challenges such as distance and traveling as well as financial troubles. Young mentioned how she once had to travel far distances to and from her home in Maryland just to get to Alkordi’s house. The two now live together in Young’s home, which makes it easier for them both.
Young said, “We are constantly broke but happy that we have each other. We’re poor, but we’re together.”
Some advice from the couple includes doing the unexpected, telling each other “I love you” every day, and holding hands.
Alkordi said, “Some advice I would give couples would be to tell each other that they’re beautiful, hold each other tight, and don’t steal her blanket when she is sleeping.”
With the recent passing of Question 6 in Maryland, gay and lesbian partners can now legally be wedded. The couple plans to get married in the near future and is thrilled to have seen it come through.
Young said, “We’re simple, not picky. We are extremely attracted to each other physically, mentally, emotionally, all the above. It’s the love that keeps us together. I can’t live without her, and she can’t live without me.”