Both Rodney and Monica have lived in Texas for about 20 years. Monica is originally from Louisiana and is a CPA working as Assistant Controller for an upscale hotel chain. Rodney is in CyberSecurity and hails from Kansas City, MO.
Monica joined MELD from a cousin’s recommendation and Rodney from a Facebook ad, but it was the fact that this app linked them up with black professionals that set this experience apart. “The connection with the LinkedIn profile gave me extra assurance that I would be matched with true professionals,” says Monica.
And it didn’t take long for the two focused, successful professionals to connect. Rodney was on the app for only two weeks and Monica for just one. They were each other’s first and only date, and Rodney says it was on that first date that he knew he wanted to marry her.
Even though they were initially attracted to each other’s good looks, their bond quickly grew to something deeper and more serious.Photo: Courtesy of Rodney and Monica
“I loved that he made time for us,” Monica says of her love, “We’re both extremely busy, but he made plans for us to hang out. After getting to know him, he’s generous — he doesn’t just think about himself. And he’s extremely smart. I’m always learning something new from him. Also, he’s great with coming up with ideas for things to do. Lastly but definitely not least, he loves God and wants to please Him."
“She is God fearing without being in your face about it,” Rodney says, "She is highly intelligent, and I learn so much from her. She always listens to my nerdy ideas and understands each detail. She is giving, kind and thoughtful — she donates her time as a Big Sister to young girls.
Their first date consisted of dinner at Houston’s restaurant, wine and March Madness basketball, an outing that foreshadowed one of their favorite activities to do as a couple.
"Rodney is from Kansas City, MO and is the best barbecue pitmaster I’ve ever seen,” Monica says, "Our first road trip was to Austin to eat some of the best Texas barbecue. Our journey continues to take us on adventures to critique BBQ.” And it was on that first road trip to Austin that she knew Rodney was "the one."
Rodney loves to critique BBQ restaurants, and says having his fiancée along for the ride has made that experience even better.
"We are finding out that we love doing our once ‘alone' activities together,” he says. They also enjoy binging on TV shows such as House of Cards, Shameless and The Carmichael Show. More recently, they’ve started to share a love of golfing together.
Just one year (down to the weekend) after their first date, Rodney proposed to Monica. “I always joked that I wanted to see my relationship through all four calendar seasons before I got engaged,” says Monica. But having a similar mindset has been a big factor in setting this relationship apart. "We were both on the same page striving toward a long-term relationship that could lead to marriage,” she says, "In the past, I haven’t always wanted the same thing as the other person."
Although they currently live about 45 minutes away from each other, Rodney works four hours away every other week. It presents some challenges for the couple, but they are always sure to make a plan to see each other. And even though Monica still considers their relationship a long-distance one, Rodney isn’t intimidated by the distance, “I would drive four hours each way every day to see her.”
Their wedding plans aren’t solidified yet, but they hope to exchange vows at an intimate destination wedding in 2017. They’re excited about the little things that come with the bond of marriage, specifically waking up together every morning. “We will have the time to enjoy each other every day without the distractions of rush hour traffic, hectic work schedules and full social calendars,” says Monica.
Photo: Courtesy of Rodney and Monica
Photo: Courtesy of Rodney and Monica
And for anyone who is thinking about looking for love through online or app-based dating, the couple highly encourages you to follow suit.
"As with any other experience, you must use common sense and consider safety,” Monica says, "I advise to move quickly from online chat to telephone communication. You can learn a lot about someone’s energy, temperament and intelligence from hearing the voice. Also, I encourage people to hang in there. Don’t give up on finding your mate. The online dating experience can be fun and entertaining even if you haven’t found the perfect match. Dating can be exhausting if you’re only focused on the finding 'the one.' Just relax, meet a lot of people and learn from the experiences."
They keep their relationship strong through daily communication, spending time together whenever they can and planning activities and outings ahead to build up excitement. But when someone is your perfect match like Rodney and Monica are for each other, it’s easy to find time to make it work.
Or, if you look at the lyrics to "All About Her" by Smoove — a song Rodney listens to all the time because it reminds him of Monica — it all makes sense. "The distance between us doesn't mean that much, 'cause two hearts together can always beat as one."
If you want to give online dating a try, download MELD here.