Jason and Sophia’s Love Story

It began in the Art Institute of Chicago.


On July 24, 2017,

Sophia, ready to be done with being single, decided she would give online dating a shot. Aware that it could be frustrating, she made a plan: she would set up an account, but after one month, successful or not, she would sign off.

Luckily, Jason, a musician and writer working in the recruiting industry, was online, searching for love, too.

In mid-August 2017,

Jason contacted Sophia. Sophia quickly realized how kind and interesting Jason was. Although eager to meet, she was also about to start a new job and worried about a new relationship being overwhelming — so much so that she asked him to meet up as friends. Jason marked “date?” on his calendar.

On August 24, 2017,

Jason and Sophia met on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago and walked into the museum together and up the grand staircase, chatting. By the time they reached the top of the stairs, Sophia realized she liked Jason a lot.

The conversation flowed as the pair visited a set of paintings of a Greek marketplace at dawn that Sophia especially likes, and then the African Art hall, where they viewed sculptures and ritual objects, including mannequins dressed in the traditional garb of a South African bride and groom (depicted above). In that room, Jason became smitten, too.

They continued the date over sushi at a nearby restaurant, where Jason talked about his dream of creating a fictional podcast based on a concept he’d developed in college. Sophia’s curiosity was piqued.

The next Tuesday,

Jason and Sophia had their second date at a Thai restaurant.

Three days after that, they had their third date and became a couple. Soon, they were inseparable. The rest of 2017 sped by as they got to know each other.

In 2018 and 2019,

Sophia and Jason established a close, stable relationship, celebrating August 24 — the date of their first night out and the exact date of Sophia’s original, self-imposed one-month dating limit — as their anniversary.

In March 2018, she moved into a new apartment, and in September 2018, he joined her there. In the interim, he’d begun working full-time on podcasting, including assembling a cast and writing episodes for the project he’d described on their first date. Impressed by Jason’s creative output, Sophia began writing more frequently, too.

On a warm Day in July 2019,

Jason and Sophia met up at the Art Institute for another date. They walked up the big staircase together once again and revisited Sophia’s favorite gallery before walking to the African art hall.

The room had been rearranged, and the South African bride and groom were no longer on display. No matter — Sophia and Jason reminisced about their first date, and then Jason asked Sophia to move closer to a display case, pretending he wanted her to read some text aloud. When she turned back to him, he was on one knee.

In 2020,

Jason and Sophia will put on their own wedding clothes — traditional to American culture, of course — and celebrate their love with family and friends.

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