The rumors are true.

I, Gazelle, am an engaged man.

Words can not describe how happy I am.

My fiancé and I met back in 2019 and for years, we kept our private life completely off of social media, a platform that destroys and kills relationships on the daily. Honestly, it's just not that worth it.

It's a classic Tinder tale that began at Airport Grille in New Bedford. I had just finished my work day and invited her down to grab a nightcap (my treat). Right away, I could tell that she was more on the shy side, whereas I'm the complete opposite. It was just what I was looking for: someone to keep me grounded.

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Little did I know that she'd become the love of my life. Here we are. From the start, we both agreed to separate our relationship from work. Considering I have a job that puts it all out there every single day, this was honestly for the best.

A little over a week ago, I visited my good friend, Andrew Silva, one of the owners at Hannoush Jewelers in Dartmouth. My family has gone to Hannoush for years, and recently, it's where my brother purchased his wife's ring as well. So, it was only fitting I kept tradition flowing. Seeing the ring-filled counters was a lot to take in. I had no idea where to begin. Finally, Silva came over to me, told me he had something special, and began putting together a ring that instantly spoke to me.

As I left the jewelry store, my next stop was to get my future father-in-law's blessing. I got quite the warm welcome. Her family is and always has been really good to me.

Fast forward to June 18, 2022. I made reservations at Airport Grille and asked if I could reserve the bar stools where my fiancé and I shared our very first in-person conversation. I had hired my photographer friend Kelsey Garcia of K.Garcia Productions to hide somewhere outside of the restaurant to capture the moment that would forever change both of our lives.

From our house to Airport Grille is only five minutes but it was the longest drive of my life. My heart was in my throat the entire time and I was more nervous than ever. I parked and prepared myself. The plan was for me to take a few steps and then immediately drop to a knee.

That's when I blacked out.

It all happened so fast that the only thing I remember is not being able to get any words out of my mouth. My girlfriend was just as in shock as I was and I knew what was coming. We were instantly overwhelmed, awkward, stunned and silent. It's safe to say that it was a lot for both of us, but once we settled down and had a drink, that's when the smiles emerged.

There I was, sitting side-by-side with the woman I'm prepared to spend the rest of my life with. It's a bit cliche to say "She's my rock," but it's the truth. Her support is unmatched. Her patience is unworldly. Her beauty at that very moment, right when she said yes, was stunning. She's my kayaking companion, my crutch when I'm weak, and forever the better half of me.

It's been more than 48 hours and I'm still glowing. I can now say that I'm the luckiest man on the face of this Earth, and as we both continue to respect each other's privacy on and off Facebook, doing so is by far the best experiment/choice I've ever made.

Not everything has to be posted to social media to be fulfilling. I'm living proof.

To my future wife, I know you're reading this and want to simply say that I love you with all my heart and will be there to support and protect you every day of our lives, even when we're old and gray.

I'm no longer a one-man band and I'm forever grateful you came into my life when you did.

I'll see you at the altar, Beautiful.

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