Sometimes chemistry is undeniable. Just ask newly-engaged Alex – who has a PhD in optics chemical engineering – and Adena – who has a PhD in organic chemistry. Needless to say, their unique relationship was a successful experiment, and one so many of us wish we could replicate.
After meeting in grad school, the two started off as friends. “I just had a lot of fun hanging out with him even as friends, no matter what we were doing,” said Adena. “We both appreciate each other’s sense of humor. And he manages to make light of things even when I can’t imagine a positive side to a certain situation.”
Bonding over text and platonic hang outs, the state of their friendship began to shift and sparked, pushing Alex to ask Adena out. “The first time we went out to dinner that wasn’t work-related was to Panini Café,” recalls Adena. “He wanted to show me more variety of Mediterranean food because I was tired of the restaurants around campus! There was a full moon that day, and we ended up staying in the car and talking all night in the parking lot.”
It was that natural reaction to each other that set the tone for their relationship. “It was always natural and comfortable,” explained Adena. “I guess the short answer is I knew he was the one because nothing was forced. We had chemistry from the very beginning.”
Fast forward two and half years to May 6th, 2017. After a long morning, Adena was ready for a relaxed night in, but Alex had other plans. On that chilly, Saturday afternoon, Alex suggested a walk on the beach after dinner at Cliff in Laguna Beach. Soaking up the soothing sandy atmosphere, a common occurrence for the two, Adena was completely unaware of how her life was going to change – something she admits was one of her favorite elements of the evening since she’s typically so observant.
“We walked around the cliff and he said he has something to tell me, and I only realized what was happening as he was kneeling with his torn ACL! And then I saw who I thought was a random person – who was actually one of his friends that I hadn’t met before) – take pictures of us! It all happened very quickly,” shares Adena.
“It took me a few seconds to connect the dots. And I was so emotional that I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was saying! Seriously, not even one word. I have absolutely no idea.”
Behind the nerves and giddiness, Alex popped the question, and the two couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.
Adena said, “Alex is graduating soon, but I still have a couple of years. I think the plan is to move to the East Coast temporarily after that. He is planning on continuing research in academia, and I want to teach. We will figure out specifics one step at a time. A lot of good things are waiting in the future.”
As for now, Alex and Adena are enjoying their engagement, and we are so thrilled to be a part of their happily ever after! Congratulations!