Captivated by its yellow glow

Maybe it was sunlight. Or maybe the yellow shirt Dannie Lynn Fountain wore the day she met Kaitlyn Aurora Murphy in person.

“When I saw her she was absolutely gorgeous, with a yellow glow,” said Ms Murphy, who on July 25, 2020, traveled an hour and a half – first on board a train from Valparaiso, Indiana, to Chicago, then taking an Uber – to meet Ms. Fountain at the Spoke & Bird Bakehouse in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood.

They had logged into the Hinge dating app on July 5 while Ms Murphy, who earned a magna cum laude law degree from the University of Valparaiso and a cum laude graduate from the University of Illinois at Springfield , took a break after studying for the bar exam.

“I love everything about it,” recalls Ms. Murphy, 27, when she stumbled upon Ms. Fountain’s profile, fully aware of the dating checklist she kept on her cell phone.

Ms Fountain, also 27, also had a list of so-called non-negotiable.

“I went into therapy and learned again who I was and I have strong limits on what I would and wouldn’t tolerate,” said Ms. Fountain, a graduate of Albion College in Albion, Michigan, holds a master’s degree in human resources management from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration at Capella University in Minneapolis.

At first, they chatted through Hinge, keeping the messages light and comparing ratings from the “How to Get Away With Murder” TV show, which they were each gorging on on Netflix.

Three days after logging into the app, they switched to texting, and Ms. Murphy’s seriousness and pragmatism kicked in.

“I really wanted to get married and be with someone who has the same values,” Ms. Murphy said.

During their first exchanges, the two discussed the death of George Floyd a month earlier and Project Innocence, which exonerates those wrongly convicted.

“It was clear from our social values ​​that we were aligned,” said Ms. Fountain, who was also ready to be married. She is one of a dozen siblings, while Ms. Murphy has a sister.

About a week and a half after she started texting, in the middle of a seven-hour FaceTime date, Ms Murphy nervously discussed her sobriety.

“She said ‘I’m sober’,” recalls Ms. Fountain. “I laughed and said ‘I am too.’ We were both grateful to have this in common.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

The day they met in Chicago, where Ms. Fountain lived at the time, the two returned to her apartment after purchasing tea, coffee, and pastries at the cafe. They then watched the last episode of “How to Get Away With Murder”, which they saved for the occasion. A few hours later, they had their first kiss while watching “The Little Mermaid”.

After Ms Murphy boarded the 6:20 p.m. return train (as it began to roll), she quickly texted Ms Fountain to formalize their relationship. They spent Labor Day weekend at a friend’s house in Gull Lake, Michigan, and Ms. Fountain cooked Ms. Murphy’s birthday dinner in September.

A few weeks after the bar exam, Ms. Murphy, who passed, landed an articling position in Minnesota; she is now District Court Paralegal with the Minnesota Judicial Branch in Detroit Lakes.

Ms Fountain, who works for Google, spent the entire month of December 2020 in Minnesota working remotely, then went on for two weeks each month. They enjoyed Friday dinners at Lakeside Tavern and Brewery, followed by ice cream at Dairy Queen, then watching the sunset over Lake Detroit.

To keep their relationship on track, the couple also began rigorous work on the chapters of “Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love,” by Julie and John Gottman.

In May 2021, Ms. Murphy, presented with a black onyx ring shaped like a kite, on a quiet dock at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Rochert, Minnesota. Mrs. Fountain takes the name of Mrs. Murphy.

“I knelt down, I started to cry because I love her so much,” Ms. Murphy said.

On November 21, they tied the knot in a self-union ceremony at Glass House, an Airbnb along Barn Smith Lake in Bremen, Alabama. That same month, Ms. Fountain moved to Seattle for a job helping to hire software engineers. in the human resources division of Google there.

“We will be doing remote work like we did,” said Ms. Murphy, who plans to join Ms. Fountain in Seattle after her internship ends in 2023.

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