Jeffrey Allen White has always swore that he wouldn’t date someone he went to school with. He then meets Chu En Wu.
Both he and Ms. Wu, who is known as Joanne, had other relationships in the fall of 2016 when she passed a meeting point at the University of North Carolina law school, where the two are all students. She saw a friend talking to Mr. White and stopped to say hello.
Ms. Wu, a first-year student, said she did not like her criminal law class. Brother White, a sophomore, had the same professor for the same class last year, and offered to share his course notes.
“I think he’s fascinating,” said Ms Wu, who also cheered at the prospect of getting what’s essentially the equivalent of a cheat sheet on the course. She found him later on Facebook and sent him a message asking him to send those notes whenever he found the time.
He did – and the two then became friendly. Ms. Wu, 30, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University. Mr. White, 31 years old and raised in Jackson, NC, also received a bachelor’s degree with honors from UNC
“Of course I am often helpful, but I am more helpful to her,” he said. “Her bubbly personality makes you want to be with her.”
Almost a year later, she visited her younger sister in New York City, where she grew up after her family emigrated from Taiwan when she was 2. She joined him and some of his friends. to a bar in Brooklyn for a drink.
“We had a great and successful time there,” Mr. White said. “The sparks flew.”
She was still in a relationship then, even though he was single, and he sternly told himself he wouldn’t fall into a frivolous relationship during his senior year of law school. me. He said, he wants his next relationship to end in a partnership of life.
But, he said, “We went back to school in August, and the sparks kept flying.”
When she skips a law student’s regular socialization on Thursdays (orally known as a “bar review,” since it’s basically a night out at a local bar) that Her long relationship ended immediately, his. Attitudes toward dating a law school colleague have changed. He wasted no time asking her out.
“Joanne was ready and changed my mind, as she always did,” he said.
The two left the “review bar” together and had their first kiss that night. The two are currently associates at law firms in Charlotte, NC—she is at Poyner Spruill and he is at Moore & Van Allen.
About a week later, she convinces him that he owes her a margarine (“I don’t push too hard,” he says), and the two hang out again, to a mediocre Mexican place.
But their next meeting, at her place, the two had what they consider to be a first date. He brought two porterhouse steaks and a cast iron skillet. She makes Brussels sprouts, which, he says, “terrify me because I’ve never had them before.” But “a ton of bacon grease,” she said, cut down on the introduction.
The relationship progressed quickly, although he committed to moving to New York City after his senior year of law school, while her future could be at a law firm in North Carolina. (Both received UNC law degrees, he with honors.) Also, at first, she was a bit reluctant to start a new relationship after just ending another.
“But,” she said, “he is someone I can clearly envision as my future partner.”
Vacationing to a cabin in the mountains with friends in the new year 2017, both admit what has grown between them.
“We hadn’t seen each other for several weeks, and the distance made our hearts grow weaker and weaker,” Mr White said. “We both said ‘I love you’ that night.”
“I find our values very clearly linked – what’s important, what’s not – someone who has the ability to hold me accountable, which I love, but who also makes me feel better. I feel like the most special person in the world,” he said.
On September 10, the two were married by AJ Catucci, a charismatic Christian minister of no nationality, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in Southern Pines, NC. They had about 140 guests at their ceremony.
Recalling their first meeting, Mr. White said that although he never regretted the first of the many notes they shared, perhaps Mrs. Zhou had reason to feel differently. .
“It really let her down, it was her worst grade in law school,” he said.