Alex Arenson walked into a Westport bar on a September night in 2010. She noticed a guy in a straw fedora reading a newspaper and was inexplicably drawn to him.
Alex, 23, had never approached a man she didn’t know. She felt awkward as she strode up and said, “Is this seat taken?”
Jason Nivens, 33, was delighted to talk to this beautiful woman. They enjoyed their conversation, and when a mutual friend showed up and invited them to karaoke, they went. Alex’s singing wowed Jason; he was not expecting her to belt out Nirvana.
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Jason: “She’s beautiful with an air of mystery. She can play coy and also be straightforward and bold.”
Alex: “I was comfortable with Jason. He’s the yin to my yang.”
The unfolding: Alex and Jason were both in relationships, and though they kept an eye on each other through social media, they didn’t meet again until June 2011.
Both had drifted along, hoping to find true love but never marrying. When Jason mentioned he was planning a road trip, Alex replied, “I’d go with you.”
Though Alex had a young daughter and couldn’t join him, they kept in touch during his journey, further developing their connection. Two months later, Alex told a mutual friend, “I’m in love with Jason.”
They began dating that August. After their first evening together, Jason sent her flowers.
“We both knew we’d met our match,” he says.
The proposal: They continued spending time together and fell deeper in love. On their two-year anniversary, they exchanged Irish promise rings, committing to each other. These days they live on Kansas City’s West Side with Alex’s daughter, three dogs and a cat.
Favorite shared activities: They love doing anything creative and artsy, including performing in short films and going antiquing. They have a massive vinyl collection and love music.
Careers: Jason is the afternoon host on radio station 98.9 The Rock. Alex is a Renaissance woman; she works part time leasing apartments and performs with a burlesque troupe. Her business, DangerAlex.inc, features her photography, painting and customized boots and hats.
What keeps their relationship strong: Their credo is “Never be bored.” On their second anniversary, each was tattooed with that motto.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Jason: “She’s a fantastic mother and a beautiful soul together. I feel warm and happy when I’m with her, and we make life an adventure.”
Alex: “I love our connection. He’s loyal and playful and he brings out the good in me. He’s always encouraging me, saying, ‘Baby, you can do this.’”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.