Chapter 1: Swipes in the City

Two weeks after diving into online dating for the first time, Sara was ready to throw in the towel from her Upper East Side apartment. Just a few miles south in the East Village, Steve was excited to begin a months-long consulting project across the country, in the Bay Area. So when their reluctant right swipes led to first date plans, Sara rallied from her birthday hangover to meet Steve downtown for drinks. As he waited 30+ minutes for her arrival, he jokingly threatened to give up her seat "to the highest bidder" but had no such intention: she took public transit, which gave her an automatic pass. Their second date followed two days later: a trip to MoMA, which was Sara's first of two museum dates that day.

Chapter 2: NYC Weekends to West Coast Chill

Sara and Steve were smitten. Steve flew home to New York as frequently as possible, and the couple fell in love while exploring the city together on weekends. Steve worked too much; Sara patiently put up with it. Eventually, they realized they shared a vision of one day moving to California. Steve convinced Sara to write the next chapter together, though sooner than she'd planned and in the Bay Area, with less sun than she'd imagined. They passed a big relationship test by sharing Sara's tiny studio with a family of mice for a few months (and they didn't even contribute to the rent). When Steve accepted a job in the Bay Area, they greeted the West Coast with eager optimism and a sense of shared purpose. Oh, and new hiking boots.

Chapter 3: California Love

Sara and Steve quickly adopted the West Coast lifestyle, ditching late nights for early hikes and Seamless for Instant Pot. As Former New Yorkers, they eased into their natural role as unofficial Efficiency Ambassadors, injecting healthy doses of impatience and assertiveness to grease the creaky wheels of San Francisco's "No-you-go-first" culture. Sara developed a love of Mexican food and Steve learned how to drive to work like Most Americans. Most importantly, they created a home together and made plans for their future. When Steve proposed, Sara said yes: to him, and to a life of adventure and warmth in a state that magnifies the radiance of their love.