Love is a High-Scoring Word


By Out Contributor

Ryan Pfluger & Jeff Strack share the story of how they met and fell in love

Jeff, Teacher: When Ryan messaged me on OkCupid, the voice in my head was, like, I’m just normal, I’m a teacher—this guy is alternative, he’s never going to be into me, but I think he’s really hot. I wasn’t expecting a lot before the date, but I felt so completely comfortable with him, more than I had with any other person I’d been on a date with in New York City. He’s extremely talented in his work, but at the same time he has absolutely no pretension about it, and no attitude. New York is full of these artsy types, but he’s kind of a nerd, and into video games, comic books, reality TV. I’m very self-deprecating and think my humor is very dorky, and he actually liked that about me. I could tell he was paying attention and not waiting to go on to the next thing that night.

We always thought that I’d be the one to propose, but I wanted us to move in together before talking about marriage, and then Ryan beat me to it on our second anniversary. We went to Montauk for the weekend. We were alone in this little cottage out in the middle of February, and he called me out from the room: “Come here, I’ve something to show you.” He’d set out Scrabble tiles on the table, spelling will you marry me jeff? At first, I just started laughing. Then I realized that my needing to wait was a reflection of my past insecurities and relationships, so I just looked at him and just said, “Of course I’ll marry you.”