Chris--now also a U-M grad student, but then newly back from the Peace Corps in Thailand--had never before approached a woman online. But seeing Yang's photo on a friend's Facebook page, he recalls thinking, "She just looked very stunning."
Rachel not only got a good feeling from Chris's note, but she too had just returned from living in Asia. She answered his message and soon the two, living two hours apart in Virginia, were seriously dating.
Last summer, four years after that first exchange, they were married, at Cobblestone Farm. Both thirty-one, they will spend their first Valentine's Day as a married couple in Ann Arbor this month.
While their meeting was pure twenty-first century, Chris's proposal was dreamily traditional. On the terrace of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., he bent on one knee and nervously offered her a sparkly platinum-and-diamond engagement ring. Rachel was so overwhelmed she can't recall exactly what he said--a "combination," she thinks, of "You-make-me-happy-I-want-to-spend-my-life-with-you"--but her acceptance came quickly. Hugging each other, they didn't realize immediately that people were watching them--and applauding.