Dr. Terry Shaneyfelt knew in a flash that Dawn Weller, a registered nurse, was something special when he saw her profile pic on Match.com; his intuition was strengthened when they met for their first date. From the first “flash” to a flashcard proposal, their romance has been brimming with memorable travel, fabulous restaurants and a deepening sense of awe and respect for each other. This is their Love Story.
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of each other?
Terry: We met on Match.com. Once I saw one of her profile pics I knew I had to meet her. Her eyes pierced my soul. When we met face to face at Bellini’s restaurant I felt I had hit the jackpot… she was the most beautiful woman I had ever met.
Dawn: Initially I thought he was very nice looking, seemed very put together, and had amazing eyes. He seemed overly serious but loosened up by the end of the date. I knew I wanted to see him again.
What is your favorite thing to do together as a couple?
Terry: Travel and hiking. But also just hanging out talking is pretty special too.
Dawn: We love being outdoors or just spending time together at home trying a new recipe while enjoying a nice bottle of wine and listening to good music.
Please explain your most memorable date (can be funny, sweet, romantic, etc.)
Terry: We went to Miami in February and went to Gianni’s restaurant (in the former Versace mansion!). It was one of the most amazing settings I have ever had a meal in and one of the best meals I have ever had. We were supposed to fly back to Birmingham that night after dinner but we didn’t want the night to end and, as luck would have it, wound up missing our flight. Something magical happened and that night sealed our bond for life.
Dawn: We have had many memorable dates but our second date was an all-day drive around the state visiting historic covered bridges. I knew by the end of this day that I wanted to keep him around. I could tell he felt the same way because he kept coming with other places to stop and spend time together. We ended the night with a romantic Italian dinner at Bongiorno’s.
Describe your partner in three words.
Terry: Beautiful, strong, compassionate
Dawn: Romantic, thoughtful, selfless
What is your favorite thing about your partner? Why?
Terry: I so admire her strength and independence. She put herself through nursing school as a single mom while raising several young children. That’s not easy. She’s an incredible mom, very dedicated to her children. She is also a very positive person who has inspired me to be a better, more positive person.
Dawn: He takes good care of himself. I want him around until we are 110 years old so this is important. He is so good at showing love for me. He regularly writes me love letters, brings me flowers, keeps me supplied with my favorite food ever (avocados), massages my feet, and includes my children in our life without hesitation. He has strong opinions but is always willing to lay those aside and hear me. He is always striving to be the best version of himself and I wouldn’t change a thing about him.
When did you realize you had met “the one,” that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with each other?
Terry: For me it was pretty quick. I knew within a month or so during a beach trip that she was the one. I remember telling my coworkers pretty early on that I was going to marry her and they laughed. Who’s laughing now?
Dawn: During our trip to Miami after dating for about 6 months something just swept over me. I realized that we loved each other for exactly who we are and didn’t feel like I had to try and impress him. Realized we were best friends and I wanted that for life.
Can you each tell me about the proposal from your own perspective?
Terry: I wanted to do something somewhat unique so I made several videos in various settings of me holding up flashcards describing how I felt about her and asking her to marry me. She joined me after a business meeting for a weekend in Philadelphia and at The Love restaurant I had the waitress give her a “dessert” menu I had designed that contained a listing and description of the videos for her to choose from. As she watched the chosen video I got down on one knee and presented her the ring. She had no idea I was going to ask her to marry me that night.
Dawn: He planned dinner in Philadelphia at The Love restaurant, a most romantic setting. He even wore socks with hearts on them that he purchased just for the occasion. I always thought I would know when he was going to propose and felt he wouldn’t be able to contain such a secret. Throughout dinner he was so calm. I had no idea until the waitress brought a dessert menu with my name on it. The menu contained a selection of videos to choose from. He had filmed himself in our favorite outdoor spots affirming his deepest feelings for me. When the video was over he was on one knee in the restaurant asking me to marry him.
What was your experience like shopping for the ring at Diamonds Direct? Tell us why you love the ring.
Terry: It was great. I had visited a couple of other stores first but knew when I went into Diamonds Direct and talked with Emily I would be buying from them. Emily was a great help to suggest rings we hadn’t even considered. The customer service was incredible. I always felt like I was their only customer.
Dawn: Emily was amazing. Patient and knowledgeable. I never felt rushed or pressured and she answered all my questions. Great experience. Lots of choices of settings and diamonds.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given about love/relationships?
Terry: It’s important to remember that in a relationship, you’re not supposed to be fighting your partner. You’re supposed to be fighting against the actual issue or problem… together. Finding a solution together.
Dawn: He stole my answer… lol. The old fashioned “don’t go to bed angry” rings true. No need to waste another day- God only gives us so many. You don’t want to wake up the next day still angry.
Now that you’ve found “the one,” what advice would you give to someone else about love?
Terry: You have to continuously work on it. Don’t get too comfortable. Keep “dating” your spouse for the rest of your life. Don’t forget to focus on each other. It’s easy to get too focused on careers and achievements at the expense of what’s really important.
Dawn: Don’t give up… your someone is out there! When you find him or her, don’t become too settled. Get out and adventure together. Make small efforts daily to create new sparks.
What are you most looking forward to about spending the rest of your lives together?
Terry: Two things: First, it’s a great feeling to have someone I am so excited to see every day. I can’t wait to get home. Second, I look forward to exploring the world with this amazing woman. We love finding a new path to take to see where it leads. I am also looking forward to what I will learn from her. In any relationship, you should grow somehow. Her life experiences are different than mine, and she’s already taught me about new music, hiking, and the arts.
Dawn: Having someone to call my own! Someone to share the day to day with as well as plan grand adventures with.