Abbie & Jacob Henderlight

Abbie & Jacob: When Love Comes Unexpectedly

Abbie HenderlightNews

Jacob and I have counted 15 times where he was persistent in trying to talk to me and I unintentionally gave him the cold shoulder.

It’s not that I didn’t like him. It’s more that I didn’t pay much attention to him. It wasn’t until that first cup of coffee that something clicked. Today, we are married, and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s our University of Mobile love story.

We first met when I was working at the University of Mobile in the Student Life office. Jacob came to UM to work as an athletic trainer and pursue his master’s degree.

I made his staff ID card on his first day, and I remember thinking, “Why is he wearing long sleeves in Mobile in August?”

After meeting that day, we began running into each other at so many different events. Looking back, it is comical that I never gave him a thought. We met at staff luncheons, intramural events, and so many other work-related settings.

Jacob began visiting the Student Life office more often and bringing me his maintenance needs or “questions about UM” regularly. He even thought it would be a good idea to text me about some homecoming events, simply to give him a reason to start a conversation. I sent him a copy-and-paste response. Cute, right? Following this, there were several more interactions that I never thought twice about.

However, my closest friends quickly picked up on the crush, which I continued to shut down until Jacob was bold enough to ask me on a date. I said yes. Fun fact: Jacob actually had to cancel on me because he had to work a soccer game. When his boss found out, he told Jacob, “Call her back; you’re going on that date.” So, we had a cup of coffee and we got to know each other a little better.

One coffee date turned into a second and third date. Jacob went home to Cincinnati for the summer and returned in August, serious about pursuing a relationship with me. We dated throughout that school year, and Jacob proposed one year to the day from our first coffee date together.

We have had a lot of coffee dates since then and, as I often remind Jacob, he is the most unexpected, but best thing that’s ever happened to me.