I met my fiancee, Ally, in April 2003 whilst I was in the United States studying at university on a 'soccer' scholarship. She went to a different university than me, but we bumped into each other at a music festival that niether of us had planned to go to, but decided at the last minute that we would. This is probably the best decision I ever made! After exchanging numbers and e-mail addressess we kept in touch and began to see each other.
I graduated a few months later and began a masters degree at another university about 120 miles from Ally's. Being a foreign student I couldn't afford a car, but most weekends she would drive up to see me or I would rent a car from one of my American friends with a case of beer! We did this for the duration of my 2 years studying and I would stay at her house with the family during holidays or she would come back with me to the UK.
After graduation I tried to get a soccer coaching job at a university using my OPT, but nothing was forthcoming and in September of 2005 I decided to go home to do a coaching course before returning to the States in January 06 to do some more coaching courses that would stand me in good stead for getting a job and an H1-B visa. Ally was in her senior year at university and so we decided that although we would be apart for a little while, this was the most sensible thing to do in the long run. Unfortunately I couldn't find a job that was eligible or willing to sponsor me for an H1-B visa, and when my 3 months visa waiver was up I had to go home again.
We stayed together in the hope of finding a solution and I managed to return to the US on a J-1 visa in June 2006 whilst working for a soccer coaching company doing summer camps. The problem was that I was stuck in Baltimore and Washington whilst she was in Ohio! With no other chance of permanent work it was clear I would be going home with little chance of returning... so in August 2006 after seeing each other one last time we decided it would be best to seperate and get on with our lives.
It didn't really work out like that though, and we kept in touch through e-mail and telephone calls. These started getting more and more frequent as time went by and it became clear to each of us that we were meant to be together, though niether of us said it in so much words. Then in September 2008 I stepped off the plane in Columbus, Ohio, and was greeted by Ally and it was as if nothing had changed. 3 days later and we were engaged! The only problem was I only had 2 weeks there... not nearly long enough! I plan on going back for a month over the Xmas and New Year period and she'll hopefully come over to the UK for a month around March time.
So there it is. We've had many twists and turns and at times it's been really hard, though there is a happy ending coming up... we just have to wait for this whole process to finish first!