Brittany Had a Plan When She Downloaded Bumble. It Worked, and Led Her to Ago
By Ashley Edwards Walker
When Brittany opened her Bumble app in May 2019, she had a plan. Between her career in business development and her pastime as an equestrian traveling all over the country to compete in horse shows, she didn’t have a lot of free time to devote to her love life. She wanted to be efficient, so she downloaded Bumble. (She liked that by making the first move, she wouldn’t waste time sorting through unwanted messages.) Brittany then came up with a shortlist of criteria to help her pinpoint which of her potential matches were ready to take dating seriously, as she was. And when building her profile, she included “everything under the sun” in order to “weed out people who wouldn’t like those things about me,” she says.
Brittany used Bumble’s location filters to find someone within 20 miles of where she lived in Lebanon, N.J. She wanted to find someone who she was attracted to with a good education and, ideally, who worked in a similar field or traveled for work. In the past, she says, “the people I was finding were not supportive of my career with how much I traveled.” Lastly, she decided she would only swipe right on profiles that included a bio. “If you’re on a dating app and you don’t know what you want, I’m not dealing with that,” says Brittany. “You don’t take the time to write anything? Yeah, swipe left.”
Of course, there’s an exception to every rule. When Brittany came across Ago’s profile, she instantly thought he was cute and was impressed by his career as an attorney. But other than filling out that basic information and uploading a few photos, it seemed he hadn’t put much thought into his profile. She swiped left—but then felt instant regret. It occurred to her in that moment that perhaps Ago wasn’t being intentionally opaque by leaving the majority of his profile blank, but rather just didn’t have the same more-is-more philosophy as she did when it came to sharing information. She decided to give him a chance and quickly shook her phone to use Bumble’s Backtrack feature. This time, when his profile reappeared in her queue, she swiped right. It was a match.
Ironically, after not including one on his own profile, Brittany’s bio was one of the reasons Ago matched with her. It said something about being a “red wine-drinking carnivore,” giving him a sense of her lifestyle. He also liked her pictures, particularly one she’d included posing with her Great Dane, since he had a big dog too, a German Shepherd. They started messaging right away, talking about their dogs, their hobbies, exchanging jokes, and discussing their upcoming plans. “We had great rapport over text,” says Brittany. Still, despite Ago asking her to meet up for dates several times, she kept saying no since she was traveling nearly every week for work or horse shows. By early June, Ago had grown frustrated, but decided to give it one more try. One night, after watching soccer at a bar with some friends, he texted her and asked to meet up the following night. If she said no again, he planned to delete her number. Luckily, Brittany was in town and agreed. “When she actually said yes, I was shocked,” Ago jokes.
It was Brittany’s turn to be shocked the following day when Ago suggested they meet for dinner at a local restaurant. “I was nervous because not many guys ask you to dinner anymore,” she explains. “And if you end up not liking the person, you’re still stuck sitting across from them for the whole meal.” Ultimately, though, she decided it was “refreshing” that Ago wanted to go on a traditional date and agreed to meet him at a nearby tavern. When Brittany walked in, she was pleasantly surprised to see Ago was even “better looking in person” and well dressed in a button-down shirt. Brittany also made a strong first impression. He thought she was “beautiful,” and the “conversation was great.” They even decided to have a nightcap at the restaurant’s bar because they didn’t want the night to end. Brittany left for a trip to Spain shortly after, and while traveling abroad, she remembered a joke Ago made on their first date that “all lawyers collect salt and pepper shakers” after Brittany shared that her dad, also an attorney, did so. (Ago himself didn’t collect salt and pepper shakers at the time.) She bought a set for Ago on her trip and presented them to him on their second date two weeks later. “Once she did that, I knew she liked me,” says Ago.
They spent the next few months going on as many dates as their busy schedules allowed, meeting up for nights out in New York City after commuting to their respective offices through the week, and spending time together in New Jersey on the weekends. They met each other’s friends and family. Then, during an August trip to Miami with friends, Ago was in the ocean making his way back to shore from a sandbar when he suddenly found himself unable to touch the ocean floor. He isn’t a great swimmer, and when the water crashed over his head, he thought he was drowning. “I was panicking, and Brittany was one of the first things I thought of,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘I’m never gonna get to see this girl again.’” He did make it safely back to shore, but it solidified how he felt about her. When he got home, he and Brittany had a conversation and agreed they were both committed to their relationship.
When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, Ago and Brittany were already making plans to move in together. It wasn’t long until they decided to take the leap and buy a house, closing in October of that year. When quarantine restrictions were lifted, Ago started accompanying Brittany when she traveled to various horse shows. They continued purchasing more salt and pepper sets to commemorate special trips or moments in their relationship for their growing collection. The following summer, in June 2021, Brittany had a photoshoot scheduled for an article being written about her achievements in a well-known equestrian magazine. Unbeknownst to her, Ago was hiding in some bushes near the barn waiting to propose. He watched nervously as Brittany grew visibly frustrated, struggling to get her horse Douce to cooperate for the photographer. The dress she was wearing got ripped and soaked in the process, and Ago began to worry that the picture-perfect scene he’d envisioned for the big moment was slipping away. After Brittany changed into another outfit for the shoot, the photographer instructed her to walk Douce up a riverbank. Ago saw his moment and seized it, running up behind Brittany to surprise her. Just as she turned to “yell at whatever idiot” was spooking her horse, Ago appeared. He grabbed Brittanyʼs hand, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. It was an instant yes.
After marrying in June 2022, Ago and Brittany are continuing to build their collection of salt and pepper shakers. They’ve bought sets from places like France, Italy, Amsterdam, Jamaica, Aruba, and Texas, each a throwback to their very first date and the very first gift they exchanged. Now Ago likes to joke, “One day, when we die, our kids are gonna be like, ‘What the hell are we going to do with all these salt and pepper shakers?’”
Main photo credit: Lauren Ashley Photography