He Always Knew: Robert Morris University He Always Knew | Robert Morris University

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The love story of Colonial Couple Jessica Krznaric Toutsis '07 and Stephen Toutsis '06

It’s ironic how certain events and run-ins are remembered so clearly, not knowing that these events and run-ins would forever change the outcome of your life.

Jessica and Stephen Toutsis The year was 2003 and I was in my first weeks as a freshman at Robert Morris University. In the sea of students, I had no idea that one in particular, Stephen Toutsis, would become the person I was searching for. Stephen noticed me on the way to class like "an angel coming toward him," he says, but I didn't notice him. I started passing him around campus a lot, and Steven said hello every time. I thought of him as the guy who was overly outgoing.

It’s ironic how certain faces stick out, and it’s not until years later you discover why.

A year passed and a new school year began. I was buying books in the bookstore when Stephen spotted me. This was his chance! Casually pretending to browse the shelves, Stephen made his way toward me and introduced himself. He made sure ask my dorm room, and a few days later, he knocked on my door and invited me to a party.

I declined. Stephen upped his game and hid notes where I would find them, with hand-drawn flowers, asking me to dinner. Trying to let him down easy, I told him we were just friends and would never be anything more. And so it began, Stephen’s year-and-a-half-long mission of winning my heart. He tried everything possible. Visiting me at my on-campus job, asking me out on a dates regardless of how many times I said no, and forming relationships with my friends. I did not budge, but despite my consistent rejections, Stephen knew I would one day say yes.

It’s ironic how the years pass and you are so caught up in the moment that seeing what’s taking place around you becomes so invisible, yet so transparent at the same time.

Another year passed and a new school year began. Stephen now knew my friends and he ate lunch with them a lot, allowing me to get to know him better. I assumed his chase was over, and we became closer friends. Often when my friends couldn’t make it, the two of us ended up eating lunch in the cafe alone. Conversations shifted to a deeper level. Seeing another side of Stephen, I found myself developing feelings for him.

Stephen says he was not surprised, since he knew it would happen all along. He continued to play the card of friendship for weeks as I wondered what his next move would be. He asked me to go bowling with some of our friends, and this time I accepted. At the bowling alley, Stephen didn’t need words to know I was falling for him. But I couldn’t believe he had known this would happen, while it had taken me so long to realize. We have been together ever since.

Six years after our first date at the bowling alley, Stephen took me on a horse-drawn carriage ride through St. Louis the night before my birthday. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes. We decided it would be most meaningful to get married where we first met. So last year, on May 27, we got married in Rogal Chapel at Robert Morris University, honoring the place where our hearts first crossed paths.

By Jessica Krznaric Toutsis '07