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Penn State Love Stories: A Fateful Swipe Right

Since the launch of Tinder in 2012, the nature of the dating game has forever been changed. Nowadays, it seems like dating life comes down to a series of random right and left swipes. But for one fortunate couple, a mutual right swipe made all the difference in their futures.

Alex Lecce and Summer Smith matched on Tinder in April 2015.

It was near the end of Lecce’s junior year and while she realized that she was attracted to girls, she hadn’t come out yet. Thankfully, after matching, Smith made the first move. She messaged Lecce on the app and asked for her Snapchat.

Since it was the end of the semester, the two Snappchatted back and forth for a few weeks casually, but nothing ever came of it. Eventually, the school year ended and summer vacation began, but Lecce and Smith kept in touch.

“About a week or two after we left she did something that I wanted to do for a while, but was afraid to actually do,” Lecce said. “She sent me her number on Snapchat and told me to text her if I ever wanted to talk.”

Of course, being totally into the girl she had been Snapchatting for the past couple of weeks, Lecce texted her immediately. She texted her the next day, too. And the day after that. And the day after that. In fact, they texted all day, every day for the entirety of that summer.

Despite being very into Smith, Lecce hid her crush from all of her friends that summer because she hadn’t yet told them she was interested in women. Slowly but surely, the summer came to a close and the Snapchat best friends headed back to State College for their senior and junior years.

Eventually, once they both returned to school, Smith invited Lecce to hang out and watch Love & Basketball together.

“I never felt more nervous than I did walking up to her apartment, but it was easily one of the best days of my life,” Lecce said.

While hanging out and watching Love & Basketball together was the first time the two officially met, it wasn’t their first date. Their first official date was casual but sweet. They grabbed dinner beforehand at Wendy’s and then went to the movies and saw the movie The Gift.

“She was so excited to see it and she hated it,” Lecce joked.

Despite that disaster of a first date movie, they still had a great time and loved spending time together. Needless to say, the chemistry transferred seamlessly from text to real life and the pair made their relationship official on August 28, 2015. They’ve been together ever since.

After three years together, Lecce and Smith knew they wanted to get engaged, but money was tight and they decided against it for the time being. Lecce wanted to be the one to finally, officially pop the question, but as fate would have it, Smith had other plans.

Smith suggested they make the trip back to the school that brought them together to see a friend and go to the first football game of the season. They invited some of their other friends and family to join them for the game and a tailgate beforehand.

Until the engagement itself, Lecce was completely unaware that her life was about to change forever. After spending a half an hour or so at the tailgate, her mother brought out a cake under the rouse of celebrating the couple’s third anniversary.

At first, Lecce was embarrassed by the cake and the commotion, but once she saw the writing on the cake that read, “Will you marry me?” and Smith with a little box in her hand, she burst into tears.

Photo courtesy of Alex Lecce

“I said yes and then I just hugged her and I never wanted to let go,” Lecce said. “I couldn’t believe that she planned this in one of my favorite places in the whole world.”

While a date for the wedding hasn’t been set yet, the two hope to get married in the place that brought them together — State College. They want to make the date a meaningful one as well, like the day they first met or the date they made their relationship official.

When Lecce reflects on the events that led them to where they are today, she can’t believe it even really happened. She never planned on acting on her feelings for girls or even coming out, but then Summer came along and changed everything.

“When people would post stuff on Instagram or Facebook saying, ‘You’re my soulmate. I love you more than anything,’ I would think that was so ridiculous, but now I understand,” Lecce said. “I absolutely think Summer is my soulmate, and I can’t wait to spend forever with her.”

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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