On Alexandria Angco’s 28th birthday in September 2022, she declared that she would not date anyone for a whole year. Dating wasn’t going so well for her, and she wanted to focus on herself instead.
Twelve days later, she met Christian Chai Chua in person for the first time. And five months later, they were engaged.
“I failed,” she said of her goal. But ultimately, that turned out to be a good thing.
The two first met on Zoom in August 2020 at an annual conference organized by Singles for Christ, a group for young Catholic adults.
Ms. Angco, who is from Toronto and goes by Ali, and Mr. Chua, who is from Vancouver, British Columbia, who goes by Ian, saw each other again at subsequent virtual events hosted by the group, though neither thought much of the other. In September 2022, the organization held an in-person conference in Vancouver, its first since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Ms. Angco, 29, flew in for the event.
At the conference, Mr. Chua, also 29, attended a personal development workshop for which Ms. Angco was the facilitator. “The workshop was done so well,” Mr. Chua said. “I was so impressed. I was just like, this girl’s funny and she’s smart.”
During a Sunday Mass on the last day of the conference, Mr. Chua sat next to her at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Burnaby, a town near Vancouver. “Wow, this girl is beautiful,” he recalled thinking.