It took Andrew Smith less than two weeks in Sioux Falls to find his future wife.
It was late summer 2017, and he’d just moved to town from Iowa to take a job as a veterinarian for a feeding company. He downloaded Tinder as a way to meet new people in an unfamiliar city.
That’s when he swiped right on Erin Williams.
Erin had been in Sioux Falls for several years, but had also only been on Tinder for a couple weeks. It didn’t take long with Andrew to realize she didn’t need the app anymore. She’d found her teammate in life.
Two years later, Andrew has again found himself starting a new job in an unfamiliar city, but this time, he had Erin by his side. And when he thinks about the future, he knows he’s found his forever teammate as well.
“I think that we’re going to be able to raise a family and have careers and lives that complement each other really well,” he said. “And I think that’s really going to set us up for success.”
Andrew and Erin were an “opposites attract” couple from day one.
He was quiet. She was loud. He was new in town and didn’t know many people. She had an established group of friends ready to hang out whenever.
But they never saw the differences as shortcomings in the other person, Erin said. From the start, they were happy to fill in the gaps for one another.
“I think we’re a good balance,” she said. “It’s sort of like one is strong where the other person is weak.”
They felt comfortable in the relationship very quickly, and about a year after meeting, they moved in together.
It was around that time they both realized marriage was on the horizon. Living together, they were a natural fit, and they were able to find comfort in being together but still doing their own activities.
For Andrew, he knew he wanted Erin as his wife when he found himself going to her first with the big stuff.
“I went to her for advice and comfort,” he said.
And while Erin already knew she wanted to be with Andrew, she really realized how committed she was to their relationship when life threw a wrench in their plans to live together in Sioux Falls. Andrew had gotten a job offer in Missouri, hours away from Erin’s friends, job and family.
Erin never questioned her next step.
“It was like, ‘Oh, well if that’s where Andrew is, that’s where I’ve gotta go,’” she said.
All that stood between Erin and a move to Missouri was a proposal, something she had told Andrew she needed before committing to selling her house and trekking 500 miles south to Joplin.
Andrew popped the question on a hike in Red Rocks State Park while the two were on vacation in Arizona, much to Erin’s surprise. Early in the trip, Andrew had casually mentioned taking the first step in talking to a jeweler, but Erin didn’t know he’d already got the ring picked out, purchased and pocketed.
“I loved completely fooling her,” Andrew said of the proposal.
She said yes, and their wedding is set for Nov. 1, 2019.
When Andrew thinks about the future, he’s excited to have Erin by his side.
“We are very opposite, but we are like two pieces of a puzzle that fit together,” he said.
And Erin, who moved to Missouri this spring with dogs Gertrude and Edith in tow, is looking forward to all of the new experiences marriage will bring to her and Andrew’s relationship.
“He’s just a fun companion for most anything,” she said, “hiking, or making decisions about what to do with the dogs’ dental work. It’s fun to figure out all that stuff together -- the exciting travels, and then also just the mundane stuff. All those new experiences are fun to do with him.”