Sometimes when people meet for the first time they run out of things to talk about.
That wasn’t the case for Andrew and Jillian Roger, because they only had three minutes to talk.
Andrew and Jillian met in February 2011 during a speed-dating night sponsored by the Omaha Public Library. The events, which are held at the Benson Library, are for single people looking for an alternative to the bar scene or who just want a new way to meet others.
At the time, Andrew was 25 and Jillian was 24, and both had been out of college a few years.
Andrew was a freelance video producer in Omaha, and Jillian was teaching at a Catholic school in Spalding, Neb.
Both were reluctant to try speed dating.
Andrew went because a friend who works for the library encouraged him. Jillian attended with a group of a half-dozen friends who thought they’d give it a shot.
Andrew and Jillian were randomly paired up for a three-minute chat. Once they got past sharing their names and careers, they discovered they had attended rival high schools.
Andrew attended Omaha Christian Academy and Jillian went to Lourdes Central Catholic in Nebraska City, her hometown. The two schools played each other in basketball and other sports.
Even though their conversation was brief, they felt a connection.
Jillian liked how Andrew acknowledged at the start of their chat how awkward it was to try speed dating. They both laughed at that.
He thought she seemed warm and smart.
At the end of the night, participants listed any people they’d like to see again. Andrew and Jillian picked each other.
The library connected them by email, and, during the next month, they exchanged notes and decided to meet at Blue Line Coffee in Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood.
Over coffee and then during dinner that evening at the Dundee Dell, they had some pretty deep conversations. They talked about their political and religious beliefs, and both realized they were active in their churches and that their faith was important in their lives.
They kept seeing each other, and that spring started dating regularly.
Each was open to the other’s interests. Jillian is a vegan, so they’d fix vegan meals together. A creamy risotto was one of their favorites.
Andrew loves music, so Jillian would go out and listen to Omaha bands she’d never heard of. She soon got hooked on local groups.
They fell in love, and their relationship grew stronger. They married this summer — June 29 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Nebraska City.
Andrew is still a freelance video producer, and Jillian now teaches at St. Cecilia Cathedral School in Omaha.
Even though their very first conversation was speedy and short, they are planning on a long life together.