Are you dying to know what a couple's relationship is really like? Elite Daily's series, ILYSM, celebrates couples who met on dating apps and dives into the inner workings of their relationships. How did they know they were falling for each other? Who sent the first awkward message? What's the one thing they fight about? Are they astrologically compatible, and do they care? By the end of each story, you'll love them both so much.
Here's the thing about whirlwind romances: when you know, you know. Jenay Ross, a 27-year-old music lover and poet who works in influencer marketing, and Vadym, a 26-year-old studying for his master's degree in developmental psychology, moved in together and got engaged within their first year of dating. After this couple matched on Bumble in 2017, they bonded over music, had a romantic first date that looked straight out of a movie, and fell for each other on their second date while tearing up the dance floor on New Year's Eve. Since then, their relationship has blossomed with a commitment to open and honest communication. According to Vadym, they've never had a single bad date.
Here's their story:
Which app did you meet on?
Vadym Zhyrov: Bumble.
How long have you known each other?
Jenay Ross: Almost two years.
How long have you been dating?
JR: Vadym knew he wanted to be all in after we first met in person almost two years ago. It took me a little longer to make it official, but we mark our anniversary as the day of our first date.
Do you live together? Are you engaged? Do you have a pet you share? Any other relationship markers?
JR: We're engaged and live together. It all happened pretty quickly (within our first year of dating), but it's always felt natural and right. Now we're enjoying a long engagement.
VZ: Unfortunately, we're both too busy to responsibly own a pet at the moment.
What initially attracted you to each other's profiles?
VZ: How absolutely gorgeous she was (she still is).
JR: I could tell he had a diverse range of interests from his photos and his bio line was hilarious to me. It said something about how he had read both Gucci Mane and Hilary Clinton's biographies.
Who sent the first message, and what was it?
JR: Bumble has girls make the first move in order to start a chat, so it was me! One of his profile photos showed him with headphones so my opener was, "Hey! What are you listening to?" As a huge fan of music, it's how I bond with people.
VZ: Bumble would not let me do it first. Otherwise, I would have been more proactive.
How long did you exchange messages or texts before your first date?
JR: We moved over from the app to text in less than a day. We went on our first date a few days later.
What was your first date like?
JR: As cheesy as this is going to sound, it honestly felt like a movie. We grabbed dinner in LA's arts district and spontaneously decided to go ice skating after. It was December, so the giant Christmas tree at LA Live's rink was up and beautiful. He was a true gentleman, made me laugh a lot, and was easy to be around. I felt like I could be myself around him and most importantly, felt safe. He's been genuine since day one.
VZ: It was genuinely fun.
Describe the DTR conversation.
VZ: I have no clue what that even means.
JR: One thing I've always really loved about Vadym is how secure he is about himself. He knows what he wants and likes, and always tells it like it is. He was pretty much ready to DTR by the end of our first date, but I still had some walls up that needed to be broken down. About a month later, I knew I only wanted to be with him. I surprised myself with how quickly everything moved, but you know how the cliché saying goes: "When you know, you know."
If you're Instagram official, what was your first photo together?
JR: He posted a photo of us first. Our second date was New Year's Eve, at a friend's party.
Describe the moment you first realized you were falling for them.
VZ: The day we met.
JR: Our second date on New Year's Eve, for sure. He won my heart with his willingness to dance all night with me, even if no one else was on the dance floor. I love a good dance party.
Who said "I love you" first?
VZ: I did.
JR: He did :)
What was your first fight about?
JR: I don't remember what our first fight was about, but I remember after our first date, I was back in my hometown for the holidays and he was texting me quite a bit, which should have been exciting. But I wasn't used to all the attention and thought he was a little clingy.
VZ: It was most likely about me being too clingy. I have that going for me.
What's your favorite underrated thing about each other?
VZ: Ears. Her ears are really cute.
JR: He's selfless. He goes above and beyond to make things easier for others. I appreciate that quality in him so much.
What was the last thing you texted about?
JR: I told him I was heading home from work and he said, "Yay! Drive safely, mama. I love you."
VZ: I told her I loved her and asked her to drive safely. We do this every day.
How often do you text throughout the day?
JR: Since we both work full-time, it's not constant. But we check in with each other every couple of hours.
Jenay, you're a Taurus; Vadym, you're a Libra. Do you know if you're astrologically compatible? Do you care?
JR: I actually have no clue and actually don't care. :)
VZ: There are very few things in this world I care less about than astrology.
Which TV show do you marathon together?
JR: We watch a lot of HBO and Netflix together. Some of our favorites have been Game of Thrones, Grace and Frankie, Stranger Things, Ballers, The Chef Show, and most recently, Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father.
VZ: Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father is the most recent one. I insisted.
What has been your favorite date together?
JR: After one month of dating, he surprised me with a date to a Cirque du Soleil show in LA. I nearly cried when we pulled up in our Lyft because it was such a thoughtful and exciting surprise.
VZ: I would not be able to choose one. We have yet to have a bad date.
What's one word to describe your sex life?
Why do you think your relationship works?
VZ: Because we do everything in our power to make it work. Good communication is by far the most important element of our success.
JR: We accept each other for who we are. And we've learned to highlight our individual strengths and lean on each other for our weaknesses. We also communicate openly, even when it's not easy (for me). We operate as a team and as best friends.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned from each other?
JR: Say how you feel and don't hold things in.
VZ: I would have to say patience. She has to be patient with me being rash and somewhat reckless, I, on the other hand, had to learn to be patient with her much more reasonably paced way of doing things.
What's your best piece of advice for people on dating apps?
VZ: Be upfront and honest. First, figure out what you're looking for, and communicate it as clearly as humanly possible to everyone you meet online.
JR: Determine what you want out of the apps (something serious or casual), make that clear, and try to connect with people who are on the same page as you. Always be honest, or you're just playing everyone involved — including yourself.