Article by Jessica Nudo, Growth Op
Toronto-based Jessica Nudo met her partner Silvia Lopez on a dating app last year. Although Silvia lives in Rochester, U.S., a mere three-hour drive away, restrictions in the face of the global pandemic were in full swing. As the borders shut down, the two ended up not seeing each other for the next eight months after having been on only two dates.
Almost a year later, Nudo shares how against all odds, they made their long-distance relationship work and why their mutual love for cannabis was an essential piece of the puzzle.
About 18 months ago, I took a work break and in an attempt to distract myself logged into Hinge.
It was a good day and I was feeling hopeful after putting some good intentions out into the universe (one must meditate daily and practice patience when it comes to online dating in Toronto). Seems my guides heard me that afternoon, because I instantly matched with a very attractive human and we broke the ice over our appreciation for cannabis. Her name was Silvia Lopez, an attorney from Rochester NY, and I didn’t know I even had a type until I met her.
It still remains a mystery who reached out first (Silvia insists it was her), but I suppose we’ll never know since Hinge refuses to send us our old ‘transcript’. What we can confirm, however, is that weed was a hot topic. Our chats were witty, engaging and held just the right amount of banter to keep us both invested with an almost surreal sense of familiarity that we had known each other in a past life.
I had considered removing any mention regarding my work as a cannabis publicist in my dating profile after one too many opening lines asking which stocks to invest in or if I could hook them up with free weed (stay classy, guys!). But there isn’t a soul in this city who doesn’t want to know what you do for a living, so the question is unavoidable.
Thankfully I kept it because it came in handy when the right person with pure intentions came along. You can imagine how elated I was when I met Silvia and the cannabis chats were welcoming and I wasn’t being probed for supposed ‘insider’ knowledge, but rather an exchange of stories and genuine queries regarding what I loved about weed and how I best enjoyed consuming it.
Why finding a partner who was cannabis-positive was non-negotiable
Cannabis IS a big part of my life. I’ve made a career for myself working in the space and my own reintroduction to it changed my life in 2016.
Cannabis allowed me to take a spiritual and emotional deep dive to work through years of emotions and memories (the good, the bad and some rather ugly) that I had suppressed and compartmentalized so that I could just ‘move on’ and ‘deal with it later’. Much of that having to do with relationships (the irony!). Cannabis was instrumental in my own self-improvement so that I could be my very best self when the right person came along. It only made sense that finding a partner who accepted cannabis was a no-brainer, only I found even better by striking the Hinge lottery with this one.
A date night to rule all date nights in Niagara Falls
Since legalization was in full swing on my side of the border, we decided to meet up in Niagara Falls — a fair mid-point between our two cities. Our first date was one that I will never forget and considering I never plan to date anyone else ever again, I can confirm that we saved the best for last.
Like a true romantic, Silvia booked a suite overlooking the falls on the 29th floor. Our date was on the 29th of February, a leap year, and within the tiny sliver of a leap day window, we found and explored the magic between us all over Niagara.
Silvia came prepared with a loaded itinerary that began with lunch overlooking the falls, an afternoon at the Butterfly Conservatory, followed by watching the sunset from the Sky Wheel and dinner at The Keg. Buying weed was also on our list, but little did we know, the only cannabis retailer near the Falls wasn’t legal and the experience was not at all what I was hoping to give her. To call it sketchy would be a serious understatement, but it’s still something that we joke about and is high up on our “hey, remember that time?” list.
We spoke daily until our next date two weekends after. Despite news of coronavirus becoming more serious by the minute and rumblings of possible border closures, she insisted on crossing the border to visit. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING would stand in our way of a second date.
The great wait
Days after her return to Rochester, the Canadian and American Government announced the borders had closed — but it didn’t stop us from creating plans to reunite and it definitely didn’t prevent us from falling in love.
It took us what felt like an eternity to get that first date locked in, because you know, life happens and apparently, there was a global pandemic looming so we had to wait until weeks before the borders closed to book our first date. Strange as it is, our story is kind of perfect because every day we put in the work of proving our commitment to each other.