It wasn’t quite love at first sight for Tyler Jeffrey and Adam Tarosky. In fact, they had a few encounters before either really took notice.
The two recall different first meetings: Adam remembers a brief introduction to Tyler at mutual friend’s party in winter 2009, and Tyler remembers a quick hello before a kickball game in April 2009. Neither interaction left a strong impression.
So when Tyler’s friend enlisted him as his wingman to help land a man named Adam in the summer of 2009, he didn’t think twice of it. The three planned a weekend with some of their friends at a vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Unfortunately for Tyler’s friend, it was Tyler who caught Adam’s attention. He found himself very attracted to his confidence and honesty. “When you’re not trying, that’s when things tend to happen,” Adam says.
Later that weekend, Adam invited both guys to see the movie “The Hangover.” The men were surprised by each other’s presence — both assuming they had been asked on a date by Adam.
Midway through the movie, Tyler and Adam locked eyes and something clicked. The next day, they made dinner plans at Bourbon in Adams Morgan. This time it was just the two of them.
“A few minutes of conversation confirmed the spark we felt the night before,” Adam said. They spent the entire evening chatting, swapping life stories, discussing their jobs, religion, hobbies and ambitions. They discovered they shared an interest in philanthropic work, a passion for fine transportation (for Adam it’s boats, for Tyler it’s luxury cars) and, most of all, both came from warm and loving homes.
“I think a lot of gay guys don’t actually have great relationships with family,” Tyler says. “Neither one of us has that. We both have extremely supportive families. . . . It was refreshing.”
“When I came out to my mother, her immediate response was: ‘God doesn’t make mistakes,’ ” adds Adam, an attorney at the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly. “When Tyler came out to his mother, she breathed a sigh of relief [and said]: ‘I thought you were going to tell me you were a Democrat.’ ”
The pair spent the rest of the summer together, bonding over long car rides to Rehoboth Beach. “A litmus test for a relationship in my mind is how well you travel with someone,” Adam says. Later on in the relationship, they would visit Miami and New York and travel overseas to France, Germany and Mexico. Their families also became fast friends, celebrating every Thanksgiving together in Richmond and traveling overseas together — sometimes without Adam and Tyler.
Tyler loves that Adam always keeps him guessing. “He’s a total enigma. He loves show tunes but also loves football,” he says. “He’ll tell you who’s the starting lineup for the offensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also who won all the Tony awards.” Adam fancies Tyler’s charm, wit and hardworking attitude.
Six months in, Adam realized things were getting serious when he asked for Tyler’s help and advice when buying a new home. “I asked him and no one else to see the few I had narrowed it down to,” he remembers. “I think that was the first moment I realized I deferred and relied on him a lot more than I expected.”
He encouraged Tyler to pursue his passion for real estate and provided him the confidence he needed to start a new career as an agent with Beasley Real Estate in Washington. Likewise, Tyler inspired Adam to be more vocal, open and expressive about his feelings and frustrations.
The two soon discovered that in the relationship they were, for better or for worse, total opposites. “We took the Myers-Briggs personality test. . . . We were opposite on all four of the dimensions,” Adam says.
“I’m about as subtle as a gun,” Tyler jokes. “Adam is intellectual and caring, yet quiet and reserved. He doesn’t necessarily wear his emotions on his sleeve, and you really have to get to know him to know him.”
The pair’s differences ultimately led to a two-month break. The time apart made them realize that their differences, albeit frustrating at times, are what have strengthened their relationship.
“We really challenge each other, but in the right way,” Tyler said. “In a way that is sometimes difficult, but ultimately extremely productive.”
Adam agrees. “You can marry a ‘yes man’ who’s just going to agree with anything you say and do, or you can marry someone who is going to challenge you,” he says. “I think that’s what we both want in our lives.”
Since then, they make a point of it to see each other’s perspectives more clearly and limit their arguments to no more than 30 minutes.“We have it out, talk about it and resolve it,” Tyler says. “Nobody ever wants to talk about fighting, but everybody fights. When you figure out how to fight constructively together you avoid offending the other person and simply get to the core of the issue.”
Their relationship was once again tested after their home experienced severe water damage from Hurricane Sandy two and a half months after moving in. Forced to renovate the entire house from top to bottom, they moved three times in seven months.
“It challenged time, schedules, patience during an intense situation, financials . . . things people learn about each other over the years but hopefully never have to be tested on in one situation,” Tyler said. “We quickly learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
On Dec. 19, Adam tricked Tyler into visiting the Jefferson Memorial, one of Tyler’s favorites spots in Washington. He ostensibly hired a friend to take Christmas photos. When they arrived, Adam dropped to one knee and proposed. Shortly after, they took engagement pictures and had a celebratory dinner at Tabard Inn near Dupont Circle. A week later, they jetted to Thailand for a two-week vacation.
Adam, 32, and Tyler, 30, were married March 15 at the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington. After the ceremony, the couple celebrated with 180 guests at a black-tie reception at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington.
The couple, both donning midnight blue, fitted tuxedos, walked hand-in-hand into the church to John Legend’s love ballad “All of Me.”
“ ’Cause all of me, loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.”