Kim Sandhu likes to jokingly tell people that she met her now-husband, Josh Cox, on Craigslist. Back then, all she was looking for was a roommate, not a soul mate.
Five years ago, shortly after graduating from Seattle University, Kim decided to move cross-country to live with her best friend in Washington. But after a year in the city, she felt lonely and sought a close-knit community of friends. So, like many millennial Washingtonians, she turned to Craigslist to branch out and look for other housing opportunities.
In early September 2012, she stumbled across an ad for a seven-person home in Columbia Heights that caught her attention. The housemates prided themselves on being part of a friendly community and hosted regular roommate outings, including trivia nights, weekend brunches and at-home concerts.
A group-house setting seemed like a great way to broaden her network of friends, and Kim enthusiastically applied. After an “intense” screening process, she was chosen out of more than 100 applicants.
“I felt like what was so unique about our house was that everyone that lived there didn’t really have a group of friends at the beginning, but once we moved in, we all became friends with each other,” says Kim, a 27-year-old account manager at the Advisory Board.
She became fast friends with her new roommates, including Josh, who was then an international economic policy student at the Paris Institute of Political Studies. He had lived in the house since May while interning for a semester at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
They became even closer after joining the same kickball team and attending the Virgin Mobile FreeFest concert. They would often stay up late chatting about life and work, long after the other housemates had gone to bed.
“I was kind of buttoned up and preppy,” Josh says. “She was very chill, outgoing and open to talk about anything.”
After two months of flirtatious banter and friendly hangouts, Josh asked Kim to dinner in Cleveland Park. Their spark was undeniable, and a few weeks later, around Halloween, they started dating exclusively.
“Everyone in the house was a little standoffish at first when we told them,” Kim says. “But once they saw us dating, eventually everyone got on board.”
Soon after, Kim invited Josh to join her for Thanksgiving with her family in Plymouth, Mass., and by the end of December, they agreed to date long distance when Josh returned to France to finish his final semester.
Absence and the six-hour time difference took a toll on their new relationship.
“There were definitely times when we thought, ‘This is rough. Are we going to make it?’ ” says Josh, a 28-year-old manager of research at the American Investment Council.
But thanks to technology, they were able to talk regularly and deal with the hiccups together through FaceTime and Skype. To cope, they also planned a two-week trip to Paris, Reims, Strasbourg and Marseille partway through Josh’s term.
After Josh graduated in June 2013, he returned to the States and moved with Kim into a one-
bedroom apartment near U Street. Although the initial jump from long-distance partners to round-the-clock roommates was rough, over time they were able to find their old rhythm and began building a home together. Three months after moving in together, they adopted twin gray and white tuxedo cats, Charlie and Willow.
“It’s like we lived through a hurricane,” Josh says, “and then everything settled into place.”
Kim agrees. “Even when we were on the rocks, I knew that we would be forever entwined in each other’s lives,” she adds.
In 2014, they moved to a larger apartment in Adams Morgan and traveled together to Amritsar, India, in November to attend a family wedding. There, surrounded by Kim’s immediate relatives, Josh realized he “wanted to be a part of her family forever.”
“I have found my partner and my best friend in life,” Josh says. “We can go anywhere, as long as we have each other.”
In early October 2015, the pair traveled to South Africa and Namibia to celebrate their third anniversary. On their first day in Cape Town, after a long, lazy picnic at the picturesque Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Josh proposed with a custom-designed diamond engagement ring. “It was euphoric,” Kim says.
Almost exactly a year later, on Oct. 8, the two exchanged vows before 110 guests at Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, where Josh is a parishioner. Later, they celebrated at Union Station’s East Hall, where the bride changed into a breezy, pink skirt and danced with her new husband to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”
Unsurprisingly, the couple didn’t want to leave at the end of the night.
“We did a sparkler exit, but because we were having so much fun, we decided to run back inside and stay until the DJ shut the music off,” Kim said, smiling.