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Their First Kiss Missed the Mark, But Their Connection Was Spot On


Ryan Tsou’s first attempt at kissing Amy Lee was as far-off the mark as Mr. Tsou himself when it came to the kind of men Ms. Lee was used to dating.

“Before Ryan, I went out with some guys from the world of high finance,” said Ms. Lee, 35, who works in New York as the director of large enterprise business development at Klarna, a Swedish company that provides online financial services.

“The guys I dated thought that buying me everything I wanted meant that we were in a good relationship,” Ms. Lee said. “None of them ever took the time to really talk to me, and to really get to know me.”

Then along came Dr. Tsou, also 35, who serves as the associate director of worldwide hematology communications at the Summit, N.J., offices of Bristol Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical company.

Ms. Lee, who graduated from Boston University and received an M.B.A. from N.Y.U., and Dr. Tsou, who graduated from Columbia and received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania, connected through the dating app Hinge in May 2017.

“From the moment I met Ryan, I was more open with him than with anyone else I had ever dated,” Ms. Lee said. “I was never nervous or uncomfortable around him because he just let me be myself.”

From the time Dr. Tsou clicked Ms. Lee into his life, he was feeling much the same. “Amy was very personable and very fashionable,” he said, “and very, very beautiful.”

“Our conversations just flowed,” he said, though he nearly drowned in his own embarrassment just before parting ways with Ms. Lee after their first date at a restaurant in Manhattan.

“He went in for the kiss but I thought he was giving me a hug and the whole thing just got messed up,” Ms. Lee said. “It was such an awkward moment.”

But it did not dissuade Dr. Tsou, who is Taiwanese, from continuing to date Ms. Lee, whose family is from South Korea.

“Amy was a lot different than women I was used to dating, many of them often communicating with me in scientific speak,” Dr. Tsou said.

“But there’s a little more fire in Amy than any girl I’ve ever known,” he said. “She also has a lot of energy and a great sense of humor and a lot of fun to be around.”

Indeed, the two had fun on a trip together in September 2017 to Los Angeles, where they both said “I love you” for the first time.

“I said it first, though he did not immediately reciprocate,” said Ms. Lee, laughing.

Mr. Tsou whispered the “L” word to Ms. Lee several days later but said “I love you,” again, through actions, not words, in July 2018 during a rock scramble at Breakneck Ridge, a mountain along the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring, N.Y.

“It was a very hot day and we were having fun rock climbing,” Ms. Lee said. “I had climbed pretty high when suddenly, I got stuck on a hot rock and just couldn’t continue.”

“I was in a panic, thinking I was going to fall, and then Ryan climbed next to me, lay on the rock and kind of let me use his body as a ladder to get to safety.”

In August 2019, Ms. Lee moved into Dr. Tsou’s apartment in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, and they were engaged two months later, on Oct. 1.

They were married July 2 at 501 Union in Brooklyn. Dr. Angela Kim, a friend of the couple who became a minister through American Marriage Ministries, officiated before 82 guests, including the bride’s mother, Sun Ja Lee of Federal Way in Washington State, (Ms. Lee’s father, Harold Lee is deceased) and the groom’s parents, Carrie Tsou and Dr. Dean Tsou of Las Vegas.

Their wedding was originally planned for the fall of 2020, but was rescheduled because of the coronavirus.

“Our families are very close, and like we were when we first met, sort of opposites,” the bride said after their wedding. “The South Korean side is a little raucous, the Taiwanese side much quieter.”


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