By John Grossi
Amber and Jonathan first met in the Student Union at Cal State Long Beach in 1997, but at the time, they were not interested in dating. Even so, their groups of friends intertwined and they would all hang out at the Student Union from time to time. They were aware of each other though they didn’t talk much.
In the spring semester of 1998, they had an English class together and for one assignment, the teacher partnered them up to review each other’s paper. They were supposed to read their stories to each other and then the other person would give feedback.
Amber read to Jonathan, but when it was time for him to read to her, he refused. What did Amber do? She reported back to the teacher. When she returned to her seat, he said, “Did you really tell on me?” and from there, a deeper friendship evolved. They both continued to hang out at the Student Union but much more with each other than before.
The First Date
By 2001, the two were hanging out a lot at the Student Union. Jonathan asked her on a date to go to Golf N’ Stuff. Everything seemed normal when he picked her up and drove there, but when they got to the parking lot, Amber told him she didn’t actually want to go to Golf N’ Stuff. “I’m a homebody by nature,” says Amber. “So he took me back, dropped me off at home and then he went home. But after that, we started hanging out more officially and we’ve been together ever since.”
The Rest is History...
Student Union encounters have turned into a 20 years and counting relationship. The couple is married (since 2006) with two kids, ages 14 and 11. Both started their careers in Long Beach, and they manage to find time to always give back to the city that started their journey. In addition to their full-time jobs, they run several non-profit Long Beach basketball programs. At Cal State Long Beach, Jonathan and Amber have dedicated bricks on the campus (located by the classroom they had their first class together) to honor their love.
Date Ideas from Amber and Jonathan
• It’s okay to be a homebody and enjoy each other’s presence in the comfort of your own home.