The Love Beat

Before he turned his life over to intellectual-property law, Hun Ohm worked as an assistant editor for W.H. Freeman, the college-textbook company. It was his last week of work in 1997 when Joy Hilgendorf-petite, freckled, cute-arrived for her first day as an editorial assistant and parked herself at a nearby cubicle. Mr. Ohm swiftly improvised an opening line about her umbrella and then asked her to lunch, after which the two began the light e-mail flirting that has become de rigueur in the 21st-century Manhattan office.

They dated for six weeks without so much as a good-night kiss. Mr. Ohm, then 25, feared that Ms. Hilgendorf, fresh out of Wellesley, might be too young for a real relationship. “I had done a lot of living outside an academic context, and she seemed a lot younger than me,” said Mr. Ohm, now 29. “So I overcompensated and treated her like a dude instead of a girl I was courting.”

After they shared two-thirds of a bottle of amaretto one night, Mr. Ohm, a slim but buff 5-foot-8, kissed Ms. Hilgendorf’s hand and then finally planted one on the lips.

Then came three more years of long-distance dating as Mr. Ohm picked up a law degree at the University of Michigan.

“She really has a long tongue, and she likes to lick me a lot,” he said. “She’s often sticking her tongue in my ear, even when we’re not screwing around.”

“It’s the best sex I’ve ever had,” the 26-year-old Ms. Hilgendorf said.

During a visit to Michigan last March, Mr. Ohm concealed a Tiffany ruby-encrusted, yellow-gold étoile ring under his mattress and whipped it out, along with a florid proposal of marriage, right before they hit the sack. The pair is expecting about 150 guests on March 30 at the 200 Fifth Club, a party space in the International Toy Building on 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.

Bob Osborne, 30, is director of fund-raising for the Center for Constitutional Rights. Suzy Chase, 34, is executive assistant to New York City real-estate developer Jamie Le Frak. They met through, an Internet dating service. “When you look at the people on, it’s not like they’re all freaks,” said Ms. Chase. “It’s basically successful people who are busy. So that takes the stigma away.”

The pair arranged to meet for drinks at Art Bar in the Village and-since they’d neglected to post pictures online-were surprised by what they saw. Mr. Osborne, who is black, balding, bespectacled, 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, said he tends to date “petite, darker” women. Ms. Chase is white, 5-foot-6 and has cherubic blond curls.

She was wearing a knee-length Banana Republic skirt, black boots and a crisp denim jacket over a white T-shirt. He was dressed in an unexceptional shirt and pair of pants. “I thought he was kind of nerdy,” Ms. Chase said.

After he paid for the first two beers, she said she would get the next two. Standing outside the bar after their date, Mr. Osborne asked Ms. Chase if it would be all right to kiss her. “It wasn’t a rated-X kiss,” Ms. Chase said. “It was more of an R.”

They made plans to see each other again, but first Mr. Osborne had to honor-and quickly rule out-two other dates he’d made. One was very pretty, but reminded him too much of an ex, he said, and the other confessed to being a “total slut” and had several other men waiting for her that night.

In November, Ms. Chase’s brother and cat died within the same week, and Mr. Osborne rallied to her side. “He was very, very sweet, when he could have said, ‘I’m going to go out with someone fun,'” Ms. Chase said.

Ten months later, in bed watching 60 Minutes segments about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, they began talking about the future. “We had a moment of real closeness that I didn’t think could be duplicated by taking her out to dinner, or by any other clichéd romantic gesture,” said Mr. Osborne.

After agreeing to spend the rest of their lives together, they hopped out of bed and went to get a drink at the White Horse Tavern.

The ceremony and reception will happen Sept. 14 at the Newport Cafe in Jersey City, and the couple plans to honeymoon in Alaska.

The Love Beat