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The Pandemic Era Tinder Match That Turned Into More

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The Pandemic Era Tinder Match That Turned Into More

In June 2020, when Andrew Roderick Gilmoor left his neighborhood in Amsterdam for the first time in weeks, he spotted a familiar face. He had been self-isolating at his apartment and was on his way to a Black Lives Matter protest. At Dam Square, through a crowd of thousands, “I saw this really tall, handsome man in a face mask,” he said. He suspected it was Nicholas James Leddy.

About a month before, the two had matched on Tinder. While they had flirted and exchanged Instagram handles, they hadn’t met in real life because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When Mr. Gilmoor, 35, returned home from the protest, he saw that Mr. Leddy, 42, had posted a video from the demonstration on Instagram — and even spotted his own face in the clip. The two reconnected and, a few days later, they met up at a park for their first date, to which Mr. Leddy brought his miniature Schnauzer.

At the time, Mr. Leddy worked as a trial lawyer for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, where he investigated and prosecuted war crimes. Mr. Gilmoor was finishing his doctorate on trauma and PTSD in marginalized populations. “Even though it was dark, it was a good conversation starter,” Mr. Gilmoor said of their similar work backgrounds.

And of course, there was the physical attraction too. “I remember Nick’s biceps bulging through his shirt as he was holding this tiny dog,” Mr. Gilmoor said, laughing.

Mr. Leddy, who grew up in Falls Church, Va., is now the head of litigation at Legal Action Worldwide, a human rights nonprofit organization. He has a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and public policy from N.Y.U., a master’s in international law and politics and a law degree from American University Washington College of Law.

Mr. Gilmoor, who grew up in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, recently left his role as a UX researcher at Booking.com. He has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from Utrecht University. He also holds a master’s degree in infectious diseases and international public health, and a Ph.D. in global mental health, both from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

A few weeks into dating, the duo vacationed in Corsica, and Mr. Leddy asked Mr. Gilmoor if he wanted children while driving through the mountains. “Plenty of gay men don’t want that, which is totally fair and within their rights, but he was enthusiastically ‘yes’ about it,” Mr. Leddy said. “It was like OK, this is it.”

Not all of their trips went so smoothly. In the summer of 2021, the two visited Mr. Leddy’s parents at their summer home in Wellfleet, Mass. But when the couple tested positive for Covid, the meeting had to happen from a distance with masks on.

As Mr. Leddy’s symptoms eased, Mr. Gilmoor, who is asthmatic, started experiencing shortness of breath and began panicking. “Nick knew how to keep me calm and help me focus on my breathing,” Mr. Gilmoor said. “Even though it was a hell of a vacation, that really brought us closer.”

In January 2023, the couple traveled to Diani Beach in Kenya for a friend’s wedding. Mr. Leddy knew he wanted to propose during a planned private getaway afterward on Chale Island off the coast.

During a starry walk on the beach, Mr. Leddy got down on one knee and proposed with two brass rings he had sneaked off to buy earlier that day. Mr. Gilmoor was shocked. “I got down on my knees saying, ‘Are you sure?’” Mr. Gilmoor said. Mr. Leddy was sure and the two were engaged.

Several months later, they packed up their lives in Amsterdam and moved to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to be closer to family and start building a new one.

Mr. Leddy and Mr. Gilmoor were legally married on July 6 at the Brooklyn Marriage Bureau by Huiling Zheng, a staff member of the city clerk’s office.

When they stopped for pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge, an eager stranger started taking their photos, instructing the couple to jump up and down and kiss. They bought the images from him, then proceeded to a long lunch of oysters and champagne with friends at Frenchette, a bistro in TriBeCa.

On July 15, the couple had another ceremony with Caribbean and American influences at Mr. Leddy’s family home in Wellfleet. Mr. Gilmoor’s mother, who is originally from Curaçao, prepared goody bags filled with rum cake and Guavaberry liqueur from St. Maarten/St. Martin.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

The location was a full circle moment for the couple. “We’ve just had lots of intense emotions here in Cape Cod over the past three years,” Mr. Gilmoor said. “We’ve suffered Covid here, we’ve had Thanksgiving and Christmas with his parents and family. I’ve seen the summers, I’ve seen the falls — it’s just a special place.”

The next day, everyone gathered in Provincetown for a drag brunch, where a queen named Delta Miles serenaded the newlyweds with “Last Dance” by Donna Summer.

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