Ariana and Ben walking through the woods at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
High school and college dating are a pretty common practice. However, not many relationships can proudly boast lasting through high school, long distance, and all of college. An even smaller percentage of these high school relationships can say they became engagements with wedding plans in the works after 5 full years of dating.
That’s the story of Ariana Trossen, a senior at Indiana Wesleyan University, and her fiancé Ben Wong, a member of the Indianapolis police department. The two lovebirds met as kids but did not start dating until 2015. From there, they have maintained a steady relationship since high school and plan on getting married in May 2021.
Although this love story seems like it may have been easy, Trossen explained that the hardest part of maintaining a steady dating relationship over the years has been “the year we spent apart, graduating at different times, and having jobs in different places.” Because of this, “communication had to be a lot more intentional,” Trossen expressed.
The “dedicated, loving and sincere” relationship of Trossen and Wong is one that differs from other 21st century dating relationships in a multitude of ways. In a culture that encourages casual dating and hooking up, this young couple stands out. Wong even stated another uncommon aspect of their relationship when he said, “Ariana is very involved and loved by my family.”
Statistics from the 2019 US Bureau’s Current Population Survey revealed that only 8% of 21-year-old Americans are married. Trossen and Wong are a part of a small population, although they would not have it any other way. In 2019, a Pew Research study showed that 59% of couples in America lived together whether or not they planned on getting married in the future. Both Trossen and Wong have decided to go against this trend of living together before they are married. This is another way they are set apart from other modern-day relationships.
Some family members have expressed their dislike of Trossen’s dating and marrying at such a young age. Wong stated that his “peers were skeptical that the relationship would last” as well. However, both Trossen and Wong do “not regret not dating other people in high school or college.” Trossen had “known Ben for a long time and [they] were friends before [they] dated.” Additionally, Trossen explained that both she and Wong “knew [they] loved each other early on in the relationship,” so dating around didn’t seem necessary in order to know that they were right for each other.
Their relationship has not been perfect, but it has been worth the time and effort they have put into growing together as a couple. Wong is most excited about “having [Trossen] join [his] family”. “I love my family” he says, “and she already fits in very well.” Trossen expressed that she is “excited to get married, gain a new last name and continue to develop together.” There are only about 200 days left until these two best friends are officially Mr. and Mrs. Wong. Both individuals are ready to take the next steps in their relationship together, a relationship that has been in the works since they were teenagers.