Spoiler alert: online dating can really pay off!
The 38 year-old libertarian and security programmer from New Jersey was first matched up with his bride by the dating website eHarmony.com.
“It’s a funny story — it cost me an extra $100 because I let my subscription run off and I really wanted to get her number, so I had to pay $100 to get back into my account to see everything,” he tells me.
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“I ended up calling her and we spoke for a bit. Then went out on a date. The next day we went out on another date. And the third day we went out on another date.”
When Jessica, a registered nurse, showed up to visit her boyfriend of five years (on an episode airing Friday night), the couple quickly decided it was time to finally settle down for good.
Rob gave me all the juicy details about their engagement, who’s officiating the ceremony and whether they plan to have children in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
Here’s the highlights:
PASTOR JONATHAN WILL OFFICIATE.
Though he left several weeks ago after an unfortunate hand injury, Pastor Jonathan’s influence still looms large in Utopia. “That was one of the most important things for me — to have Jonathan as a part of this,” Rob says. “Things were very, very rough here in the beginning and I think having him there for me was so nice. He was such a calming person so I really gravitated to him. Because that is what I wanted. I am not a religious person, but I joined some of his services and had conversations with him. And it was just nice to talk to someone who was a good person from the inside out. So having him here means the world to me. I can’t imagine doing this without him.
RED’S INVITATION WASN’T EXACTLY LOST IN THE MAIL.
“Let’s just say it never went out,” Rob says. Red was the first pioneer voted out of the upstart society last week and the groom does not appear to want his big day upstaged by another hillbilly temper tantrum. “I think some people are just better off left alone,” he says.
SELECT FAMILY AND FRIENDS WILL ATTEND
The happy couple will be surrounded by their parents, Rob’s brother and sister-in-law and an old pal from the Marine Corps. Hex is acting as wedding planner. Aaron will prepare the food and Chris will reportedly play the guitar.
THE REST OF THE PIONEERS ARE FOOTING THE BILL
“The money it cost to do this — it wan’t even an issue,” Rob says. “There were no gripes at all. It was like, ‘Let’s do this.’ We haven’t had a social event for us since we have been here. We have had nothing to celebrate. We hit quite a few milestones but we didn’t really celebrate them. So doing this together makes it about more than just Jess and I.”
ROB WILL NOT LEAVE UTOPIA ON HIS WEDDING NIGHT
It may be a while before the marriage becomes, er…official. Rob tells me he has no plans to leave the compound even for a night. “I have made the commitment to be here for a year, so I am not leaving until I am done for good — whether that is a month from now or ten months from now,” he says. “They might be able to work something out so she can spend the night…” Or maybe they can sneak away to the camera-less love shack Red and his wife discovered underneath one of the buildings last month…
THE BRIDE AND GROOM HAVE ONLY BEEN ENGAGED FOR 9 MONTHS.
“We got engaged on New Years Eve ,” Rob says. “We didn’t go out anywhere. We were at home getting ready to watch the ball drop and [she said] something like “If the [Seattle] Seahawks get a ring for the Superbowl then I should get one.” And I said, “Oh yeah. Maybe I already have one.” I had a corvette that I sold and used the money to buy her a ring. So I went to my safe and came back out with it in my pocket and was like, “Oh. sorry. Nothing there.” Then I pulled it out of my pocket and got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She could not believe it.
THEIR PERSONALITIES ARE VERY DIFFERENT
“She is definitely not as opinionated a person as I am,” he says. “She is very happy-go-lucky. She is very laid back. That is what really drew me to her. I could be down in the dumps, but she is so positive.
ROB DOESN’T SEE HIMSELF AS A DAD…YET
“We have talked about it and decided that at this point we are not really looking for kids,” he says. “That is subject to change, but right now it is not even a thought.”
ROB ENJOYS BEING CUT OFF FROM THE WORLD — MOST OF THE TIME.
“I have absolutely no idea of anything that has happened since I got here,” he insists. “ It is actually nice. It really gives you a chance to not focus on what is going on around you. You can really focus on here and now and not think of the larger troubles of the world. SO it is nice to put all of that on hold and not turn on the nightly news and hear about five people who were shot for some stupid reason.” The one thing he does miss: football. “Football for me on a Sunday is like Christmas once a week. We have a Nerf football here that we run around with, but it isn’t quite the same thing.”
UTOPIA airs Friday nights at 8:00 PM on Fox
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