Taking Their Love From AIM to IRL


Kaitlyn O’Hagan, 28, and Rohaan Menon, 29, spent the summer of 2007 messaging each other on AOL’s instant messaging service, AIM. They were rising juniors at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, and were in the same friend group at the end of their sophomore year. But when school started again in the fall, “nothing really came of it,” said Ms. O’Hagan, who is a doctoral student and research assistant at the N.Y.U. Wagner School of Public Service.

The pair stayed close friends for the rest of high school and college, navigating new jobs and dating other people. In 2015, they found themselves messaging each other almost every day again, this time on Facebook Messenger. One night in August, Ms. O’Hagan accompanied Mr. Menon to a happy hour at his new job, and “something clicked romantically,” Ms. O’Hagan said. They’ve been together since.

“It was honestly really easy,” said Mr. Menon, who is the partner product marketing manager for news partnerships at Facebook in New York. “You already know you’re very good friends, so you have that intimacy that you don’t have to work toward. It was really refreshing.”

Having grown up together, Ms. O’Hagan said their relationship naturally moved fast. They told each other that they loved each another early on, and moved in together seven months after they started dating, first to Mr. Menon’s mother’s apartment while she was traveling, and then to their own apartment in Brooklyn with their dog.

It was also early in their relationship when Ms. O’Hagan knew she could see marriage and a family with Mr. Menon.

“I have Type 1 diabetes, and I had sort of been in a couple of bad relationships where the partner I was with took no interest in caring for me in terms of my diabetes,” Ms. O’Hagan said. One night only a few months into their relationship, Ms. O’Hagan’s blood sugar was low, something that no previous partner had ever helped her with.

“Rohaan immediately got up and got me some juice and stayed up and made sure I was OK,” Ms. O’Hagan said. “That was the moment I was like oh, I can have a family with this man.”

A year into their relationship, the couple took a trip to India so Ms. O’Hagan could meet Mr. Menon’s extended family. “I was super nervous,” Ms. O’Hagan said. When they landed in the airport in Mumbai, Mr. Menon’s grandmother was waiting for them, with open arms.

“She was so effusive and welcoming, she gave me a huge hug and told me I was beautiful and she was excited to meet me,” Ms. O’Hagan said.

Ms. O’Hagan and Mr. Menon were open with each other about wanting marriage, and early in their relationship decided that if after three years of dating they didn’t see a future together, they would call it quits. Mr. Menon just had one request — he wanted to be the one to propose.

“I’m a little old-fashioned that way,” he said.

In September 2018, Mr. Menon took Ms. O’Hagan out to one of their favorite restaurants, Barboncino, for her birthday. He went to the restroom and instead of sitting down when he came back, he got on one knee and asked her to marry him.

The couple were married Aug. 15 in Ms. O’Hagan’s mother’s backyard in Brooklyn by Daniela VillaRamos, a Universal Life minister. They had originally planned to be married on August 15 at India House, an event space in Manhattan, but were forced to reschedule their plans because of the coronavirus. Their friends stopped by in shifts to congratulate them.



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