Adam Samuel Eaker was looking forward to an evening of music the night he met Brandon Patrick George in March 2019. Falling for the musician, though, was not meant to be part of the program.
Dr. Eaker, an associate curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, had previously spent more than a year putting together the exhibition “In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at the Met,” his first at the museum, which opened in October 2018.
For the MetLiveArts series in 2019, the museum had hired Mr. George, a flutist and member of Imani Winds, a classical wind quintet based in New York, to play baroque music inspired by the exhibit.
When Mr. George, who is also a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, arrived at the event, he immediately noticed Dr. Eaker and told his accompanist that he thought Dr. Eaker was cute.
“I really wanted to get to know him,” Mr. George, 35, said.
Dr. Eaker introduced Mr. George to the attendees and, after an about 30-minute concert, Mr. George took a break to allow a new audience to cycle through the exhibition. The two men started chatting and quickly bonded over their love of the arts. Mr. George asked Dr. Eaker if he would have dinner some time, but Dr. Eaker didn’t realize he meant as more than just new friends.
“I think it had been a long workweek, and it just didn’t register to me that Brandon was asking me on a date,” Dr. Eaker, 36, said. But when the men matched on the dating app OkCupid about two weeks after their initial meeting, it was clear each had interests beyond friendship.
They met for Malaysian food in Manhattan, and talked about opera and their respective jobs. A few days later, Mr. George played at the Met again. Even though they had been on a date, Dr. Eaker said he felt shy when he saw him.
They kept seeing one another. By May 2019, the men began introducing each other to their friends. That July, they took a trip to Portland, Maine, because Mr. George was playing a concert at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
“We had a great time and ended up falling in love with Maine,” Dr. Eaker said. “At the same time we were falling in love with each other.”
They had already begun talking about moving in together when the pandemic struck. Although it was earlier than they had planned, Mr. George readily moved in to Dr. Eaker’s apartment. They baked and made cocktails together, relishing the extra time spent with one another because Mr. George’s job often involved traveling.
“The fact that we ended up spending more than 365 days together without interruption was kind of a gift, even in the midst of a really terrible time,” Dr. Eaker said.
In September 2020, Mr. George surprised Dr. Eaker by proposing in front of a group of their close friends on the steps of the Met, which their friends had adorned with rose petals.
The couple were married on Oct. 16 at the First Parish Portland Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland, Maine, before about 100 guests vaccinated against the coronavirus. Limor Tomer, a friend of the couple who was ordained by Open Ministry for the occasion, officiated at the ceremony, which incorporated African-American Baptist and Jewish traditions.
“Adam is just the most brilliant man that I know,” Mr. George said. “With Adam, I feel at home, and I feel like he is my person. I actually couldn’t be happier.”