From friendzone to fiance’ | Joy’s true love story

Meet Ryan and Joy Garvelink.

It was love at first sight… at least, for him!

Joy will tell you that she hadn’t even considered dating her then friend, Ryan, until he made the first move! She soon discovered he had the kind of godly qualities she was hoping for in a man. It was no surprise that they made the perfect match!

Of course, we may be a little bias. Joy is a good friend, and a few of us from the AMH team had the honor of standing in her wedding. We are excited to share her beautiful love story with all of you!

Describe your husband in three words.

Driven, outgoing, hard working

How did you and Ryan meet?

We officially met at an ice cream shop with a group of mutual friends. we actually went bowling with that same group a few months earlier but didn’t get introduced. He says seeing me at the bowling alley was the closest thing to “love at first sight” he believes in

At the ice cream shop I remember being impressed with his mature and intelligent conversation – he seemed genuinely interested in what others had to say.

How sweet… literally!! So, who was interested first?

He was! When he first asked me out I asked if he was joking! We were friends and I hadn’t considered the possibility of us dating.

What qualities about your husband made you realize he was marriage material?

His pursuit of the Lord, his maturity with school/finances/life goals. The way he treated me and talked about what he wanted in a family. His family is awesome too, so I knew he had a strong support system and had been raised in a wonderful home that gave him a good foundation for a long and happy marriage.

Your wedding day was absolutely gorgeous! What was your favorite detail?

I think my favorite detail would be walking out to see him for our “first look”. He was waiting for me outside and walking up to him was such a special moment. I will always remember that feeling!

Recognize anyone? Mandi, Laura, and Ashley are part of the bridal party!

What’s your best advice to young women in dating relationships?

I would say don’t ever date someone you can’t see yourself marrying and having a family with. One of my biggest beliefs is that dating someone should always have marriage as the end goal. Don’t compromise your values and don’t settle for less than God’s best.

What’s your best advice for those pursuing sexual purity?

I would say limiting time alone is a big help in avoiding situations that could be too tempting.

I can’t believe you’ve been married 6 years! What has been your biggest lesson in marriage?

I think the biggest thing we have learned together is communication. We have had to adjust our communication styles to better handle conflict. I am very non confrontational and Ryan likes to talk about everything right away. His approach has been healthy for our marriage and good conversation is probably one of our favorite things now.

How do you keep God the focus of your relationship?

I think it always circles back to his plan for our lives. We are very futuristic and goal oriented, and we always come back to how our hopes and dreams can bring honor to Him and be a blessing to others.


We interviewed some of our favorite couples to ask them what true love looks like.  And we are so excited to introduce these stories to you.  True love exists, and it’s worth the wait. #truelovestories #acrossmyheart

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