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Trish De Luca and Ben Land are standing on an elevated bridge with metal railing. In the background are mid-rise buildings on either side surrounded by trees, a body of water in the far distance.
Trish De Luca and Ben Land

Ben Land and Trish De Luca

They flirted during undergrad but eventually lost touch. Then along came Facebook

Ben: I first laid eyes on Trish during the chaos of Frosh Week at U of T Scarborough in 1995. I felt an immediate attraction, but was disappointed to learn that she had a boyfriend. I had a crush on her for two years, and then received a “dean’s vacation” – otherwise known as an academic suspension.

By the time I returned, a year later, Trish had finished school and was working in the film industry in Toronto and Los Angeles. File under “university crushes” and think no further, right? Then along came something called Facebook. In March 2007, I typed “Trish De Luca” into the search box and sent her a message. She responded. Two years later we got married, and our daughter, Gemma, was born last year.

I love Trish’s open-minded enthusiasm. After we reconnected, I suggested going camping in Algonquin Park. Her friends wondered how I was going to get her out of stilettos and into hiking boots. At the campsite, I set up the tent and went to get firewood. While I was gone, Trish cleaned the “kitchen” area and set up the camping stove, which she had never used before. And I thought, “This is my life partner.”

Trish: Every time I went to a U of T pub night, there was Ben, right next to me, busting a move. I was always on the dance floor by myself because I was dating the DJ. But I thought Ben was cute and I told my girlfriends that if I wasn’t dating anyone, I would go for Ben. He was my secret crush. I never told him, although he was very public about his crush on me.

Nine years later, I got a message on Facebook from a Ben. I glanced over it and responded, assuming it was another Ben, a friend of mine. When I found out it was actually Ben Land, I was very excited. I had just gotten out of a relationship. Three days later we met for dinner. The minute I saw him all those old feelings came bubbling back. Ben is very positive; he loves life. That quality is hard to find in people. Everything to him is worth celebrating, even simple things like eating a hotdog or going tobogganing. And nobody makes me laugh like he does.

Ben and Trish now live in Vancouver, where Ben guides corporate teams on humanitarian trips and Trish runs DAREarts, a program that uses the arts to foster courage, confidence and leadership in young people.

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