Ashley Stevens was surprised to find out that the Internet didn’t feel the same way she did about her boyfriend.
The day after a friend posted a photo to Reddit of the couple at a cousin's wedding, Stevens and her boyfriend Christopher Reed, both 21, woke up to thousands of nasty comments about Reed's appearance.
“People were asking if he has Down syndrome and said that he’s too fat to be my boyfriend,” Stevens told TODAY.com. “That’s just shallow.”
Stevens took to Facebook to stand up for Reed, and to share just how special he is to her.
"It surprises me how many people are so quick to judge when they don't even know you," she wrote. "He may not have rock hard abs like the world tells girls to want in a guy, but really, why does that even matter when you are trying to really find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with? He is so thoughtful and patient, he always shows me how he loves me in little ways, he is my best friend. I love him for who he is and he loves me for who I am."
Stevens went on to make it clear that they wouldn't let nasty comments from strangers get them down, adding, "We know the truth and we will block out the haters. Enjoy our picture though."
The couple, who met at Columbus State University and have been dating for two and a half years, aren’t letting the negativity get in the way of the love they have for each other.
“I feel like I hit the jackpot with Chris,” Stevens said. “He’s one in a million and I don’t know if there’s any other guy like him.”
Stevens has been impressed by the way Reed has handled the situation, but wouldn’t expect anything less from him.
“He’s a funny guy so he took it lightly and just turned it into a joke,” she said. “That’s one of the many reasons I love him.”
As for Reed, he said the comments made him laugh.
“I don’t have time to worry about what other people say because I know who I am and it doesn’t bother me,” Reed told TODAY.com. “After a while, it just got funny and we kind of shrugged it off.”
The photo was taken after Stevens caught the bouquet at her cousin's wedding, and posted to Reddit on June 21. And while the bouquet-catch moment was exciting for the young couple, they say they plan on finishing college before getting married.
“Everyone looks for a Channing Tatum, but that’s not really what I’m looking for,” Stevens said. “I don’t want someone who is shallow but has abs. I want someone who is sweet, funny and my best friend.”