The ‘Kick in the Pants’ That Kept Their Relationship Going

Joshua Corey Kappel claimed he couldn’t help but issue an ultimatum to Samantha Marie Presnal on October 15, 2015, as she was currently dating another man.

“She’d just started dating this man a few short months prior, and although we both knew that our relationship was stronger, she didn’t want to let him leave,” said Mr. Kappel. 32-year-old is the chief strategy Officer of Newrez Mortgage Lender in New York.

“I told my girlfriend that we would never see each another again until she breaks up with me,” stated Mr. Kappel. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Ms. Presnal (a fellow and visiting French professor at Amherst College Massachusetts) stated that the relationship Mr. Kappel was referring “had fizzled,” long before the ultimatum.

“I am just really bad at breaking up and hurting peoples’ feelings,” stated Ms. Presnal. She graduated from Amherst and has a Ph.D. (N.Y.U.) in French studies.

“But then I thought of Joshua’s emotions,” she said. “And I realized he gave me that kick in the pants that was really necessary in order for me to move on in my life.”

She meant that she wanted to continue with Mr. Kappel. Ms. Presnal met him in August 2015 at a Manhattan Bar. Her mother Diane Presnal is a seventh grade math teacher in Chicopee.

Ms. Presnal stated that her mom had been to Manhattan to celebrate the birthday a friend of hers.

But the party ended far too early. Mother and daughter decided instead to visit Lower Manhattan’s favorite haunt, a bar.

They were already at the bar, when Mr. Kappel entered with a friend. He immediately struck up a conversation with Ms. Presnal across the room.

He needed a strategy. “I decided to talk to her mom first, and to try and win her over to the point where she wanted to introduce me to her daughter, he said. “In the meantime, it was my friend’s job to keep Samantha busy.”

They waited until they had “both of their beverages were running low”, Mr. Kappel stated, before coming in and offering the women another drink.

The offer was accepted, and everyone got along except Ms. Presnal.

“Joshua was socially awkward,” she stated. “So, while my mom was having a blast talking to this guy, I was struggling to keep up any type of conversation.”

Ms. Presnal was finally able to have a conversation with Mr. Kappel. It almost ended with that ultimatum, but they kept on talking, and by November 2015 they were dating steadily and very much in love.

“I love her smile. She is beautiful. Her beauty. Her energy. Her passion. Her storytelling ability,” Mr. Kappel stated. “I love everything about her.”

Ms. Presnal felt a lot the same. She said that he was so handsome, funny, and yet so mature. “With a man like his, who puts his heart on his chest in a very endearing style, it is impossible for him to ever play any kind relationship games,” she said.

Their fondness for each other deepened during the first few years of their relationship “in spite, or perhaps because of, several absences,” said Ms. Presnal, who spent three months as a researcher in residence at the Ecole normale superieure and another six months on a Fulbright fellowship in France.

Mrs. Kappel visited her often. Ms. Presnal and Mr. Kappel moved into an apartment together in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood in the winter of 2018.

The couple were married on Guadeloupe, a French island.

They were wed May 22 at Winvian Farm Morris in Connecticut, before David Smith (a justice of peace) and 150 guests.

The couple had originally planned to get married in the same location on September 22, 2020. But the Coronavirus forced the couple to change the date. 20 guests were also eliminated.

“When I look at Samantha I see someone who is pure authenticity,” said the groom after the wedding. “What I see, it’s real and it is an extremely beautiful sight.”

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