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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

When Nathan Met Edy: Iconic GW couple engaged

Seniors Nathan Orner and Edy Koenigs, who ran against each other for SA president last spring, announced their engagement over Halloween weekend.
Courtesy of Edy Koenigs
Nathan Orner twirls his bride-to-be Edy Koenigs during an engagement photoshoot inspired by the Disney Pixar film “Up.”

Romance at GW isn’t dead.

Despite a hellish dating scene wrought with devil’s advocates and narcissistic hillterns, recently engaged seniors Edy Koenigs and Nathan Orner prove love can be found even in the most hopeless of places. Koenigs said students flocked to congratulate the pair after posting their engagement on Instagram, including many peers that she and Orner had never met.

“For people I don’t know to know of our relationship is very odd,” Koenigs said.

Koenigs said students have long associated them as a pair, often referring to her as “Nathan’s girlfriend” and him as “Edy’s boyfriend.” But since running against each other for Student Association president, the dynamic duo have garnered even more attention from the student body, an experience Orner likened to living in the dystopian drama The Truman Show.

Koenigs said the two first met in the fall of 2020 through a comparative politics class discussion on Zoom their freshman year. During the Zoom call, in true Elliott devil’s advocate fashion, a debate sparked over whether or not COVID was real. Orner, who was cooking dinner, stepped in to guide the chatter. Koenigs said Orner’s calmness during the chaos was what first attracted her to him.

“Literally like he was making pulled pork at the time,” Koenigs said. “And he was able to mediate the conversation of people going absolutely crazy and debating as GW kids do.”

She said while many of her other GW friendships remained online, she and Orner met in person when he visited her in Baltimore shortly after interacting in digital classes. Koenigs said she immediately knew she and Orner would be very close because they had similar childhood experiences with their families and hardships faced.

“Because of that, someone being able to understand in such a deep level that no one else has been able to because he’s had these niche experiences, just made it like instant click,” she said.

But Koenigs said Orner trekking out several times to the home of “The Wire” didn’t make reaching typical relationship milestones any easier. Orner awkwardly jumped the gun, telling his family they were officially in a relationship before actually asking Koenigs to be his girlfriend. Koenigs said she spotted a text on his phone to his father referring to her as his girlfriend and demanded he ask her properly.

“This kid actually told his family that he had a girlfriend before I even told him yes to being your girlfriend,” she said. “And I’m like ‘No, I’m not your girlfriend.’ Then like a week later, I became his girlfriend.”

Despite this early miscommunication, the pair have dated for three years, lived together for two and now share several pets. Koenigs said their first fur baby, a cat they named Edward, united them when they began living with each other their sophomore year.

In regard to perhaps the couple’s most famous — or infamous — moment on campus, running against each other for SA president, Orner said their decisions to run were made independent of each other. He said they both agreed on many of the issues at stake in the election.

“I’m not surprised that it happened because we’ve noticed issues on campus throughout our relationship,” Koenigs said, agreeing with Orner.

She said the two had been thinking about diving into the electoral battlefield for a while and ultimately decided that even if they had to go head-to-head, that was no reason to sheathe their swords and not run.

“We’re like, ‘Well, I’m not going to stop you from your dreams,’” she said.

Though the ballots ultimately declared Arielle Geismar the victor, the true winner of the election was love. Koenigs acknowledged they were both disappointed to have lost the election but said they considered their time campaigning another shared experience which ultimately connected them further.

“We always try to find the silver lining in every situation and getting to see each other grow as individuals through the experience as well as getting to experience the outpouring of support from the GW community,” Koenigs said. 

Not unlike their shared ambitions for student government, Koenigs and Orner were in sync about their engagement. Orner said he’d been planning to propose for about a month before he popped the question in late September. Orner said his plan to propose was sparked by his grandmother reminding him to make sure Koenigs would be available to celebrate the holidays with the rest of the Orner family.

While they were eating dinner together one night, Koenigs jokingly fashioned a set of rings from paper towels before kneeling down and asking him to marry her, a reference to a TikTok she’d watched. Little did she know, he had a ring already waiting for her and immediately proposed back to her.

“It was pretty unexpected in that way,” Orner said. “But I think it was a nice surprise.”

Koenigs said the couple has been joking that they would get married since freshman year, with Koenigs insisting that the engagement happen on Halloween, her favorite holiday.

“I absolutely love Halloween,” she said. “So I told him, ‘If it’s not Halloween, I’m not getting married to you.’”

Since the engagement came about a month earlier than Koenigs anticipated, they held off on announcing their new relationship status. They were still able to incorporate their shared love for the holiday by announcing their engagement online, dressing up as Carl and Ellie from “Up.”

“We’ve been keeping it secret since late September, and then we ended up announcing it afterward,” Koenigs said. “Just making sure because I did start it as kind of a joke to begin with — making sure that it’s the right decision for us.” 

For those aspiring for a similar only-at-GW romance, Koenigs said students should avoid dating apps and prioritize making friends and meeting people with similar interests. Koenigs admitted the “rise and grind” culture of GW can hinder the friends-to-lovers arc but finding lasting relationships isn’t impossible.

“I saw somewhere D.C. is the absolute worst city for relationships,” Orner said, agreeing with Koenigs. “I think that’s just because there’s a lot of people here who are specifically cutthroat but in regard to things that don’t really need to be.”

But don’t hold your breath waiting for a wedding invitation. Koenigs said the couple is in no rush to say their vows. She said they plan to wait until both of them graduate from law school, so they can have a nicer wedding on lawyers’ budgets, rather than the limited funds of two college students.

“I want to have a really nice wedding,” Koenigs said.

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About the Contributor
Jenna Baer, Contributing Culture Editor
Jenna, a senior majoring in creative writing, is the the 2023-24 contributing culture editor. She previously worked as a staff writer and cartoonist. She is a Houston, Texas girl through and through.
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