Two young bachelors hit the road to discover our country's greatest loves.
Mat Boggs and Jason Miller traveled the U.S. in an RV to find the secrets to lasting love. They asked couples married forty years or more to share what made their marriages last. 12;000 miles; 25 cities; and 250 interviews later; both guys are older; wiser; and; perhaps most importantly; single!
Introducing Project Everlasting: Last summer, Mat Boggs and Jason Miller traveled the U.S. in an RV to find the secrets to lasting love. They asked couples married forty years or more to share what made their marriages last. 12,000 miles, 25 cities, and 250 interviews later, both guys are older, wiser, and, perhaps most importantly, single! So TANGO asked them out on a double date.
Where: The Roxy Diner, New York, NY
Bachelor #2 (left): Jason Miller Age: 29 What he ordered: A Cobb salad
TANGO: So how did Project Everlasting get started?
Mat: It all started with my grandparents. They have the most adorable love story. [Editor’s note: As if by magic, the background music in the diner changes. Cue Etta James’ At Last. Everybody laughs.]
TANGO: Sorry, you were saying…?
Mat: Well, it wouldn’t have happened if my grandpa hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer. My mom said, “You need to start spending time with your grandparents.” So we started going out once a week. We called it Adventures With A Professor. Each week my grandma would pick some out-of-the-way place for us to have lunch, sometimes two hours outside of Oregon, and we’d talk all the way there. I was going through a bad break-up with a girl I thought I would marry, so that’s how it all got started.
TANGO: How did Jason get involved?
Jason: When Mat called me, I was living in L.A. I was in the groove, doing my dating thing. I’d gotten out of a three-year relationship, so I was thrilled just to be single. Marriage was the last thing on my mind. But Mat and I have always done projects together. Our first was an anti-smoking poster in the third grade. We won first prize!
TANGO: Congratulations! Still, this was a big project to take on…
Mat: I’ve been taught from an early age that you need to visualize your dreams. We knew we had to do this right. We wanted to do the road trip of all times. TANGO: So your next step was…? Mat: [Laughing] Well, Jason’s really good at Photoshop, so we created a “vision board.” We put up all these pictures of RVs, visualized leaving June 1. The only problem was…
Mat: We were broke! I was selling LifeAlert…
Mat: You know, “Help, I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Jason: And I was selling chicken and living off residuals of a commercial I’d done.
TANGO: Wow. It’s a long way from there to…
Mat: Yeah. Finally, we got sponsors, and a shiny, new 36’ RV. So with that, and our credit cards, we figured we could just about get across the USA. We had already done 150 interviews on the West Coast. We decided to build our dream team.
TANGO: So who came with you?
Mat: My grandma did.
Mat: Yeah. She was 88 at the time. She just turned 89. Jason and I were mad at each other for most of the trip. Grandma was our shining example of “be in the moment.”
TANGO: What kinds of moments did you hope to find? J
ason: Well, 30,000 people emailed us, wanting us to interview their grandparents. We had interview forms up to here [Editor’s note: he gestures to his knee.] Really, we were looking for anything dramatic or heartwarming.
TANGO: You said neither of you come from a writing background. How did you know how to do interviews?
Mat: [laughing] My mom said, “Study Barbara Walters.” In the beginning, we were asking three-part questions that were five minutes long. And these were old people! Finally, one guy looked at me and said: “Son, I’m not really sure what you just asked me…”
TANGO: So what was the most heartwarming part of the journey?
Jason: When they packed goodie bags for us. I mean, fruit juice, cookies…one lady said, “I made you my special peach cobbler.” We were such fat-asses by the end of the trip!
TANGO: And how about the relationship takeaway?
Jason: I definitely learned acceptance. Before, dating, it was like, if a girl does something that gets on your nerves…
TANGO: Like a dealbreaker?
Jason: No, not even that big. Like, if she goes out too much, or reads the wrong magazines, it was like: That’s it. Mat: I never made it to a year. I’ve never celebrated an anniversary with someone. I mean, I always thought: If I don’t know a year in that I want to marry somebody, what’s the point? I think we all expect it to be the way it is the first two months, forever.
TANGO: And now?
Mat: I saw that no matter how beautiful these marriages were [forty of fifty years in], they’d all gotten dirty at some point. Going in, I thought, once your relationship gets dirty, there’s this stain on it. It can never be as great as it was at the beginning. But I learned that those stains make you love each other even more.
TANGO: That’s really neat. So, after all this talk of marriage, what’s your dating status?
Mat: We haven’t been dating! We’ve been swamped. We’re looking forward to getting back into the real world. [Editor’s note: The waiter brings the check, and Mat lunges for it.]
TANGO: Absolutely not. It’s on us.
Mat: Thanks. I was just trying to be a gentleman.
Tango liked Mat and Jason so much, we picked up the check, and still want to go out with them again! Look for more from the bachelors here at YourTango.