Engaged NJ couple first ‘met’ at birth and star in viral TikTok video
BERKLEY — An Ocean County elementary school teacher who shared her Jersey soulmate story on TikTok says she is stunned by the video's millions of views, shares and "likes" in just days.
Courtney Mahnken, who grew up in the Bayville section of the township, posted a short video tagging a “coincidences” hashtag — and talked about her family meeting her first boyfriend when she was 14.
Nicholas Monguso also lived in Bayville and they attended all the same local schools growing up.
In her video, Mahnken says when her mother met Monguso’s parents for the first time, there was a sense of familiarity — especially as Monguso’s father literally stood out, at 6 foot 4 — and she asked where their teen son had been born.
Beyond just a small-town connection, the high school sweethearts had been born a day apart at the same hospital in Lakewood (now Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, formerly Kimball Medical Center).
Mahnken says as their last names are so close alphabetically, her mom remembers the newborns being side-by-side in the hospital nursery, 14 years before their first date.
After their dating stint as teenagers, they “took a break” from their exclusive relationship as they both attended Rowan University, though they stayed in close contact, she said.
They began dating once again after college graduation, and this past November, Mahnken walked outside of the Seaside Heights school where she teaches to find her closest family and friends standing excitedly as Monguso proposed.
She said they often share their soulmate story with people they meet to positive reactions but she still was blown away by how quickly her social media video racked up more than 7 million views in under a week.
The couple is planning a 2022 summer wedding at a venue in North Jersey.
@reneemahnkie#stitch with @breecard #greenscreen I guess you can say we are actually soulmates ♀️♬ original sound - Courtney Mahnken