Caleb and Alina come face-to-face for the first time on 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days — but their first impressions of each other weren’t what they envisioned.
In PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek at Sunday’s episode, Caleb, 28, has his first in-person meeting with Alina, 27, at an airport. After they pull down their protective masks to unveil their faces, Caleb instantly calls Alina “beautiful.”
Caleb then tells Alina that meeting her feels “surreal,” adding that her physical appearance differs from what he expected.
Alina was born with diastrophic dysplasia, a rare form of dwarfism. As a result of her condition, Alina is unable to walk or stand for long periods of time and often relies on a wheelchair for mobility.
“It’s kind of surreal seeing you in person,” the Arizona native says. “I mean, I’ve known you for a long time. I think you look great, but you are smaller than I thought.”
When Alina asks whether her smaller frame is “weird” for him, Caleb notes that “it’s different.”
Caleb proceeds to push Alina in her wheelchair while struggling to carry his luggage. Alina then asks whether he feels “weird” pushing her along, but he says he feels “tired.”
“I feel a bit bad,” Alina says in a solo confessional. “Stuff falls down, my wheelchair is spinning and I’m just thinking, ‘Oh, my God. Maybe he’s going to think that it’s always going to be so difficult and hard with me and my wheelchair.’ ”
“This is not the best first impression,” the Russian native adds.
Reflecting on their first in-person meeting, Caleb has hope that their relationship will be able to progress going forward.
“When I’ve talked to Alina in the past online, it’s mainly just her waist up. So it’s really jarring to see her in comparison to my own size,” he tells the cameras. “But I feel like I just need some time to adjust to being with a little person and then chemistry will fly back.”
When Caleb and Alina first met online as teens, they developed a friendship but fell out of touch for 13 years. They eventually re-connected after matching on a dating app as Caleb was planning to travel to Alina’s native country.
The travel plans didn’t work out as intended, though Caleb and Alina’s bond soon grew to become romantic.
On 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days, Caleb and Alina are ready to come face-to-face for the first time ever. Upon doing so, they hope to see whether there is something deeper worth exploring between them.
90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on TLC.