Calling all Friends fans! Who got it?
Getting deep and personal is typically something I save for in person conversations, but as the past few months have rolled on and I’ve continued to become close with each one of my couples, I’ve gotten the inclination to start sharing the deeper pieces of my story. We as humans are all connected by stories. Stories of fear, humor, fun, sadness. Stories of people just like us.
So today, you’re getting the story of us. The story of how we got here, is somewhat comical. We both said some silly things and had to work hard for some of the wins we had, but it never fails to make me smile when I remember those first days.
Grab some popcorn, this is a good one.
Winter 2015/Spring 2016: Demetri and I went to the same gym, and though we were often on different schedules, about 1-2 times a week we’d see each other there. This is where we both developed a little bit of a crush. I was the “squat girl” and he was the “cute one with a beard” to me. I know, I know, creative. This gym crush continued for a while, included very few interactions (I hit myself in head with a 12lb medicine ball once and he laughed) and resulted in a very prompt right swipe on Tinder by spring of 2016. We matched, but he never did anything about it and I was in a very “If you don’t reach out you won’t take initiative ever” phase of online dating, ha!
We ended up actually having our first real conversation at a BBQ in May. We totally clicked, but ended up just chatting and going back to our gym crushing a few days later. Never texted or interacted beyond that, and at this time, we both were in early phases of very short lived relationships.
August 11th, 2016, he showed back up in my tinder feed. I laughed because this meant that he deleted his entire tinder profile over the summer – putting him back into feeds of people he may have already swiped on. For those of you who are unaware of how tinder works, a swipe to the right puts people in your “yes” box, and if they swipe right on you too, you can talk. People you swipe to the left on go in a “no” box, essentially. And, if you swipe up on someone, you “super like” them, which tells them that you definitely want to talk to them, and if they haven’t already swiped right on you, too, they know you’ve super liked them.
SO. August 11th, he pops back into my feed. I’m like, um, omg! He is so cute, and I would love to go on a date with him! So what do I do? SWIPE UP BABY. That’s right. I super liked him just in case he hadn’t already seen my profile and needed some reassurance to swipe right. I was immediately greeted with a “it’s a match!” screen and it opened the doors of communication.
I don’t remember how the conversation went, but we ended up setting up a meteor shower date that night after I got off work. Every time I tell this story I think, “my judgement was very clouded, I could have just been asking him to murder me!” because we ended up going “out” for our first date at 11pm on a Thursday. I just can’t help but giggle over that.
The date goes well – in the sense that he brought a cooler of snacks (that I later found out he bought that day for our date, pretty cute) and beer. As far as connection? I wasn’t feeling it. We say goodbye at 2am after talking mindlessly about random things, and I’m like “eh, okay.” (sorry babe!!! I didn’t mean it!!!)
He texts me a few times over the next few weeks and I am either busy or make up an excuse. Eventually, he asks enough times that I say yes to date #2. We set up a sunrise hike and breakfast at Marty’s….which I ended up sleeping through entirely. I’m still trying to live that one down.
I still made it to breakfast, albeit apologetically and embarrassed, and I am now obviously obligated to apologize with a legitimate date #3. We make plans for the next day and end up watching sunset on top of a mountain where he also brought wine & charcuterie — again, he bought the cheese board and backpack he packed it in the day of our date to really pull out all the stops. Cute, right?!
It’s on this date #3 – where we hike up to an overlook of the town I love most, that he says to me: “you know, date 10 Demetri is way cooler than date 3 Demetri, you should probably give me a chance.”
Um, what did you just say?! Y’all. He called me the heck out!! What?! This man I barely knew and was not sure I liked, called me out in the nicest possible way and simultaneously, he guaranteed that I would go on 7 more dates with him.
The next 6 dates consisted of many miles hiked, a lunch date, my birthday, and a couple milkshakes. We had been ending each date with “so, you think I’m gonna get a date #5?” or some other funny dig at his 3rd date comment. But at the end of date 9, we both were quiet. Awkward, almost. That was it. Date 10 is next, and we’re not sure where we are. We’ve had fun, but do we know each other? He was thinking: “did I prove that date 10 me will be better?”
A few more days than normal go by between date 9 and reaching out for date 10. See – it was only a couple of weeks between dates 3 & 9. He texted me on a Sunday night shortly after I got into bed. He asked if I wanted to grab a bite to eat since he didn’t eat at work. I begrudgingly put on some normal clothes and met him at a restaurant — which ended up being closed, so I hopped in his car and we went to a different one together.
I don’t remember much about the content of the date, other than we both drank the same beer, we stayed at our table too long, and as we walked out to leave, it was snowing big flakes. I felt like I was in a hallmark movie. We were happy and holding hands, and he kissed me. I remember thinking, distinctly: I don’t want to leave this guy yet…”
We ended up at another restaurant/bar for another set of drinks. Which resulted in us closing them down, too. After, we sat in his truck in the parking lot for the next three hours talking. About life, about our past, what we wanted. We actually got vulnerable about it too – no more surface level.
At the end of the night, as I drove home, I thought to myself, “he’s it. That’s the guy I’m going to marry.” He knew it, too. The giggles and giddy I felt from this entire experience was unlike anything I thought possible.
About 3 weeks later in early November, I spent $175 of the last $300 I had to my name at the time on taking him to Big Sur. The whole car ride down we giggled and fawned over each other, and every time we stopped for gas or food we ended up in a deep conversation in the car, both on the verge of saying “I love you” — but knowing an oceanside venue was waiting, and that was way more romantic.
When we finally got to Bixby Bridge, we took some photos on my self timer together, and between me running back and forth I almost fell – he caught me, pulled me back up (seriously, hallmark movie y’all) and I said “I love you” right before the shutter went off. It’s not glamorous, but this is the photo that documents the moment we internally committed to forever, and dammit, I love it.
By January of 2017, we began talking about what our wedding would be like. We both knew we wanted to celebrate our day, but we became super discouraged with the expectation of having a large wedding, and the cost associated with it. Honestly, it seemed so silly. Demetri told me it’d have to be a few years, because the weddings we knew were more than what we had at that time. I was not about that, let me tell you. If there is one thing in life you don’t do, it’s tell me no.
This is when I began thinking and questioning what I’d been told. “Why do we have to have a wedding?” “I don’t want to wait 3 years” “I just want to do life with him!”
And from this struggle of navigating expectations, we ended up deciding to elope. Yes. We decided long before we were engaged that this was what we wanted. I had no idea what that actually would look like, but it was a means to an end, and we were excited. It also helped that my little brother joined the Marines and we weren’t sure what the next few years looked like. If he was going to be there, it was going have to be soon – and that’s just what happened.
To be continued…..