In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

Our Love Story: The Beginning – Matt’s Version

Filed under: Love,Matthew,Our Love Story — Rachel at 6:49 pm on Sunday, June 29, 2014
Table of contents for Our Love Story
  1. Our Love Story: The Beginning – Rachel’s Version
  2. Our Love Story: The Beginning – Matt’s Version

Matt has made me a very happy wife by guest blogging his version of the beginning of our story. Leave him some love in the comments section, and maybe I can talk him into guest blogging again in the future.


As my first marriage ended, the kids and I had a lot of changes going on in our lives. Besides the divorce, we had moved to Tennessee, I had a new job, Hailey had started Kindergarten, and Logan was in a new preschool. I had been alone for a long time, and I was tired of it. I wanted someone to spend time with and talk to. Someone who cared about me.

The problem was, I was incredibly insecure around women. I had no idea how to meet one. I kind of envisioned a mom at school drop off, or t-ball practice, or maybe church. Other than that, I didn’t have the foggiest. I’m not a bar guy. Never have been.  I wasn’t interested in a woman that I would meet at a place like that anyway. I felt very poorly about myself anyway.  My marriage hadn’t just ended. It ended badly, and some things were said that made me feel pretty un-datable. On top of that, I had full time custody of my little ones, so I was asking for women to, not only consider me, but the prospect of motherhood as well. I had a sense of duty to the little ones to find somebody that would be good to them and a good influence for them. All that said, I was not desperate. I had been alone for a long time. I could do it. I just didn’t really want to anymore.

So I decided to put myself out there. I went back and forth about it for a while, but I finally made a profile. I was more nervous than I thought I would be. I wasn’t very good, especially at that time, at selling myself. What would I say? What picture would I put up? I went on for a couple of weeks, and found somebody to talk to. She was nice enough and I could tell she wanted to be asked out, but I wasn’t feeling it. Then I saw this beautiful woman with pretty eyes and freckles. She had a comment in her profile about not needing a dad for her kids because they had a dad, but she was looking for someone to make her happy. She seemed so confident. She met my “want list”. I wanted a Christian, a woman with confidence, smart, someone who would want to spend time with me. She seemed to have all that, and I thought she was smoking hot. So I messaged her, not expecting to hear back. I didn’t normally overtly flirt with women, but I ended with a comment about her eyes. I wanted her attention. She messaged me back pretty quickly and after a couple of days, I told her a joke and she “lol’d” politely and sent me her number. The first text I sent her, I sent to the wrong number! Somebody with an 859 area code is probably still confused about that. She told me to tell her something that would impress her. I told her I’d been to Iraq twice. I thought for sure that would impress, but, no, she said lots of people did that. So I told her that I’d been to 15 countries and a couple of territories and that seemed to do it.

We started texting a lot, and then late one night, it was Friday the 13th believe it or not, she texted me and said she had just gotten back from dinner with a friend and was thinking of me. I had the feeling she had been on a date, but I figured, if she was texting me instead of that guy, I must be doing pretty well. I had looked up things to do in Harriman that day because I wanted to ask her out. I didn’t feel right asking her to drive to Knoxville for a first date, and came up with a picnic idea. Frozen Head was the only park that was on the map I was looking at, so, after some back and forth, I took a leap. I asked her out and she responded pretty quickly with an emphatic “yes!” So I floated picnic at Frozen out there, and she told me that was her favorite place ever. So things were looking up.

We were going to meet at Kroger that Sunday afternoon. I dropped my kids off with my brother and went to the store for supplies. I was so nervous on the drive out.  30 minutes to second guess what I was wearing, what I would say, even how to date. I hadn’t dated in SO long. I didn’t know how to do it. Did I shake her hand when I met her? Quick side hug? And what the heck did I do at the end? Hug? High five? Surely it wasn’t appropriate to kiss goodbye. Surely societal norms of not kissing until at least the second date still held true. Oh crap, what happens if I want a second date? Did I ask her today? Did I wait two days? Oh crap, what if she said yes to a second date? Did she expect a kiss then? What if our first kiss was terrible because I forgot how? Then I pulled into Kroger, and all that went away.

She was so pretty, sitting there waiting on me. I got out to open the door for her. That was in her profile, she liked that old fashioned chivalry stuff, but I would have done it anyway. Old fashioned is kind of my MO. As soon as I closed her door and walked around the back of the car, I was grinning. She looked really good. We drove out to Frozen Head. The thing that struck me was there wasn’t a single minute of the awkward silence that I expected. We chatted away. I found out that her last name was my ex-wife’s maiden name. I got a good laugh about that. I got the sense very early that she wanted to know me; she didn’t want me to put on a show. So I told her the truth, told her about me, my insecurities. When we got to Frozen Head, we picked a spot that was quiet, but not too secluded. I wanted her to be comfortable. We talked as we ate, and decided to go for a walk. We walked to the first waterfall, and she asked if I wanted to hike up the hill to the big waterfall. Of course I did. She led the way up the hill, talking the whole way. I was really impressed with this chick. We talked and talked. I felt so comfortable with her. She was so engaging, so confident, so beautiful, and so intelligent; she seemed to hang on every word I said. I already wanted to see her again, but here’s where my self-doubt starting screaming at me. “She’s out of your league” it said.  “She’s just being nice” it told me.

On the way back to her car, we stopped at the gas station to get a drink. Dr. Pepper for me; Diet Dr. Pepper for her. She had her bank card in her pocket and thus got it out faster than I got mine. We argued about it for a second, but she said, “You can make it up to me by buying me dinner sometime.”  That made me happy! No more pressure. She seemed to get the fact that I was new at this dating thing. She talked about how she’d gone on dates with a few guys, but none of them made the cut for a second date. I asked her if I made the cut, and she said that I did. I didn’t want to leave but it was almost dinner time already, we’d been out five hours. Much longer and we’d have to do dinner, too, and that was almost like a second date. Then I’d have to figure out if it counted  as two, and decide on the kiss thing!

When we got back to Kroger, I got out and walked around and opened her door. My heart was beating 900 mph. Now what?! We lingered for a minute. Another second or two and I probably would have kissed her, but she came forward for a hug. I liked it. She felt nice. We parted ways and started texting again pretty quickly after I left. At least I wasn’t like the Friday night guy, and have her texting someone else. She asked me the next day if I was talking to anybody else on Match. I said I had been talking to someone, but I lost interest. She told me she’d get off Match if I would, but she wanted to know if I was as interested in her as she was in me.

I canceled Match that night.


Comment by Amy

June 29, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

I love that last sentence.

Matt, I’m so glad you wrote this… And met Rachel! I’m so happy for you both.

Comment by dad

June 29, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

happy for you both. love dad

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