First and foremost, we want to thank all the couples who have participated in our Bring Back the Butterflies promotion before and during National Marriage Week. It would not have been such a success if you weren’t invested in checking in with your relationship and aligned with our vision of bringing the butterflies back. We had many entries to our first date contest, ranging from videos, short stories, poems, haikus, art, etc, and we are so excited to share the 3 winners with the world. Grab the popcorn, sit back, relax, and embrace the butterflies.
Kara and Patrick’s Story
We began our relationship in December of 2012, but had our first date in November 2012. Patrick and I were both in college at the time, so he picked a very nervous and sweaty Kara up from her dorm room. We passed by our peers through the halls in my dorm, and I wondered to myself, “I wonder if they can tell we’re on a date…I wonder if they can tell we’re on a first date” (There was a lot of internal dialogue this evening).
Our college was located on the edge of our small town’s main street. On our walk towards downtown, Patrick asked if the local brewing company sounded good for dinner. Luckily I agreed, because he had already been there to put our name in for a table… In fact, not only had Patrick put our name in for a table, but he had been given one of those square blinking and vibrating squares to indicate when the table was ready. Apparently, while walking from the restaurant to my dorm room, the table indicator began loudly beeping. This wasn’t anything Patrick had experienced before at this restaurant, so he began to briskly walk back to the brewery with the beeping indicator in hand. Suddenly, the indicator ceased beeping. Patrick turned again and began walking towards my dorm. The indicator started up again. Allegedly, his only reasonable option was to toss the indicator into the bushes, and retrieve it once he picked me up from my dorm room.
Rewinding to me agreeing to eat at the brewery, a few steps of silence were followed with Patrick stealthily jumping into the bushes on the sidewalk to dig around for his table indicator. I stood dumbfounded, unsure what he could possibly be looking for in the bushes (my immediate thought was, “Is this chump proposing on the first date?”) After an uncomfortable explanation of what he was doing, we continued on to the restaurant with the table indicator in hand. I had always thought Patrick was this cool big-man-on-campus, and I thought to myself, “No one is ever going to believe that this just happened.”
The remainder of the date was sweet and simple. He took me to the pier on Lake Michigan, where our town has a large red lighthouse. Patrick kissed me for the first time while we stood outside the lighthouse, watching the sunset over Lake Michigan. He followed the kiss with: “I could get used to that,” to which I responded, “Yes.” Not only did Patrick get used to that, but he found himself almost four years later in the exact same place at that red lighthouse down on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him, to which I responded, “Yes.”
First Date Chemistry
Two friends decided we would be good together.
A blind date was planned despite December’s unpredictable weather
I met you at the Science Center for a night of laughter
You were cuter in person, and we were both full of chatter
We attended a whiskey demonstration (an adult’s only night)
You made an effort to sit so our shoulders touched just right
We talked of our future goals, our hobbies, interests, and more
Both amazed we’d lived in this city for so long and not ran into each other before
We hugged goodnight and I secretly hoped for a kiss,
but I got something even better, a follow up text
Second date plans? An 80s concert next Friday?
That sounds like a blast, but that’s six days away!
Come over for dinner. I’ll make mac & cheese
From that night on, he’s been my main squeeze
Brian and Debra’s Story
As student body president of my high school in Missouri, I was called to the office on March 9, 1975. It seems a young man from Oklahoma who was on his school’s student council was visiting his brother in our school district and decided to come to school for a day to see what it was like in another state. The principal asked me to be his host for the day. Cupid immediately struck. The day went by so much more quickly than I would have liked. When the final bell rang, he offered to give me a ride home (in his baby blue Mustang, no less).
About an hour afterwards, and me being heavy-hearted thinking I would never see him again, he called! He invited me on a date of a lifetime. It seems his sister-in-law was a concert promoter. We went to a concert where Kansas, Mahogany Rush, and Styx were performing; first-row seats, and back-stage passes! It was incredible. Then, several weeks later, he decided to come back to spend the summer before going to Boot Camp in the Marines. It seems I had made an impression on him too.
We spent nearly every day together that summer. It was a whirlwind. We talked and talked and laughed and laughed. But even the very best things come to an end. I went away to college and he was serving our country. Logistics allowed us to drift apart, and life happened.
Fast forward nearly 40 years.
Ping. “You have a friend request.” Brian Kimbrell. Brian Kimbrell? Brian Kimbrell!!! Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh!! It seems relationships had not been particularly kind to either of us. We talked on Facebook for several years and he made the leap of faith and leap of love to move halfway across the country to move where I live.
This time the first date was up to me. I thought I would take him to EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival. Each night there is a concert. Just before we left to drive to EPCOT, I looked up the concert headliner for the evening. It was Dennis DeYoung – the former lead singer for STYX! We relived our very first date all that evening. I fell in love all over again.
Almost exactly one year later we were married and it truly has been bliss ever since. We often wonder how we let each other get away all those many years ago but vow not to waste a minute of time being together now. He still talks to me like he did that first summer, we still laugh, and most of all, we still give each other those butterflies every day.
Oh, and one more thing. God bless Mark Zuckerberg.
Again, thank you to all the participants of the first date contest. It was so hard for our staff here at PREPARE/ENRICH to narrow down the entries to only 3. We hope that reminiscing about your story and reading the stories of others will keep the thought of relationships present in your daily life. A key component to enrichment of any relationship is to keep it a priority and in the forefront of your mind.
An intentional way to think about your relationship is to take an assessment. Our DIY relationship assessment, Couple Checkup, is only $19.95 through today in celebration of National Marriage Week. The results will show you your relationship strength and growth areas and the downloadable discussion guide will help by encouraging conversation. With that being said, we encourage everyone to check in on their relationship.
Thanks again to all those who participated and Happy Valentine’s Day!