By Julie Young
Love is a many splendid thing – especially when there is a good story behind it and this month, glo readers open their hearts to share their love story origins.
Hair’s the thing
“They definitely got the ball rolling,” Toni said. “They told us that I should take Devin on a date out of town where we could fall in love.”
Toni and Devin McQueen secretly liked each other in high school, but they would not have their first date until years later thanks to a couple of pint-sized matchmakers: Devin’s daughter Haley (then 6) and Toni’s niece Scarlett (then 5.)
The couple took the kids’ advice, eventually married and eight years later, are happily raising their blended family, which includes Devin’s two older children and Toni’s set of fraternal twins.
“He’s truly an adult version of my high school crush – same curly hair and cute face, and he is still really funny,” she said. “(Above all) he is a great father.”
After chatting online, Kelly and Ryan Benton threw caution to the wind and agreed to meet halfway between their homes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. After that first date, the two parted ways without engaging in a classic goodbye kiss –a decision that Kelly regretted immediately.
Finding herself behind Ryan on the interstate, she motioned for him to take the next exit and though she was not known for impulsivity, Kelly gave Ryan a lip lock that he wouldn’t forget.
“It was one of the boldest moves I’ve made in my entire life,” she said.
Over the next year, the couple engaged in a long-distance relationship, but eventually married and moved to Fort Wayne in 2011. Today, they live in the historic West Central neighborhood where they are raising their two children.
“We fell in love with the community and have made it our home,” Kelly said.
Kristin Miller met her future husband Ryan in middle school when she added him to her chat contacts. Unfortunately, she thought he was a different Ryan and he thought she was a different Kristin. Despite the error, the two talked online but did not meet in person until after Kristin graduated from high school.
“I didn’t think of it (the meet up) as a first date, but it turns out it was,” she said.
Kristin was attracted to Ryan’s artistic skill, as well as his enthusiasm for books, podcasts and good conversation. They dated for ten years prior to their wedding in December 2015 and welcomed their first daughter four years later.
“I wish I could tell you why we waited so long to get married – I think we were just waiting for it to be right…we were learning who we were,” she said.
A like-minded soul mate
Courtney Tritch was surprised when a friend asked if she had any interest in dating her brother Erik Henry, but agreed to “meet” him over the phone in order to get to know him a little. Before long, they were spending hours on the phone every night.
Eventually, Erik traveled to Fort Wayne from Tennessee and Courtney joined his family for an evening of Karaoke. Since then, they have been maintaining a long-distance relationship but have plans to make it more permanent in time.
“If a trusted friend wants to set you up, say yes. (If) it doesn’t work out, you still have a great story to tell (but) you might find someone amazing who you never would have met on your own,” Courtney said.
A gamer scores a girlfriend
Introduced through his hairstylist who had a knack for matchmaking, Justin Clupper was playing video games and did not want to be interrupted when he was told to look at his future wife’s Facebook profile.
“Her response was, ‘Justin, I’m trying to get you a girlfriend. Shut off the game and step up,’” he said.
The couple met in the winter of 2011 and the following year, Justin proposed and they were married in June 2013. Today, they have two children that they refer to as their “mini-mes,” and they say the secret to their marriage is managing unspoken expectations and supporting one another through thick and thin.
“He also makes me laugh every day,” Jessica said.
Two of a kind
Tresa and David Pricer met in college when they both felt out of place in the world.
“Nothing had gone to plan for either one of us, (but) meeting each other made us both realize that sometimes the most beautiful moments in life (happen) when you are least expecting them,” she said.
After bonding over reading, history, traveling and Mario Kart, the two married in June 2017 and decided to raise their two children in Fort Wayne.
“Fort Wayne had provided us the opportunity to be small business owners, raise our family and be part of a community that has been so supportive of us,” Tresa said.