Valentines Day has often become quite commercialised and it is arguable that we often forget the reason we celebrate: love. Five of our Features Writers have compiled a short reflection on how they met their significant other. Some are less conventional than others which just goes to show the range of ways people meet today.
I first laid eyes on my boyfriend when I walked into a new English seminar late (I was always late back then). I remember his red t-shirt and huge, warm grin. I was attracted to him straight away but, feeling at the height of my insecurities, I didn’t think he would be interested in me. I was normally quite shy and awkward around people I fancied, but because I didn’t really see him as a potential love interest, that took the pressure off. I felt comfortable chatting to him before and after our lectures and seminars together.
I started a Facebook chat with him, under the guise of finding out about a seminar that I’d missed, but also – of course – as an excuse for more talking, and Facebook stalking. One time I mentioned a particular class that I thought I had missed, and he replied ‘No you were there. I remember it.’ He knew my attendance at our class together better than I did.
After that, I thought there was a chance he liked me too. Sure enough, he asked me out for lunch at a nearby pub, uttering the most romantic words – the ones that every student wants to hear: “I’ve got a voucher.”
– Hay Sleigh
“The reality wasn’t quite so dreamy”
When asked the question “ooh how did you meet”, I feel quite smug as I reply “New Years Eve”. It sounds so idyllic, so romantic and yet the reality wasn’t quite so dreamy. We were mutual friends approaching the 31/12/17, and both knew of each other, yet it wasn’t until we exchanged a kiss for a jaeger-bomb at our local pub that our connection flourished. I insisted on buying him a drink, as he had bought them for most of the night, but then realised I had lost my purse. “Well then” he said, “If you kiss me I’ll get them for us”. I like to think of myself as a self-respectable woman, and I still am, but this was an offer which I could see as being beneficial in more ways than one. The first kiss was on New Years Eve, the first date on 3rd January, and now, two years down the line, I am very pleased I held my nose and downed the shot, as it has led to quite a journey.
– Emily Hall
My boyfriend and I met in the laundry room during our first year at university. I can’t recall what exactly we discussed in that brief encounter, but what I do remember is noticing a certain twinkle in his eyes – the twinkle of budding friendship, I speculated. Though this may sound like the clichéd opening of a B-grade rom-com, it would actually be years before there was any romance on the horizon for us. We did, however, bump into each other a lot – which was not unexpected given that we lived in the same block – and every time we did, it was a wildly different experience from the last. From showing me how to use his virtual reality goggles, to letting me fly his drone (by the way, these are not euphemisms), spending time with him often left me feeling like my world was being opened up to novelty and excitement.
“All good things come in their own time”
Two years (and dozens of memorable dates and conversations) later, we finally started officially dating. I often joke that our relationship was made in a slow-cooker. Though a two-year courting process is not exactly ideal, my experiences with my boyfriend continue to teach me that all good things come in their own time.
– Keletso Masilonyane
My boyfriend and I first met in French class , cliché I know, when we started at the same sixth form. He sent me a message on Facebook asking if I knew what the homework was, which I did but as it turns out so did he; he just wanted to start a conversation. We’re both a bit shy around new people so it took a while for us to actually start talking in person, but I remember his floppy hair and his cheeky smile and we finally worked up the courage.
We tried to have a ‘date’ at McDonald’s (the Ritz of Torquay) after school but one of his friends didn’t get the message and tagged along – queue awkward third wheel. My boyfriend dipped one of his fries into his strawberry milkshake which I still can’t forgive to this day. Luckily not long after, we got to have a real date where he wooed me with his knowledge of astronomy as we star-gazed in his back garden. Now he’s at Edinburgh and I’m on placement in Kent, whenever I look up and see the big dipper I’m always reminded of that night.
– Josie Harcourt
Last summer, I worked at an Ancient Egyptian-themed ball. Being organised by one of the biggest events companies in Nottingham, it’s no surprise I was both excited and nervous to start. This wasn’t helped by getting lost trying to locate the staff room on my first shift! Fortunately, once I’d arrived, a guy in pharaoh costume introduced himself and offered me a chocolate bar from the staff supply, instantly putting me more at ease. He then regularly checked in to see how myself and the other staff were doing, whilst providing updates on the amount of sand in his sandals! Although somewhat bizarre, I did appreciate the gesture.
“We ran around Forest Rec hand in hand”
A few days after the ball he invited me to play mini golf with him. Somehow I didn’t pick up on the hint that this might have been a date. Fast forward 5 months to Bonfire Night and, although still not in a relationship, we ran around Forest Rec hand in hand (to the less-than-subtle smirks of my housemates). Within a week, we were official. Don’t ask me how it happened because I’m still not really sure but I know that I’m forever grateful for that chocolate bar.
– Georgina Pittman
Shanai Momi, Hay Sleigh, Emily Hall, Keletso Masilonyane, Josie Harcourt, Georgina Pittman