I started writing this post one evening several months ago, and although I can’t remember why I suddenly felt the need to share our story it’ll definitely be nice to have it written down before we forget how it all happened…I’ve been waiting for a good time to share this post, and Valentine’s Day seems to be quite appropriate 🙂 So here is how Matthew and I met – albeit not the most romantic story it has a funny twist!
In September 2011 I took the plunge and dropped out of uni and moved to London – even though I enjoyed my Spanish Philology studies I just couldn’t see a future in the field. London completely swallowed me and I had some of my best times ever in the City. I took advantage of the never-ceasing party opportunities, amazing gigs and new people and just thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was high on life, didn’t sleep much and even managed to nail a good job with pretty much no experience. It’s like I was meant to stay in London, and I kept telling everyone I never wanted to leave haha. During this time I met someone I really fancied but who in hindsight was definitely not the one for me. We stopped seeing each other and I kept enjoying London.
Around 6 months into my adventure I had decided to stay in and recharge my batteries on a Friday night, but changed my mind and texted a friend before going to work asking if she’d like to join me for some after work drinks (how I miss after work drinks!), and she told me the exact same thing – that she’d decided to stay at home but was thinking about calling me. The first piece of the puzzle already fell into its place!
We met up near my work in Southwark and went to a cosy bar for a drink. For some reason we decided to leave and find another place. And another. Can’t remember why our night turned into a mini pub crawl, but eventually we found ourselves in the bar I was, without knowing it, about to meet the love of my life. It’s so crazy to think that I was completely unaware of how much my life was going to change in the few hours leading up to our encounter!
I was enjoying a girls’ night out with lots of interesting conversations and not even (for once) checking out the opposite sex. The bar was pretty rammed, but we found a table near the door and after getting some drinks I had to go to the loo. After coming back I saw two guys talking to my friend – one had black hair and the other one light brown. They were trying to exchange my friend’s umbrella for one of theirs that they thought was too gay, and I couldn’t help but think it was a crappy pick-up line (which it was)! Anyway, we started chatting all four of us, and it turned out that these guys were actually quite funny even though I wasn’t really attracted to either one of them…
(Matthew told me later that he had really wanted to go home and not come into the bar we were in, but how his friend had kept insisting and finally convinced him to have one more drink – we’re both really grateful to that friend now!)
The bar closed and we started walking towards the bus on London Bridge as we were all heading that way. On the way the black haired guy (Matthew) asked if he could get my phone number, and as I’m way too nice to say no when people ask for my number I gave it to him. I did think he was pretty cute when asking too…
We soon discovered it was too late for me to catch a bus home, so I decided to sleep over at my friend’s place. As the boys were heading to Stoke Newington and we not much further at all we all decided to get a taxi home together. Once we got out the light brown-haired guy suggested we all go to the black-haired guys place for an after party, and we thought it was a good idea as you do very late on a Friday night. We picked up some drinks and walnuts (?!) in a corner shop and continued the party with listening to some M83 and chatting away.
At some point we all started getting pretty tired, especially Matthew who had wanted to go to bed for the past 5 hours but ended up hosting an after party haha. We all slept at his place as his flatmate wasn’t at home.
We had been flirting a little bit, but I didn’t think too much of it. When the morning came and me and my friend were leaving Matthew asked me to stay for a bit longer, and I thought that since he seems like a nice guy who’s not bad looking either I might as well stay and see what happens. We chatted for hours and I started liking him more and more. We went out for a very late lunch and when I was supposed to finally leave and go home afterwards I didn’t want to go, so I asked if I could come in and “rest” for a little while.
That little while turned out to last until Sunday morning when Matthew had to go and do some charity stuff for work. I went home, had lunch with friends and really wanted to see him again – so I texted him asking if he wanted to come over and watch a movie. We stayed at each other’s places pretty much every night after this weekend. I bought a toothbrush to have at Matthew’s place on the 3rd or 4th day we saw each other(!)
So where’s the funny twist you might be wondering? Well, that has to do with online dating. We had both created a profile on OK Cupid, a free dating site that was pretty popular at the time (might still be?!). As a girl you tend to get a lot of messages, of which I ignored most. After a week or so of dating, we became friends on Facebook, and Matthew immediately recognised my photos from somewhere. It hit him that it was on OK Cupid he’d seen them, so he logged in to confirm it. He went to his sent messages, and realised that I was the first girl he had messaged!
When I checked my messages and saw Matthew’s one I did remember why I didn’t reply…Because I thought his profile photo was a bit creepy! The eagle jumper he thought was hipstery cool I thought was just weird…It was also a selfie, which wasn’t that common yet back then…Plus he looked sad!
Anyway, the point is that we could’ve met two months earlier if I hadn’t ignored the message. Universe tried to bring us together, and when it failed it had to step in again, making sure we walk into the same bar. Because what are the odds that we meet in a city of 8 million – and happen to work just 100 metres from each other?! I like to think it was meant to be. At least a little bit 🙂
London will always have a special place in my heart – it was the city I fell in love with. The city I fell in love in. Head over heels. 4,5 years later we live together in Edinburgh with our 2-year-old daughter. Sometimes it pays off to go out for a few drinks on a Friday night after work!
This is our story, what is yours? 🙂
x Nina x