Seattle Dating Scene features readers’ thoughts and stories about what it’s like to date in Seattle. For our next feature, follow this prompt:  Need some advice on dating or relationships? Send in your questions to be answered by our columnist Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account.

By Thursday, Sept. 24, please email your submissions to dating@seattletimes.com or submit them via Instagram direct message to @dating_in_seattle, and they may be published in a future edition of The Mix.

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Happy Anniversary, Tell Us Your Story

We asked readers to submit stories about how they met their significant others. Here are some of your success stories! (Answers have been edited for spelling and clarity.)

Pat and Hank

“In 1967, me, a 20-year-old white girl landed in Washington, D.C. I had never been east of the Mississippi River; I was wide-eyed and a little bit terrified. Hank was a dashing young Black Army officer, fresh back from Vietnam, and before that was brought up in the segregated South.

Both of us headed separately to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; I was joining an Army nursing education program and he joined staff at the same program.

It was an awesome, monumental time to be immersed in D.C. War protesters filled the streets, [participating in] the Martin Luther King Jr. People’s March demanding civil rights. Everything was in a roil.

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A few months into it all, I flounce through the dorm lounge with friends, in my miniskirt, and he calls out, “Well hello, Pat.” Who is this? How does he know my name? It piqued my interest!

Along with friends, we hung out at the officers’ club happy hours, flirt, and with great interest were drawn to one another. Heady with D.C. excitement, we explored the city together. All in secret. (Remember, he is staff.)

The world began to explode: Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the city filled with fire and smoke. Locked down at Walter Reed, we watched from the dorm roof.

Entering into the summer of 1968, love is clear, but we wondered, could we make it work? Black and white, South vs. American Midwest, the Loving v. Virginia case had been newly decided?

Eventually, we took the plunge. I graduated in the summer of 1969. There were too many permutations to describe, but we did it. We had a lovely wedding at the Walter Reed Chapel, Aug. 31, 1969.

U.S. Army immediately issued [orders for] us to be sent to San Antonio, Texas. Again, too many stories to retell, but two sons (raised in Washington state) later and four grandchildren, also here, we celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2019. The celebration is a whole other story, but it involves revisiting everywhere we lived in 1969, including a Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing class reunion in D.C.”

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— Pat Brown

Stefanie and Patrick

Stefanie and Patrick realized they had many connections after meeting. (Courtesy of Stefanie Konarska)
Stefanie and Patrick realized they had many connections after meeting. (Courtesy of Stefanie Konarska)

“About 10 years ago, I waited tables at a restaurant in downtown Seattle. I’d get home late, tired but wired, so I’d pass the time by getting on Facebook and firing up messenger. One night, a chat popped up. A pretty distant acquaintance started chatting me up about his friend who was moving to Seattle. He told me I should ‘show him around,’ but I wasn’t feeling very generous. I had lived in Seattle for about eight years and at this point and was starting to become a little jaded. I’d made a lot of great friends, only for most of them to move on to another city. I sort of had a ‘no new friends’ policy.

Fast-forward about six months and I was having dinner and drinks at Moon Temple (rest in peace) with some friends and my boyfriend at the time. In walked the new guy, Patrick, someone my friends knew in college. They decided to show him around. I shook his hand, looked in his eyes and said, ‘I think I was supposed to show you around.’

Over time, I lose the boyfriend and in spite of myself, Patrick and I become close friends. We begin to realize we have some connections. Not only did we go to the same high school in Michigan, but we had worked at the same summer camp at the same time, and spent part of our summers at the same lake cottage. He confesses he saw me outside of his government class in high school and somehow clearly remembers this.

We start to find ways to see more of each other, without our friends present. One evening, we carpooled back from skiing and [each] tested the spontaneity of the other by suggesting we just keep driving and go to Canada. We didn’t make it to Canada, but did end up talking for hours.

We had an agreement to be one another’s ride to the airport whenever necessary. It was Christmastime and Pat was headed home while I stayed back, since I was about to leave for a few months to South America. He had a very early flight, so we thought it fitting to hang out the night before and just stay awake. We got a little cozy that night, which gave me the confidence to give him the Christmas present I had purchased. That morning, I drove him to the airport. I handed him my gift, a South America travel guide with a sticky note that said, “Just think about it.”

A month later, we met up in Patagonia and really sealed the deal. A couple years later, on Aug. 10, we made it official and got hitched on Whidbey Island. Fast-forward a few years, we had our first daughter, then welcomed another this past March.”

— Stefanie Konarska

Here’s the monthly “Seattle Dating Scene” lineup:

  • First week: “Dating Question of the Month” — Readers respond to a dating-related question we’ve posed.
  • Second week: “Happy Anniversary, Tell Us Your Story” — Have an anniversary coming up this month? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
  • Third week: “Best Date/Worst Date” — In under 250 words, tell us an anecdote from the best or worst date you’ve been on.
  • Fourth week: “Ask Marina” — Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, answers reader questions about dating — or finds a special guest to answer the ones she can’t!
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