Seattle Dating Scene features readers’ thoughts and stories about what it’s like to date in Seattle. For our next feature, follow this promptTrying to settle an argument with your significant other? Need some guidance on where to have a socially distanced date or need any other advice? Send in your questions to be answered by our columnist Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account.

By Thursday, Apr. 15, please email your questions to dating@seattletimes.com or submit them via Instagram direct message to @dating_in_seattle, and they may be answered by Marina in a future edition of The Mix.

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How We Met

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.

Michael and Karen

“Sometime in my 20s, I think I experienced an early midlife crisis while working a rather dispiriting job in California. I announced to my stunned co-workers I was going to quit my job, sell everything I owned and go backpacking around Europe or wander the globe until all my money ran out. Little did I know I was destined to meet my future wife in the small Turkish town of Pamukkale.

My wife was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. After university, many New Zealanders often leave home for the ‘Big OE’ (overseas experience), as they like to call it. They’ll go backpacking for several months, trying to find seasonal work along the way, which was exactly what I had planned, though the only job I got was spinning records as a DJ in a bar on the Greek island of Santorini. My wife was also working in Santorini at a restaurant, though we never met until that chance encounter in Turkey.

I actually met my wife on her birthday, and after that we spent a few fun-filled days together. When she walked me to the bus stop to say goodbye, she asked if I wanted to accompany her deep into the heart of Turkey instead of traveling up the coast like I had planned. I stopped and thought about it for a few seconds, and then tore up my ticket. Suffice to say it was a moment that quite literally changed my life.

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We only spent 10 days together in Turkey, but I was almost out of money and had to meet my parents in Rome, so I left her in Istanbul and we promised to somehow stay in touch and rendezvous again somewhere. I eventually returned to the United States, but she ended up in a kibbutz for a few months, so we were able to write letters (no email in the early ’90s). Six months after those whirlwind 10 days in Turkey, we finally met up again … in Hong Kong.

To say ‘the rest is history’ might be something of an understatement. We were still in our ‘vagabond phase’ so we taught English in Hong Kong and backpacked around Asia together. Eventually, we slowly returned to ‘normal’ life again. … Along the way, we got married in San Diego, lived in Auckland, New Zealand, and Melbourne, Australia, for a few years, and then thought Seattle might be a cool place to finally unpack our bags.

We’ve been married for almost 27 years and our two beautiful sons are both grown now and attending college in California. More importantly, this July on my wife’s birthday, we’ll celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the day we met in that small Turkish town. The place where I tore up my bus ticket and decided to go on a little adventure with my true kindred spirit. Somehow, the adventure continues.”

Michael

Donalee and Freddy

Donalee and Freddy are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. (Courtesy of Donalee Rutledge)
Donalee and Freddy are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. (Courtesy of Donalee Rutledge)

“Freddy and I are celebrating 60 wonderful years of marriage on April 8. I still marvel that we were so lucky to have found each other.

I was only 17 and in high school. I told my girlfriends that we needed to go to the University of Washington to meet ‘college men,’ because high school boys were just too immature.

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On Friday, Jan. 8, 1960, we asked someone’s mom to drive us to the UW for the weekly Friday night dance. Admission to the Husky Union Building dance was 50 cents.

I recall telling my friends that we couldn’t stand in a huddle near the dance floor, or no one would ask us to dance. So we spread out along the edge of the floor.

I saw Freddy coming in from the hall behind me. So I waited until he was parallel to me, and I swung around and pretended to accidentally run into him.

I said, ‘Oh, I am so sorry. I didn’t see you there.’ I apologized profusely. He was so surprised that he asked me to dance. We danced every dance for the remainder of the evening.

Who would’ve thunk it? Every morning now, my precious Freddy puts his arms around me and tells me how fortunate he is that I ‘tripped’ him those many years ago.”

Donalee

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: “How We Met” — Have the perfect meet-cute story? Or a great first date? 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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