This is Seattle Dating Scene, featuring 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, Jan. 14, 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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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.

Fay and Evan

“In the summer of 2000, I went to the Everett train station to meet my daughter, and found out the train was late. I joined a handsome man on a bench outside the station and when I asked who he was meeting, he explained that he was only there to take a picture of the train.

I hadn’t heard of his hobby of being a railfan before; he did some explaining, but I still didn’t exactly understand the pursuit. He was a long way from his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan — he had come west to see his son in Victoria, B.C., for the first time. He had followed the Burlington Northern line across the country and wanted a photo at the ‘end’ of his westward trip before turning north.

In minutes we found things in common: We’re both teachers, and I too had lived in Michigan — in fact my daughters were there for college at the time. It was only a 15-minute visit at the station — upon hearing the train coming in, he jumped up to take his photo and I stood to greet my daughter. We waved goodbye.

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Three weeks passed and I still was thinking about ‘the man at the station’ — I didn’t get his name. He was a wonderful listener, and I wanted to know more about him. I decided to take a chance and call the college where he taught. I confidently left a message with my email address on the history department voicemail for ‘the history professor who had visited Everett that summer.’

Three days later I received an answer. He remembered everything we had talked about, told me about his trip to Vancouver, and that was the beginning of lots and lots of email messages. The following February, I made a trip to Michigan to see my daughters and even though Evan had 80 papers to read, I drove to Ann Arbor to have dinner with him — our first ‘date.’

It wasn’t easy, but our long-distance relationship grew. As I visited Michigan for visits with my daughters, and he came in the summer to see his son, we were able to spend time together. I was slowly introduced to the world of railfanning and came to appreciate all that Evan knew about trains and his many photographs. I was amazed to find out about all of the people who shared his passion.

In 2004 Evan was offered an early retirement — giving us a chance at a future together. He moved to Washington in 2005 and we got married in August 2006. We wanted to use a photo of the bench at the station (on which we met) for our invitation, but when Everett built a new station, the benches disappeared. Instead we used a photo of two tracks where they join with the words ‘Two Tracks Become One.’ Our happy ‘ending’ and new beginning has included love, companionship, grandchildren, and photographing more trains.”

Fay

Marla and Terrell

Marla and Terrell are going on 37 years of marriage.  (Courtesy Marla Deere)
Marla and Terrell are going on 37 years of marriage. (Courtesy Marla Deere)

“It was 1983 and all of the stupid ways I had hurt myself in relationships had to stop. This was before the internet, so I turned to the Seattle Weekly’s personal ads. If the ads were written personally, I knew I should contact them; if it was difficult to reach out to them, then I wouldn’t. I met some nice people and some jerks. With my last two letters, I put up a prayer to find someone, or [decided] I’d transfer to a different state and start over.

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Terrell received my letter and called his best friend, who wisely told Terrell he should be calling me, not him. He did. We talked for an hour as if we’d known each other forever.

A year and a little more than a week later, we married at Cupid’s Chapel of Love in Reno, Nevada. We celebrate our 37th anniversary in 2021.”

— Marla

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 with 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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