Beginnings: The First Meeting

photobucket image by victoriagrace18

I love reading romances and seeing how the hero and heroine meet.

The romantic in me loves real life love stories just as much, if not more.

The journalism student in me often asks couples to tell the tale of how they met. No two experiences are alike. Each is special.

A Romance Begins

Since we’re starting a new year and my mind is on beginnings, I thought I’d share the story of how Gwynly and I met. It’s a sweet tale, as you’ll see.

The year was 1987. I was 28 and in my tenth year of college. No. Not grad school. I have an eleven-year, four-year degree. I worked to put myself through school, and it took awhile.

At the time I was attending a big church in the San Francisco Bay Area and was part of the singles Sunday School class. I went to an International Dinner held by our group.

A tall teacher I’d never met before gave a humorous devotion on how to meet people. Following his talk, I felt it it my duty to introduce myself.

Because I’m reserved, I waited until the last possible minute. He was heading to the door with the plate of chocolate chip cookies he’d brought—my favorite kind.

Only a couple of cookies remained on the plate. I saw my opening and took it—along with the cookies—said hi, and chatted with him a couple of minutes. He was nice enough, but no fireworks went off.

What I didn’t discover until later was that I had met him once before. He remembers the encounter well, but I have no recollection of it. These days, we can laugh about how he didn’t make a memorable first impression.

Gwynly and Me - Valentine's Day 2010

That night I made a very good impression. He wanted to get to know me but was sure I was too young. He was 37. When he learned that I was a senior in college, he assumed I was in my early 20s. He’d decided not to date any woman more than ten years younger than he was, so that ruled me out.

When he learned that I’d been in college a decade and made his dating window with five months to spare, he decided to ask me out.

Our first date was great; the second even better.

Last month, we celebrated 23 years of marriage.


* * * * *

I wanna know . . .

How did you meet your spouse?

If you’re not married, how did your parents meet?

Do you use the actual first meetings of real life couples in your stories?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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20 Responses to Beginnings: The First Meeting

  1. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    I am happily divorced (lol) after a bad marriage in Peru (that lasted 15 years and went through and ended in hell for me and my son)…

    And now luckily have a life partner who is the light of my life and who helped me a lot to love life again. He lives in Great Britain and me in Germany, but we see each other often as he often works here in my country or I travel to see him. He is the one who knows all of me, whom I trust with my life, who helped me through very hard times, and he and his writing inspire and isnpired me a lot.

    Many of the stories, poems and songs I wrote came from the wish of having a happy relationship (like I have now), of the wish of people caring for each other instead of harming each other, as my childhood and marriage haven’t been so nice. What I write now is inspired by my actual relationship and the man I love. I finally have found in my life what I wished for in my stories and poems….

    But my biggest love after years of not feeling alive, of hardships, of PTSD, of troubles. is now with nature, with all living beings, with life itself 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Thanks for sharing your story, Martina. How wonderful to have someone special in your life now who understands you, supports and inspires you, and makes you feel alive.

  2. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    Congratulations to you and your husband, Keli, for your 23 years of marriage :-))

  3. Congratulation!!!
    I met hubby on a leadership camp, we dated a couple of times, split up, became really good friends then dated again. (that was over 12 months)

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Michelle, I think it’s so important that couples are friends. Far too many leave a marriage when the initial euphoric phase of first love passes. I think that’s because they lack the friendship that serves as a solid foundation. Gwynly is truly my best friend. I’m glad your married yours.

  4. What a wonderful story of you and Gwynly!! Congratulations!

    I met my husband for the first time in the infield of the Kentucky Derby. Crazy story. Crazy place!! My parents cringe every time the story comes up, but they also love it. Great conversation starter.

  5. What a sweet first (or should I say second?!) meeting! Your husband’s name is very original – is he from the UK? My husband, Steve, and I met at the gym. He had come in for a membership and I was his trainer! Needless to say, he was mortified to have a female instructor show him how to use equipment he’d been using for years, but due to our policy, he had to endure it! Apparently he got over it, because he asked me out, and we’ll be celebrating our 21st anniversary in April!! God’s good!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Maria, what a great first meeting story. I could see that in a story. I’m glad Steve overcame the humiliation and asked you out anyhow.

      Gwynly is one of many nicknames I have for my hubby. It comes from our last name, which is Welsh. His family is thought to have come from a town called Gwynedd. Thanks to my mom’s unique spelling of my first name and the cool name I gained when I married my guy, I’m the only Keli Gwyn in cyberspace.

  6. Laura Frantz says:

    Keli, I love hearing how you met Gwynly, and I love that you call him that. He sounds like a true hero as godly husbands often are. The picture of you two is just priceless! I think it’s so striking that he is so tall and you are so tiny! Kind of like Morrow and Red Shirt:) Bless you today. Your move looks good here!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Laura, my Gwynly is indeed a godly husband. I’m blessed to have him in my life. Since I’m so short and he’s so tall, I laughing refer to him as my better two thirds. One of his requests for our wedding was that I stand on a footstool for the kiss, which I did. Our guests didn’t know quite how to react since the rest of the ceremony was proper. We can hear muffled laughter on the videotape. He has a great sense of humor, and I’m glad we were able to make use of it on our big day.

  7. Having a good husband is a wonderful gift from God. What a sweet and romantic story of your first and second meeting with Gwynly. Blessings to you and your husband.

    I had a shadowy sort of first encounter and then a real meeting a week later.

    I’d been divorced almost four years and my spirit was broken and my heart was bitter. I’d been spending each weekend at a state park in southeastern Michigan on a Lake Erie beach, sitting in a lawn chair, reading my Bible in the sunshine. But on this cold, rainy Saturday, I sat inside my car in the parking lot of the state park, praying earnestly. There in my car I surrendered my bad attitude to the Lord.

    At the same time, a stranger sat in the only other vehicle in the parking lot. I stayed in my car, and the stranger remained in his black van. We didn’t meet on that rainy afternoon.

    The next weekend was September 30, the day people in the north abruptly stopped going to beaches. The state park was deserted again except for the man in the black van and me, just like the weekend before, but this Saturday was sunny. I set up my picnic spot on the beach, drank my coffee, and enjoyed my sausage sandwich as the last warm breezes of the year blew through my hair.

    Bill appeared on the hill coming from the parking lot in blue jeans and a sporty hat. He waved to me. We met and went for a walk together along the beach. We talked and I learned that Bill was twenty-one years older than I. We sat down on a bench together facing the water and watched seagulls gather on the sand.

    I decided silently in my mind that I’d not date this man because of his age. As that thought made its way skyward, Bill asked me if I planned to go to church Sunday. I said yes, I would be going to church. He asked if he might accompany me to church. I hesitated only a moment knowing that the Lord had interrupted my plan with His plan. I said yes, of course.

    Bill proposed to me soon after that encounter. We were happily married and well suited for one another. I cherished my years with Bill.

    Near the end of our seventh year, Bill died with cancer. This was a sad time, but not long after, God gave me another wonderful husband, Johannes. We’ve been married fourteen years.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Carol, thank you for sharing the sweet story of how you and Bill met. It sounds like one of those meetings orchestrated by the Lord. I’m sorry you lost Bill so soon, but I’m thankful you had seven wonderful years with him. And now you have your Johannes. Congratulations on your 14 years together.

  8. I like your story, and I love your Welsh last name. I have always wanted to be Welsh, but there’s no hard evidence in my family line. Only Scottish.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Thanks, Rosslyn. I like my last name, too. Sometimes people hear my full name, register only the Gwen, and think that’s my first name. I’ve learned to smile, respond, and wait for an opportunity to set them straight without making a big deal out of it.

      I figure I need to sell a book and become (slightly) famous so people learn how to spell both my names. =) On the upside, thanks to my mom’s clever spelling of Keli and me marrying a Welshman, I have a unique name. I’m the only Keli Gwyn in cyberspace, which made it easy to get my website URL.

  9. T. Anne says:

    Oh that’s SO sweet! My story is a little salty and perhaps I shall email you instead. 😉 Have a great weekend!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      T. Anne, you do know how to hook your readers, woman. First you leave one on your blog to tease all your followers, and now you leave this one on mine. You definitely succeeded in piquing my curiosity. =)

  10. Tamika Eason says:

    Keli that is a beautiful picture of you and hubby!
    My husband and I met at church, he was sitting in the pulpit and spotted me as I walked in the door. After service he sent his mother over to ask me if he could meet me:) Priceless!
    A beginning I will never forget!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Tamika, how sweet that your hubby asked his mother to make a proper introduction. He must be a real gentleman, one who obviously has great taste.

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