Most first dates nowadays are at a bar after having met on Tinder - and you basically spend the whole time talking about your hometown and what you do for work. Cosmopolitan.com spoke with 15 happily married couples who had first dates that were just as mundane (and some not as mundane), except they resulted in a really happy marriage and a great story worth reading.
1. "We had our first date at Olive Garden."
"My husband and I met through the online dating site Plenty of Fish and had our first date at Olive Garden. My husband asked me out first, but requested that I pick the venue. I had no idea when I chose Olive Garden that my cousin Kristine and her husband Rob would be working there, and it actually helped break the ice a bit. My husband also brought me flowers that night, which I thought was very sweet. While our first date may not have been somewhere exotic or super fancy, we are glad that we went somewhere close to our home that we can go back to any time we want to bring a little romance into our lives. In fact, after I came home from being in the ICU due to internal bleeding a couple years ago, my husband helped me get dressed up and took me to Olive Garden for dinner to lift our spirits. We also had our wedding rehearsal luncheon there last summer, which was fun. The manager even went out and bought us a sheet cake and balloons. And most recently, we enjoyed an early first anniversary dinner there last week. The staff were so happy for us." - Kelly, 35
2. "Our first 'date' was in the glamorous fluorescent lighting of the nearest laundromat."
"Our first 'date' was in the glamorous fluorescent lighting of the nearest laundromat. On that romantic occasion, the subject of age came up. I had just turned 32 and Betsy said that she was 24. I thought, 'Shit! She's too young.' However her allure overcame my misgivings. We were married three months later in 1967 and again in 2010. Today, we are happier than ever.â" -Ben, 80
3. "I met my wife at a rock bar, so we decided to meet up at the same place for our first date a week later and then go do something from there."
"I met my wife at a rock bar, so we decided to meet up at the same place for our first date a week later and then go do something from there. She wanted me to plan our night. Because I wanted to get to know her, I wanted to go somewhere we could talk, but a place that had character and an intimate setting. I ruled out the typical first-date places because going to dinner can be awkward, and you can't talk in a quiet movie theater or noisy club. So I settled on the Peppermill Fireside Lounge, which allowed us to sit by a fire on a comfy couch, order a few drinks, and talk in a dim-lit atmosphere. The parade of interesting people there also provided us some humorous conversation pieces. I had a few other places in mind, such as the bizarre setting of Fremont Street, just in case the Peppermill didn't work out. But we ended up talking all night. A couple years later, we went back as a married couple." -James, 47
4. "We watched Tootsie and a song from the movie - Stephen Bishop's 'It Was You' - became our song."
"I was flying back from Des Moines after a college visit, so we kept our plans flexible. It turned out my plane was late and I didn't get home until around 9 p.m. Not wanting to lose the opportunity to go on a date with Paul, we agreed to stay in and watch a movie. Our movie selection was limited as we had to go with whatever we had in the house because closed-captioned movies (I'm deaf) and late-hour video stores weren't common. We watched Tootsie and a song from the movie - Stephen Bishop's "It Was You" - became our song. Whenever we see it on TV, we always smile. Both of us have the song on our playlist. We've now been married for 26 years. " -Meryl, 45
5. "I wondered if I was crazy because I'd invited a complete stranger to my house to take off his clothes, but it was completely innocent."
"We met through a column in the newspaper called 'Meet Your Match' before the Internet existed, so our first date was a blind one. We met halfway, which meant we each had to drive about 15 miles, since he lived about 30 miles from me. We met at an Olive Garden restaurant, as there wasn't much else around that area. He drove the car he'd built himself (we both love cars) and met me at the door with a bouquet of flowers. I was so impressed! And he was so handsome. I'd worn a hot little Liz Claiborne outfit, which he found a little casual, but now he's gotten to know me, he understands better. We talked so long that we finally had to leave because they wanted to close the restaurant, then we went to my house to go swimming. I wondered if I was crazy because I'd invited a complete stranger to my house to take off his clothes, but it was completely innocent. At one point, he said, 'I don't know what to do now.' I thought it was either the best line I'd ever heard, or he was just being authentic. I told him, 'Just be who you are.' I didn't realize at the time we'd end up as a couple. My previous wonderful husband had died, and I just thought I was in lust, not love. We've now been married over 22 years." -Mary, 60
6. "We went to a Chinese restaurant and I had an allergic reaction to MSG."
"We had just a few days earlier met at the apartment building where I had just rented an apartment after college. We went to a Chinese restaurant and I had an allergic reaction to MSG. Having no idea what was happening (it had never happened before), I had to apologize and take her home. I did everything I could to assure her that it was not her, but something going on with myself physically. I apologized profusely and after consulting my doctor, discovered that it was an allergy. She was so relieved to know it wasn't a negative reaction to her. We were married a year and a half later and have had the most beautiful love for 43 years now." -Carl, 66
7. "Our first date was almost 28 years ago at a Portland, Oregon, Winterhawks hockey game."
"Our first date was almost 28 years ago at a Portland, Oregon, Winterhawks hockey game. He planned it. The game was loud and there were bloody fights breaking out every few minutes. He was really into the game and it was hard to talk, but I kept stealing side looks at him, trying to get a measure of the man. Three years later, when we were about to get married, he told me that his parents' first date was also at a hockey game. We're celebrating 25 years of marriage tomorrow. He is my heart and my best friend." -Lisa, 47
8. "I planned a dinner at this swanky restaurant that turned into a nightclub after 10 p.m."
"My wife and I hit it off during my birthday celebration at a bar. She walked in the room, and I had that movie moment where everyone else disappears and there's just her walking towards me, in slow motion. We danced the night away and it was great. After that night, I planned a dinner at this swanky restaurant that turned into a nightclub after 10 p.m. She loves telling the story of me ordering a meal with shrimp that was unpeeled (unbeknownst to me). I hate peeling shrimp - especially on a date. Back then, she laughed as I complained about the shrimp, but now she openly admits she thought I was being a little prissy about it. But it must not have mattered much. We hung around until the restaurant took the tables away and opened up the dance floor, and then we fell in love all night long. We celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this week." -Paul, 42
9. "Our first date was essentially at the local junkyard."
"A little more than 22 years ago, I met my husband in a car accident. It was a snowy, icy winter in Oregon and he had just moved here from California. He slid into the back of my car and broke out one of my taillights. He gave me his number and said he'd fix my car for me, so our first date was essentially at the local junkyard. I contacted him, we set a time and met at the junkyard where we wandered around among the trashed cars looking for a matching tail light for my 1980 Subaru Wagon as we fell in love. We've been married for 15 years and have one 11-year-old son." -Marie, 40
10. "He said he knew when he left that he'd just gone out with the woman he was going to marry."
"He was on the East Coast visiting friends and finishing up his research for his Ph.D., and I was working on Wall Street after college. We were supposed to meet at my apartment around 7 p.m., go have dinner and go dancing at a club downtown, but I got slammed on a new project at work so did not get home until very late. It turns out he had been hanging out with my three roommates, drinking and having fun, so I took a quick shower and off we went. At 4 a.m. we jumped in a cab because I had to be back at work in a few hours and knew I needed to get some sleep. He said he knew when he left that he'd just gone out with the woman he was going to marry. That was 27 years ago and we've been happily ever after." -Paige, 49
11. "We ended up at a local carnival where we ate kartoffelpuffers."
"My now-25-plus-years husband finally asked me out (with some prodding from a few friends) and I had no idea what he had planned for the two of us. At the time, we both were stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, assigned to a local military installation. We ended up at a local carnival where we ate kartoffelpuffers (hash brown pancakes dipped in apple sauce). We still make them today. It takes us back to the very beginning every time I make this simple treat." -Leanne, 48
12. "Our first date was at the age of 23 at the roller-skating rink. I didn't know how to skate, but had so much fun."
"We have known each other since the age of 7, but our first date was at the age of 23 at the roller-skating rink. I didn't know how to skate but had so much fun. He invited me along with my younger brother, and his younger sister and brother, and some other friends came along as well, which took a lot of pressure off the first-date jitters since other people were there, plus our families knew of each other. After that, we all went to dinner. Now we have three sons." -Krystle, 34
13. "He got to take off his shirt, we both got sweaty, and that was where it all started."
"Jim and I have been happily married for over 35 years. Jim picked me up and we ate sandwiches on a seawall looking out at the Atlantic Ocean and as we talked, we realized we were both storytellers. A huge storm had just come through the day before, so we walked along the beach. We found a battered, old wooden boat that had washed up, so Jim suggested that we salvage it. We dragged it up onto the beach and across a salt marsh back to the house where he was renting an apartment. It was all very romantic. He got to take off his shirt, we both got sweaty, and that was where it all started. He and I have been happily married for over 35 years. " -Nikoo, 35
14. "We planned a day at the amusement park with his son and one of my good friends."
"The Fourth of July was coming, and we planned a day at the amusement park with his son and one of my good friends. I found out a few days before the casual, friendly outing that he liked me. Then there was this quandary of whether or not we should still go to the amusement park, but I told him that if we went, it would be an official date and not just hanging out. We went to the amusement park, and his son and my friend spent the day riding all of the rides while he and I sat in a picnic area, stared into each other's eyes, and talked for hours as if they were mere minutes." -Chantay, 38
By Lane Moore
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