With love in the air this month we asked our followers to share their stories on how they met their significant other. But first...... here is a beautiful pregnant love story captured on film (2 minute video)
In the light of creating a wonderful experience for the gorgeous mama to be, Alana and her partner Chris and a great team collaborated to embrace Alana's romantic and flirty essence with a real kiwi flair. All gathered with one mission - celebrate life & love for Valentines Day! Leader in her field and a celebrity favourite L'Oreal Paris NZ Make-up Director's Lisa Matson dished up all the makeup tips one could ever need and looked after Alana's flawless look, incredible video work by Jolyon Ludbroock and New Zealand loved family photographer Angela Scott were always capturing these unforgettable moments at the stunning Murawai beach in Auckland, New Zealand and made with their professional - yet artistic work a once in a lifetime experience for all of us!
Here is a cute, heart felt story from Helen Carrigan
The Dating Disaster that Led to True Love
As I sit in the ultrasound department with my fiance, James, waiting for my 20 week pregnancy scan I can't quite believe how far we've come. After my first date with James if someone had told me that this is the man who would father my child I think I might have laughed in their face. You see we didn't quite hit it off to begin with and it definitely wasn't a case of love at first sight. Yet here we are, engaged and waiting anxiously to find out if we will be welcoming a bouncing baby boy or a gorgeous little girl into the world. Here's how it all unfolded.
I never believed that I'd find love through an online dating website. I guess I had the usual preconceptions about them but as a single, thirty-something year old I was running out of options! I work from home as a freelance writer so meeting guys at work wasn't possible and with all my friends settling down with families, the opportunities to meet new people in social settings were few and far between. So I signed up and James and I began exchanging messages after a few weeks. Like me he was in his thirties and worked in publishing so we already had a few things in common. He was sweet and funny in his correspondence but his messages were irregular – sometimes it would be days or even weeks before I'd get a reply so although I liked him I wasn't quite sure how interested he really was. Then one day he suggested meeting for a drink and although I was nervous and still unsure of his intentions I agreed.
The first date
When the evening arrived I was completely overwhelmed with anxiety, anticipation and excitement. I felt like I was back in high school as my stomach churned while I got ready, slipping into the new dress and heels I'd bought and carefully styling my hair into an elegant up-do. We'd agreed to meet at a beautiful French restaurant yet when I arrived I was waiting for over half an hour for James to turn up. When he did eventually arrive he was flustered and clearly preoccupied. He mumbled a half hearted apology about being late and barely looked at me before sticking his head into the menu. No matter, I thought, he's probably nervous like me.
I tried to ignite the conversation but he gave me nothing but short, disengaged answers – he was nothing like the chatty, funny man I'd spoken to online and what's more, he kept looking at his phone. To me this is the height of bad manners and I was quickly starting to lose patience. We ordered quickly and as the wine began flowing he did seem to perk up a little. He had a lovely smile and kind, blue eyes. I couldn't lie, I was attracted to him but the rough start had put me on edge. Then during the main course James received a call. He dashed off to the toilets to take it and when he came back he told me hurriedly that he had to go. As he threw his coat on and rushed out of the door I barely had time to ask if everything was OK before realising that he'd not even left any money for the meal! I was embarrassed and bitterly disappointed. After all of the effort I'd made my first dating experience had been an unmitigated disaster with a man who was clearly more interested in his phone and had practically ran out of the building leaving me to pay! I quickly paid the bill and left with tears in my eyes and my confidence in tatters.
After the date I checked my dating app everyday convinced James would have messaged me to explain. The message never came. I accepted that he just wasn't into me and although I was still hurt about the way he treated me, I put it down to experience and moved on. Then a month or so later the message pinged into my inbox. It was long and very apologetic. James asked to meet me again so he could explain his behaviour and although my first reaction was to delete the message and forget all about him (once bitten twice shy) I was weirdly intrigued about what he had to say. So I agreed and this time we met one Sunday afternoon in a local park.
James was like a different person. Relaxed and full of apologies he explained that his mother was in a care home and in the early stages of dementia. He had been late because he'd been visiting her and was convinced something wasn't right. Hours later he received a call from the care home telling him she'd been rushed to hospital after having a stroke. For a while it had been touch and go if she would pull through and James had been staying in a nearby hotel to be close to her. He lost his father years before and as an only child his life revolved around caring for his mother and working long hours. Thankfully she was recovering now but this all put my annoyance into perspective and after losing my father a few years ago to dementia I could totally understand his pain. I asked him why he hadn't cancelled the date and, ironically, he said it was because he didn't want me to think he wasn't interested. He was mortified about leaving me with the bill and couldn't apologise enough. He asked if I would consider going on another date with him so he could make it up to me. Smiling, I said I could be persuaded but only if he paid upfront this time.
I guess you could say the rest is history. I will never quite forget the moment I was abandoned in that French restaurant, alone and with a hefty bill to pay. I probably won't let James forget it either. But I'm so pleased I gave him another chance because in the end the way he cared for his mother made me love him even more. He is a brilliant son and I know he will make a brilliant father too.
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