On February 3rd, 2018, I went on a first date with a handsome, hilarious, and charming man. I knew this man was unlike anyone I have ever met before and this is the story of us.
But first, let me back it up a couple of weeks before that date with the help of the said handsome man…
How We Met…
Kellie: Max and I met on Tinder. I remember swiping right on him when I saw his profile and I knew instantly that he was a good guy. He just had that aura, you know? I didn’t get the matching notification across my screen when I swiped right. So, I was a little bummed about that. But a few days later, I finally did. As dorky and cliche as it sounds, I remember exactly was I was doing. I got home from work, ate dinner, I was getting ready for the next day and about to go to bed when I checked the app because I didn’t have notifications on for it. And he sent me a message. He told me I was cute. I told him he was cute. And we never stopped talking after that.
Max: Kellie and I met the way everyone seems to meet these days, on Tinder. I liked her genuine smile, and how happy she looked in all of her profile pictures. That made it easy to swipe right.
The First Thing We Noticed
Kellie: I first noticed his smile and his hair. He was really handsome.
Max: The first thing that I noticed about Kellie was her smile. It seemed so full of happiness and love. She just looked so beautiful.
Our First Impressions
Kellie: My first impression of Max was that he was sweet and hilarious. Honestly, no one has made me laugh as hard as he has. He brought out the snort in my laugh which I never knew I did. He treated me like no one ever has before – in a great way.
Max: My first impression of Kellie was that she seemed like a genuine person, who cared a lot about her family, and after being around her family I can tell why. She just had that something that caught my eye and thought to myself “Wow”.
Our First Date
Kellie: Our first date was to Disney on Ice. After I finally made the move to ask him out. We live farther apart from each other than planned so we met in the middle, at my brother’s fiance’s house. I didn’t feel like I was going to puke beforehand which always happened before I went on dates. I felt content and excited. However, I did get a little nervous when he finally arrived at the house, but after the initial and inevitable awkward hello to each other…and my brother, we were off.
He drove us into Chicago because the show was at the United Center. Again there was some inevitable awkward quiet, but not for long. I don’t remember what we talked about but we just kept talking. And it was nice. I never felt that comfortable that quickly with someone. And I told him that that night, I’m pretty sure. I clearly wasn’t giving off my shy vibe because he seemed surprised when I said I’m shy. Which was also unusual for me, but in a good way.
We got to the show and I had never been to the United Center before so I literally had no clue where I was going. Luckily for me then and now, he seems to always know where we’re going. So, he took the lead. He said the stairs would be quicker so we bypassed the escalator. It seemed sketchy for about 10 seconds because there was no one else in the stairway and he got us all turned around. But his nervous laugh made me know that I was safe. I was also promptly embarrassed by how winded I was because of one flight of stairs. Like had to stop because I couldn’t breathe winded. On our first date. Yikes. But he joined me in my laugh and held my arm as we finished our marathon of stairs.
Once we got to our seats, it was pretty much smooth sailing…
I enjoyed the show but I would have preferred if they gave Cinderella more than 4 minutes but whatever. Max was singing along which was really cute. He wanted me to sing along, but I don’t really sing in front of people so I took a hard pass. But the Tangled segment was amazing and I still think about it. It was that good. Just like the movie.
When the show ended, I didn’t really know what we were going to do next. As we walked out of the arena, it was snowing. The perfect snow, too. Not too heavy and not too light. It was magical. That’s a perfect way to describe that night. Magical. There was and is something magic between us. Maybe that’s love. Maybe love is magic. But once we shuffled through the snow to the car, I tried to help him clean off his car. He told me no because he wanted me warm in the car.
I was starving by the time the snow was cleared off the car…
Everything was pretty much closed by this time, so we ended going to McDonald’s. That was the first night he ordered for me and the start of him always ordering for me. After we got our food, we drove by the Planetarium. We stayed there for about 5 minutes before we had to go so he could bring me back home on time.
The whole car ride home we just talked about everything. From school to dumb things we did with our friends to little anecdotes about our life. I even got that comfortable where I think I put my head on his shoulder as he was driving. When we got back to my brother’s fiance’s house we sat in the car and kept talking. I always got nervous at the end of dates because I never know if they’re going to kiss me and I never really want them to. But I wanted him to kiss me. I was a little nervous and I could tell he was too because we took quite some time before. He finally leaned in and kissed me. And honestly, I didn’t want to kiss anyone else after that night.
I’m a firm believer in when you know you know. I knew. I kept that thought quiet for a while, but I always knew.
“And I thought I loved you then…”
Max: Our first date was a little different than the typical one. Instead of picking her up from her own house, I had to pick Kellie up from her brother’s girlfriend’s (now Fiance) house. Which was about halfway between the two of us, but added an extra amount of time to get to the final destination of Disney on Ice at the United Center. I was nervous and excited all at once, and pulling up to the house was pretty nerve-wracking. I met her and her brother at the same time, which was a little out of the ordinary, but here we are.
So Kellie got into the car, and at first, we were both a little quiet, but after probably 5-10 minutes, we start talking, and that lasted the entire way down to the city, which was probably about 45 minutes. Getting into the arena, (where I had been before) I felt confident in finding the seats without any help and just using the signs that were up above the different aisles. Knowing that our seats were up on the third level, I led Kellie toward the stairs, (which in hindsight was a little sketchy, and Kellie will tell you the same) where we made our way toward the third level. I had led us to the opposite corner of the arena where our seats actually were, so we inadvertently had a little bit of a workout.
After finally finding our seats, we settled in and waited for the show to start by just talking about different things. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but I do remember some of it was the typical first date things like favorite color and other things like that. I know that a little after the show started I went to put my arm around Kellie, only to be stopped by the small child seated behind us with his feet up on her seat. So, me being the gentleman I am, slowly slid the small child’s feet off of her seat with my arm, and my arm made it around her.
The show was pretty entertaining for me, not sure for Kellie, I was singing almost the entire time…
She was pretty upset by the lack of Cinderella ice time, and the loooong drawn out Moana part (which at the time she hadn’t seen). The show ended, and we headed out into the now snowy night, which was funny to me because the main theme of the show had to do with “Frozen”. The car was partially covered in snow, which I started wiping off. Kellie attempted to help, but I told her to just stay warm in the car.
After clearing the car, I had originally planned to take her to a restaurant in Little Italy, but unfortunately, it was already closed. So we went to McDonald’s instead. She had me order for her, which I now do all the time, and know almost exactly what she wants. After we went to McDonald’s, I wanted to take her to the Museum Campus near the Adler Planetarium, and show her the view of the skyline from there, but I was worried, because of the snow blocking the skyline, and not living up to the hype I had put on it. It was exactly what I worried, and was almost completely blocked by the falling flakes. By this time, it was getting late, and time to head back to drop her off. The whole ride back we just talked.
When we got back, I was hesitant to make a move and try to kiss her, but I figured that since we had a nice time, it couldn’t hurt to try. And that was our first kiss. I don’t think that I will ever forget that first date. All of the different events leading to Disney on Ice, and the timing of the snow and McDonald’s, it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but I wouldn’t want to change any of it.
The “L” Word
Kellie: I may have been the one to ask him on a date first, but he was the first to say I love you. Max said he loved me on St. Patrick’s Day 2018 after spending the day with my family. He met my grandma for the first time this day. She loved him just as quickly as I did. We sat and watched tv on the couch and talked once everyone was gone.
We were looking at each other and he got quiet for a minute. I could tell he was going to say something. But I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the “L” word. So, I let the quiet sit for a moment. And he said it. He told me he loved me. I accidentally made him sweat for a second before I said it back. I wanted to be in that moment and really hear it.
Max: The first time that I said I love you to Kellie was on St. Patrick’s Day at her house. It was about 2.5 months into the relationship, and I had teased at saying it a few times, using bitmojis and other different things like that but not saying it to her directly. But something in my head that day told me to say “I Love You”. After saying it she kind of hesitated before saying it back, but she finally did, after what seemed like days.
Some of Our Favorite Memories…
Kellie: Concerts are some of our favorite things to do. I’ve always been made of fun of for loving country music and I still am occasionally but it doesn’t bother me as much now. But Max. He was different. 2 weeks after our first date he said he would drive with me and go to the Kelsea Ballerini concert with me because I didn’t have anyone to go with. He never listened to country but he memorized all of that women’s songs and sang along that night. My heart? Stolen and melted. I think I’ve successfully turned him into a country fan if I do say so myself.
There are so many things that are my favorite – little or big – that we have done together that it’s impossible to name them all. But I’ll mention another moment. In May, after my cousin made her first holy communion that we went to, Max and I went for ice cream that night. When we came home, we sat outside by my car talking and listening to music.
After a while, I made him dance with me on the driveway. We danced to a few songs, but one that I vividly remember is H.O.L.Y by Florida Georgia Line. As the music played we were just swaying slowly back and forth and I had my head on his chest. The lyrics always hit something in me in this song that made me tear up. I started crying because that song has never felt more real than it has since I’ve known Max.
“I’m so unapologetically in love. No matter where it takes me even if it breaks me, I’m unapologetically all in…”
Max: Some of my favorite memories from spending time with Kellie are the different concerts that we have gone to. Some have been close, and others over an hour and a half away. The first one we went to was one of two that we’ve been to in Milwaukee, which was Kelsea Ballerini and Walker Hayes. Kellie is a huge fan of Kelsea and needed someone to go with, so I volunteered to drive and go with her. Keep in mind that up until about a week before the show, I had never listened to any of her songs, or any country for that matter. But by the time the show started, I had almost every song memorized, and I’m pretty sure that I impressed Kellie a lot that day.
In addition to that concert, we have seen Taylor Swift (a very emotionally draining time for Kellie), my favorite band The Lonely Biscuits (multiple times), Chris Lane, Chase Rice, and Brothers Osborne all in one night at Taste of Joliet (highly recommend), and finally, we saw Foster the People at Summerfest in Milwaukee. I don’t see an end to the concert list, with both of us planning different ways to see our favorites.
Favorite Thing(s) about Each Other
Kellie: Is saying just about everything is my favorite thing about him too gross? I love that he can make me laugh no matter what. He can make me laugh when I don’t want to when I shouldn’t laugh, when I’m mad, when I’m mad at him, or when I’m sad. He can always make me laugh and I love that about him.
I also love it when holds my hand all the time. He holds it in the car, when we’re walking, or when we’re just laying down. My love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time – all tied together. So, it always makes me feel extra loved when he does this.
And I really love it when he talks about things he loves and his passionate about. Even if I don’t always know what he’s talking about, it’s endearing to listen to and watch.
Max: My favorite thing about Kellie is her laugh and sense of humor. Every time that she laughs, I can’t help but laugh too. It’s just one of those laughs that’s contagious. She also laughs at all of her own jokes which is funny in itself.
Our Weird Habits
Kellie: Sometimes he makes a concentration face that looks really grumpy when he’s playing video games. Which that’s funny to watch.
Max: See above, laughs at her own jokes.
Something That We’re Good At
Kellie: He makes me feel loved and safe. So, I’d say he’s great at that. He’s really good at golf, computer-related things, playing guitar and drums, and he has random bits of information on all different types of things. He’s an extremely talented and intelligent man that I wish more people would recognize and appreciate.
Max: Kellie is great at communicating, and I should probably take some notes with regards to that. She is also good at making me feel special and keeping me focused on certain things. I might not be able to pay attention the best all the time, but she does her best to keep me paying attention.
…and Not So Great At
Kellie: It’s probably a guy thing but he can’t have the tv on in the background and have a conversation. Most of the time. He does pay attention sometimes if the tv is on, I’ll give him that. But honestly, there’s not a lot he can’t do. If that’s my only “complaint”, I’m definitely one lucky woman.
Max: Kellie is not great at being not great at being a great girlfriend. (yes it’s supposed to be that confusing). She is an amazing woman, that I love so much, and to be honest she is pretty great at everything. She just has a slight obsession with The Bachelor that can get a little heated at times.
And that is the story of us
This post has taken about 3 different forms before it turned into this. I wanted people to get to know the man behind the camera of my pictures and the man that is next to me in the other half of my photos that I post. I hope you guys liked this style of post and hearing his perspective of it.
This was fun for me because I love talking about our love. And I learned about the kid that prevented Max from putting his arm around me on the first date. I didn’t know that then but I laughed when he sent it to me. I also cried writing this because I love him that much and I felt his love through his writing. Sometimes I’m too sentimental for my own good but I’m also so happy that I am this way.
Happy 1 year, babe. I can’t wait for more years with you.
If you have a love story of your own, tell me it in the comments! I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories.
The Story of Us looks a lot like a tragedy now…
Not all fairytales have magical endings and unfortunately, we broke up in August 2019. I’ll always have love and respect for this man and how he was the very first person to show me what love was like and make me feel special, valued, and loved – even if for just a moment in my life. It’s been hard having to go our separate ways, like very hard. I still wish him all the very best in life in whatever direction he decides to go. He’s a good guy – I guess we just weren’t meant to last.