Kelly and Matthew

Where to Propose in Freedom Park (Charlotte, NC)

How We Met

Kelly: Matthew and I met on the dating app, Hinge back in January 2017. He had “liked” one of my pictures and I noticed he worked at one of the hospitals that I called on in my medical device sales role. I immediately messaged him to see which department he was in.

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Our conversation started on a Wednesday and by Friday he had called and asked if I was free that evening and to see if I wanted to meet up for a drink. I had friends in town visiting from Atlanta so, I had to politely decline. I was at dinner that evening with 3 other couples, telling the girls about him and how I couldn’t wait to meet him. With a little convincing from my friends (and some liquid courage), I decided to text him and ask him to meet up with us. Within seconds, he replied “On my way.” As our group walked from the restaurant to the bar, I could feel the nerves starting to overtake me but when Matt walked in to the bar, this intense calm came over me. My eyes were focused on this beautiful human being in front of me and I was just drawn to him. I knew in that moment that this guy could be game changer.

We stayed out until 3 in the morning, talking as if we have known each other forever. After many drinks, smiles and laughs, we parted ways. Less than a week later we had our first “official” date and in the middle of it, I realized this was going to be the last first date I will ever go on. I then texted my best friend and told her, “I think this is my guy”. We have been inseparable ever since. By the end of spring we were madly in love and by early fall, we had moved in together.

Matt: How does something transform into the best thing that has ever happened to you, simply from liking a picture? That’s a question I have asked myself too many times and have always come back to the same answer: it was fate!

We first started talking on a dating app called Hinge. I had been on it for a couple of months with no luck of finding anything close to what I would call a relationship. So, there I was, looking through the pictures of the women that were in the proximity of me that day, and there she was. This radiant smile that just seemed to draw me in and I instantly liked the first picture that I saw and hoped that she would respond. Later that day, I received a message from her telling me that I worked at one of the places that she called on for her job.

After a little bit of conversing on the app about where we were from, little jokes about pizza and tacos, I finally got her number to ask her out for a drink. Me trying to seem aloof and not too eager (because that’s what they say you need to do), I called her on a Friday after work and asked if she had any plans that evening and would like to meet for a drink. Naturally, because it was last minute and a Friday night, she had already had plans with some friends that were in town. I went out with a couple of my buddies to a local brewery to have a few drinks with them. About 3 craft beers in, I suddenly get a text from her asking if I was interested in meeting her and her friends at another bar for a drink. Without a hesitation, I paid my tab, said later to my friends, and hopped in an Uber to go meet her. From there, everything just flowed. I’m not sure if was the liquid courage or the excitement of what was happening but meeting her and her friends never felt awkward or uninviting. I mean, how often do you just hang out with some people that you’ve met for the first time until 3 in the morning?

We went out that very next Thursday and nothing seemed to have changed from the first night we met. Everything about it was easy in the best way possible. The conversation flowed effortlessly from life goals, to what our family’s were like, to embarrassing stories about our youth. I knew from then, that this was going to be something amazing!

How He Asked

Kelly: Matt and I had been talking about getting engaged and married for months now and honestly, I was wondering what the heck he was waiting for! Every holiday, every trip, every special night out, I would think “maybe this is it” but it never was. Matt knew how hard I would be to surprise so he took his time and I must say, it was so worth it because I was caught completely off guard!! It was June 2, 2018 and Matt and I decided that we were going to go to the park that Saturday to lay in our hammocks and relax after helping his sister move in to her new apartment. We frequent the park and are constantly throwing up our hammocks, so I didn’t think anything of it. While we were laying there, Matt asked where I wanted our next adventure to be and a conversation about places we wanted to travel to stemmed from there. He told me he had been looking at a few places at work and took some notes that he thought he still had in his backpack. He then pulls out a few maps of different cities and notes on local attractions, places to eat, etc. I decide that we should close our eyes and pick one and that it will be our next trip…we landed on Austin, TX and as I am reading about it he is looking through the pile and goes “Oh crap, I forgot one. Hang on”. He then pulls out a map and hands it me. It is a map of North Carolina with a ring drawn around Charlotte…before I could even say anything, he was on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him.

Matt: Flash forward a little over a year, and we had moved in together, taken some amazing trips and explored a little, and had fallen deeply in love with one another. How do you surprise someone who you’ve talked about marriage with? The answer: you stall as long as you can (which believe me, seemed impossible). She had no clue that a simple request to go the park and lay in a hammock, would turn into something spectacular. We are always talking about what our next adventure is going to be, so I printed out a bunch of maps of places we had talked about going to and some that were new to the conversation. So, when I pulled these maps out of the backpack I had for our waters and blanket, she didn’t think anything of it. She looks through these maps, thinking of how great our next adventure is going to be and where we’ll get to travel next. Me, I can only think of the one that’s lingering in the other pocket of that backpack. We shuffle the maps around and blindly draw out where our next place of adventure will be, and we choose Austin, Texas. Suddenly, I realize that I had forgotten one of the maps to put in there. I get out of the hammock, pull out the last map, and hand it to her. She gazes at it a little confused because the map that I had just handed her was a map of Charlotte. How can we adventure in a place that we live? The answer was the engagement ring that I had drawn around the city….the best adventure we could ever take together!

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