Paula & Richard
Paula thought we were going to meet a couple of weeks earlier than we did, but wires had got crossed somehow. I only found out much later, and felt very guilty; she’d had her hair done and was ready to meet before I realised! I’m very lucky she gave me another chance.
When it came around, I drove all afternoon to get to Preston and prepare for our date. By the time the evening came around, I was nervous with anticipation. We met in a small bar, and Paula seemed to bounce around the corner, full of sparkle and life. It was a great first impression, I thought she was just amazing. By the time I got to the bar to order some drinks my hands were shaking. Paula took pity on me and offered to pay to help cover my embarrassment.
After that start, everything just seemed to click into place: an immediate connection. For me, I’d say it was love at first sight, I fell fast and hard. Paula got chatting to another girl in the bathroom, who was also on a first date. Apparently, she couldn’t believe it was only our first date, we looked so natural together, and it certainly felt like that.
Paula is a fiery redhead (although she was blonde when I first met her). She is spontaneous, and I like to plan. She does the crazy things that I would love to do – like dropping her daughter off for a school trip dressed in a unicorn onesie. She has helped me open up and recapture the self-confident character I was twenty years ago. In return, I think I have pushed her to try more adventurous climbs in the mountains, and experience things she has never tried before. She brings out the best in me, and I in her.
We had a blended family holiday to Tunisia in August 2019, with our four girls. We planned a trip into the Sahara in the middle of the trip, with camel rides, an amphitheatre visit, and views of the beautiful sunrise over the sand dunes. Completely unknown to me, Paula had spoken to all the girls to get their permission and arranged a late-night star-gazing moment for the two of us where she proposed to me. I was totally bowled over and accepted with the biggest smile. All the girls were thrilled I said yes. Paula and I had a surprise meal under the stars with a Haribo engagement ring.
We have both been through difficult times but have come through it with a clear idea of who we are, and what we want from life. We were both very open and honest on our profiles, in our chats and when we first met. That allowed us to trust the connection when we felt it and follow our hearts. It takes bravery to open up, but in doing so, we’ve built the strongest of foundations for ourselves.
I’m still deeply in love with the most amazing woman I have ever met, and I’m so excited about what future adventures we have planned together.