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Spectacular First Dates

Frances and Mark

Sheffield, Yorkshire

Frances: “Mark and I exchanged emails for quite a while before we met up for the first time. Our emails had become so long that I just replied to him saying, 'I think we have lots to talk about so why don't we meet up?'

Our first date was lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manchester. It was lovely because they left us to enjoy our food and let us chat. We really did have so much to talk about and we were there for three hours! We then went out into the snow, which was falling in big fluffy flakes and went around the Christmas markets. We enjoyed some mulled wine and chatted some more, and when the warmth of the wine wore off I walked Mark to the station. We both said how much we had enjoyed the afternoon together and Mark kissed me on the cheek before he left. I was smiling all the way home!

Every date for the next  two months involved snow - a wintery walk in Tatton Park to see the reindeer, battling the weather to go out for a meal and a film, a walk in icy Sheffield Botanic Gardens - it was just so much fun getting to know each other. After the third date we both had a very positive feeling about where things were going, though neither of us said so! Two months later I introduced Mark to my sister and brother-in-law and they all got on so well. My sister really liked Mark and could see how happy I was. It meant a lot to me that Mark felt just as comfortable with them as they did with him. In the spring I introduced him to my parents and shortly after I met his parents, then in the autumn we introduced our parents to each other over a pub lunch. It was all very natural.

We saw each other every Sunday for the first couple of months and after that spent our weekends together. We took it in turns to travel to Manchester or Sheffield until a year later when Mark was offered a job in Manchester, which I saw as a big commitment to me, and then we were able to spend the weekdays together too. We got closer and were inseparable.

It was a complete surprise when Mark proposed. He had kept it a secret and I didn’t suspect a thing. He had forwarded me an email from his work inviting us to an awards ceremony in Edinburgh with his new boss and his wife. It was really clever of him for several reasons. Firstly, I was nervous about meeting his boss, which in turn hid his nerves. Secondly, the dress code was black tie so I was appropriately dressed for the occasion and thirdly Edinburgh was my University city so he knew I would want to go.

We were going to meet his boss at the railway station before going on to the venue. When we got there Mark took me to the Waverley Steps, the place where my dear grandparents first met, fell in love and later got engaged. Mark said the most wonderful things before dropping to one knee and proposing to me! He chose his grandfather's birthday as the day to propose, so that both our sets of grandparents were a part of our proposal, something very important to us. The stars were out, bagpipes were playing and it was just so amazing! He even had a beautiful ring in the right size! I was almost speechless, though managed to say yes.

Mark whisked me off to a restaurant I had always wanted to go to, which he would have had to have booked months in advance. They had champagne ready for us and we had an incredible meal by candlelight. The next day Mark had arranged a spa day for us and I then took him out for an evening meal as a thank you for everything he’d done. He even arranged for my parents to meet us at the station when we got back to Manchester for a family celebration. He thought of everything!

We think it is great that eHarmony can help people find their soul mate. We are so right for each other and are convinced we were meant to be. Neither of us had met up with any other eHarmony matches, so it was love at first site! We are now happily enjoying planning our future together and really do feel so lucky to have found each other.”

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