Rachel was logging into an online dating profile to delete her account. She had met a string of guys that weren't interested in anything long term and were totally those stereotypical shady dudes. Just before clicking "delete," a unlikely suitor caught her attention.
Dave was divorced and had a kid, two things in which Rachel didn't want to get involved. However, they started a conversation and Dave's sweet personality stuck with her. He was kind and considerate, a gentleman among cads.
The two chatted for a couple of weeks and finally had their first date in early February 2015 at the Blue Moon in Shepherdstown, WV.
"We hit it off instantly and realized we had a lot in common. I was still at Shepherd finishing my second degree, nursing. Dave graduated from Shepherd in 2007. We were involved in many of the same things on campus. He had been a RA and I was a RA at the time. We both were also involved in student ambassadors. We actually had the same supervisor. I remember walking into her office and asking her about him and she told me he was an awesome guy. Additionally, Dave and I were both part of the Greek Community. I was a sister of Pi Beta Phi at WVU and he was a brother of Phi kappa tau at Shepherd."
Because Rachel was so busy, the pair didn't really have time to dress up and go on dates like a typical courtship. "I had clinicals, an internship, and work so he would come over to my apartment and we would just talk and laugh or he would sit with me while I was at work." At that point, the pair confesses they hadn't really decided whether they were officially a couple and kept their budding relationship somewhat quiet.
After it became clear that they both wanted to be in a serious relationship, Dave introduced Rachel to his sweet daughter, Kaylee. While Rachel rejoices now in the close relationship she has with Kaylee, she laughs recalling their first introduction. "When Kaylee met me, she said 'hi,' and kept on playing, like I was nothing exciting!"
About a month later, Rachel was offered her dream job at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN, and was forced to decide if she should stay to pursue her relationship with Dave (and now Kaylee too) or go to Nashville. Dave and Rachel had a heart-to-heart talk about their futures and agreed the relationship had potential for the long-haul. Rachel made the tough decision to stay and called Vanderbilt to turn down the job.
It turned out that the decision was prudent. Dave and Rachel's relationship blossomed and Rachel now cherishes her relationship with Dave's daughter. "I absolutely adore Kaylee and we have the best relationship. She's my little side kick. Our world revolves around her. Being a step mom has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences I never thought I would have."
::: Pass the tissues, amiright? :::
In fact, Kaylee was part of the proposal! Dave reserved the same table where the pair had their first date. After ordering, Dave casually told Rachel that Kaylee had made her a present. She looked down at a frame decorated with stickers and all the trappings of a 4 year old which read, "Rachel, Will You Marry Us?" When she looked up, Dave was on one knee with the most gorgeous, perfect ring. And, as you can guess, Rachel said "yes."