Finding Love in a Pandemic

I know some of you guys have been waiting a while for me to write this post and I’ve been really excited to share it with you.

For a second I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to- I missed renewing my blog domain and someone took it- so let’s just say I’m really happy to pull up the back end of my blog and share mine and Keith’s story with you now. 🙂

(Our first official photo together)

2020 has been a trying year as it has for all of us. I have struggled to be a full time mom and account manager at KraftHeinz with work reaching a new level of chaos since March.

But that’s only part of this year and I’m looking at it as the smaller part. 😊

In 2018 I went through a painful split with Juliana’s dad. It wasn’t my choice and I had a hard time processing and moving on. When I first thought I was ready to date, I wasn’t quite ready yet. For a while I questioned whether the right guy was out there for me. But sometime last Fall I worked on changing my mindset and was finally able to lose that fear. I knew what I had to offer and that I was ready.

When I started to date I was looking for him…THE guy, my forever. I knew who I was and what I wanted and I knew I was ready.

So I did what all of us do…drumroll…I downloaded dating apps of course! 😉

I looked to find ones that were meant for meaningful relationships. They brought me lots of dates and the opportunity to meet all kinds of people, but the longer I tried the more I questioned the premise. One night I started looking up the reason people use dating apps (even the serious ones). I read the #1 reason is entertainment and #2 is curiosity. The more I started to think about it, the more I felt the premise wasn’t right for me and what I wanted.

(Juliana’s birthday party last month at Keith’s house)

I started thinking back more to a WSJ article my dad sent me (by the way Dad, if you’re reading this thank you so much, I love you) It was an article that talked about how matchmakers were emerging as an antidote to the agony of online dating. Finally one night I started looking into it. I decided to go for it and went with a company called It’s Just Lunch, I think a lot of you have probably heard about it.

I had the initial call and told my matchmaker Mike the qualities I was looking for. I wanted a partner that was kind, loving, driven, smart, supportive, good with kids and Christian among other things. I also wanted someone that wanted to stay in Hawaii long term. I think the thing with dating apps is there was no way to search or ‘filter’ for most of those qualities. Mike told me it might take a few weeks, just depending on how long it took to find someone that had what I was looking for.

Two weeks later I got an email with my first match. It was Keith!

I really liked what Mike shared about Keith from the call he had with him and said yes to connecting.

Because of the pandemic, Mike set up a Zoom call rather than an in person lunch (the time this year I was most thankful for Zoom ha!)

We had a good conversation, I remember he was easy to talk to and it went by too fast. At that point in June, Hawaii was running 4-5 days in a row with no new covid cases, so it was a pretty easy time to meet in person.

Two days later we had our first date at the beach. Keith was easy to talk to and there was a real connection. We didn’t kiss but I could tell there was chemistry. I told myself not to get too excited too early though- it was a great first date but I had been on many of those before.

Five days later we caught up again and spent the whole day at the beach. We didn’t want it to come to an end, so we had dinner. It was that day I could tell this was going somewhere. Keith was a good listener, smart, thoughtful, family oriented, accomplished and hard working. And the chemistry was really strong.

(Our first time surfing together at Castles, now one of our favorite breaks for taking Juliana)

When I was driving Juliana back from swim the next day it hit me this guy is exactly who I’m looking for, he’s everything I ever wanted. Then my next thought, why dare I believe it will work out when every relationship til now eventually came to an end? I started to cry because it was so clear to me Keith was who I wanted, but I was so scared of losing him, that something this good couldn’t be true.

It’s funny but Keith later told me he felt the same way. A few days after our third date, he called me one night and told me how much he cared about me and how he felt about me. It was really sweet and somehow made me feel so much more secure and open with him.

Things moved pretty quickly by our fourth/fifth date and not too long after we became pretty much inseparable. It felt right. I did have this fear though that moving too quickly could ruin the relationship.

I think once you hit your 30s you’re more fearful something could go wrong or you could do something to mess things up. I thought for a little bit, what if we ruin this by taking it too fast? What I learned though, is that the speed isn’t going to make the right person the wrong person or vice versa. If it’s ultimately the right person for you, going too fast or too slow isn’t going to change that.

Having brunch at ‘the waffle place’ as Juliana calls it (even though there aren’t any waffles on the menu 😉 )

I think we knew and so things went fast. Keith met Juliana early on, which was new for me but felt very natural and he was comfortable with her from the beginning. She liked him from the start and it’s been beautiful to see their relationship develop over the last several months (I’ll share more about this a little later 😊). Pretty quickly our dynamic shifted from a couple to a family dynamic.

(Trolls II dance party before surfing!)

The last five months have been a special time as Keith and I have grown together and become a family of three with Juliana.

(Assembling her new bike at Keith’s house in Mililani)

It’s been a big change, but a really wonderful one. I couldn’t ask for a better partner. It’s easy, we are compatible and on the same page about life. I love him so much and I can fully be myself and so can he.

And you know what’s crazy- he takes out the trash without me asking.

(At the end of a three day weekend…we surfed three days in a row 🙂 )

I just had to share that lol. If you are single, don’t doubt he’s out there for you too. Don’t stop believing. In fact, I think you have to believe he is to find him. One of the things that helped a lot was keeping myself open as I got to know Keith. It’s easy to be guarded when you’ve been through pain and heartache but I think you have to consciously let it down when you meet someone who deserves that from you.

2020 showed me life is more unpredictable than I thought, but it also taught me how much more beautiful it can be with the right person— even in the middle of a pandemic. <3

Q&A from Instagram Stories

I did a question poll on my Instagram stories last week to see what questions you had about me and Keith. Here’s what you guys asked!

What does Keith do for work? He is an elementary school counselor at one of the elementary schools here and has his masters in counseling. He counsels kindergarten and first grade students.

How did we meet? On a matchmaking service call It’s Just Lunch!

Where is Keith from? He is from Mililani, Hawaii. He was born and raised there, then did college/graduate school in California and here in Honolulu.

What is it like with Juliana’s biological dad now that you are with Keith? What is his relationship with Keith? Overall things have been good. Ridge (Juliana’s dad) recently got married so the dynamic has shifted from two people who are invested in Juliana to four. Ridge Facetimes Juliana every week so he has gotten the chance to connect with Keith before or after some of the calls. He can tell Keith loves Juliana and wants the best for her which he really appreciates, but I think it has also been difficult in a sense to accept there is another male role model in Juliana’s life. It helped that Ridge began a serious relationship not too long before I met Keith so there were adjustments on both sides. Juliana is going to spend two weeks with Ridge and his wife next month which we are all excited about.

I think the family framework for a blended family varies family to family. For us, Juliana does see Keith as a father figure and he is my partner in raising her. Together the three of us make family. But there is also another family Juliana will be spending time with. This is what works and feels right for us.

What has it been like dating Keith these last 5 months vs. being single in Hawaii? Before I met Keith, I was happy with where I was in my life and with my decision to move back to Hawaii. I was fortunate that despite the stress of covid and additional demands from work and educating Juliana at home, I had a career I was passionate about and a role I really love as customer category manager at KraftHeinz.

Since I met Keith life has gotten even better. I feel more secure, safer in a way (it’s hard to explain) and I am even sleeping better at night. I think it’s knowing that I’m not alone, that Keith and I are a team and I will always be there for him and him for me. I didn’t realize how much stronger it’s possible to be when you are together with someone who is the right one for you. Without Keith, I think the pandemic would have felt much more lonely and isolating.

Something I didn’t anticipate that’s been really fun is Keith got me into surfing. It’s something he loves and I discovered I really like too. It’s hard to explain the feeling when you finally catch a wave that takes you all the way to shore! 😊

What’s Next? You guys really like to get to the meat of things. 😉 Keith and I would like to have in some order a house, a wedding, and a baby. I kind of did it backwards to this point (I had a baby, bought a house and then met Keith) and I think that is why the order doesn’t matter as much now. Keith owns a house in Mililani and I have the condo in Honolulu, but at some point we will sell one and rent the other one out and purchase a larger home. Keith and I really like the idea of new construction and being able to pick/customize aspects of the house so we will probably go that route.

It’s hard to say exactly what the future holds but we want to raise a family in Hawaii and see the kids grow up here. And that’s something I’ll forever and ever be thankful for. <3

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2 Comments

  1. November 16, 2020 / 7:11 am

    Awwwww loved reading this post and so awesome to see you so happy!!! You deserve it!

    • Terra
      Author
      November 16, 2020 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you so much Erica!!

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