Feb 13, 2024 - News

Love in the Bay: A sad girl finds love

A selfie of a man and woman smiling in a green field beside a photo of the same couple kissing while the woman holds up a sparkler.

A couple of Winston's picks for his favorite photos of us. Photos: Kathryn Varn/Axios

The beginning was unremarkable. Another guy from a dating app, another first date. I tied my sneakers and posted on Instagram, "Still out here tryin!"

Flashback: I'd been trying for a while. Years. My dating woes had become part of my personality. I made playlists full of sad girl music and texted my mom stuff like, "What if it doesn't happen for me?"

And so, with the baggage of a scorned woman, I walked into Black Crow Grand Central that January afternoon and met Winston for the first time.

  • I was immediately drawn to his easy smile and thrifted jacket — a man with style!
  • First we were buzzing from the coffee, and then from the conversation that took us all the way to dinner, then a kiss by my car. I smiled all the way home.

Yes, but: Determined not to pin all my hopes on one person, as I'd done so many times in the past, I stayed on the apps, dating around, trying to be casual, trying to be chill, trying to protect myself.

Friends ask me now, a year into our relationship, if there was a moment that changed things for me.

  • Maybe it was that journal entry: "I feel safe with him; it feels easy."
  • Maybe it was the care package he left on my patio after a reporting trip to cover an execution, with chocolate cake and a note that made me feel seen.
  • Maybe it was the trip to New Orleans, me stuck in the weeds of travel anxiety, him cutting through the noise with his first, "I love you." (And yes, I did say it back.)

But really, I don't think there was a moment. It's more of a series of moments, a pattern that's still playing out today as we wake up and choose each other, again and again, baggage be damned.

Editor's note: This story is part of Axios' new feature, Love in the Bay, which spotlights love stories that unfolded in our region.

  • If you found love here and you'd like to see your story featured, email [email protected].

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