Some people have the gift of romance. They know exactly how to blow their partner away with a beautiful date. Contents edited for clarity.
One Good Apple
“I lived in Korea as an English teacher. I didn’t reside in the ultra-modern, international city of Seoul, but in Daegu; the third-largest city in South Korea located at the bottom of the peninsula.
The foreigner community was small; mostly consisting of a few other English teachers and military men that stayed on the United States base.
Several weeks into my stay there, I decided to give dating a shot. But I couldn’t just go out to a bar and meet someone, seeing as there were already so few people to meet. Nor was dating a Korean man an option. They were too intimidated by Western women to even think of flirting with me. Alas, my options were limited.
As any millennial would do in this situation, I took to Bumble. I hopped on the dating app and started swiping through a plethora of Navy men; often stating in their profile that they had a short time in Korea but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have a good time.
But then a guy caught my eye. He was tall, blonde, and French. Hello, I thought. This was quite the rarity in Korea.
I instantly messaged him and we got to talking. His name was George, and I could tell from the get-go that he definitely wasn’t a native English speaker. But, having the patience of an English teacher, I really didn’t care.
We planned our first date to an ancient village called Gyeongju.
To get to Gyeongju, you have to take a bus one hour east of Daegu. George and I planned to meet up at the station to catch a bus.
I got off the subway to walk up to the bus station. The moment I turned the corner and first locked eyes with George in person, I tripped— hard. George was a great guy, though, because I was mortified and he said absolutely nothing of the incident.
George was, in fact, cuter in person; his smile gleamed and he seemed very happy, go-lucky. His English was also better than expected, quite a nice relief. We hopped on our bus to Gyeongju and began the most interesting first date I’ve ever been on.
The village was sprawling and magical. We walked through rice fields and passed by elaborate burial mounds. I learned about the history of Korea while simultaneously learning about George’s history.
We bonded over feeling like foreigners in such a vastly different city than where we respectively called home. George was in Korea for an internship for his Master’s program. He described what his family was like and how much he missed them.
At the end of the night, we ventured to Wolji Pond. George’s co-worker described it as a must-see sight of Gyeongju, especially after the sunset.
The pond was like any other pond but with a temple stretching over part of its surface. The traditional blue, red, and green structure allowed people to walk across the pond and enjoy its view from above.
George and I found a bench near the pond’s edge. The night became colder and colder. George offered his coat to me, seeing that I was obviously freezing. I jokingly said that I’m a baby with the cold; something I never needed to worry about in California or Florida.
As we sat together, overlooking the pond, the small temple in front of us lit up in a sparkling yellow glow. The lights reflected across the pond and the whole sight was something I’ll never forget.
As we sat in awe looking at the pond, I felt George move closer to me. He told me how crazy it was; the two of us sitting there in a remote village of Korea. Just that morning, we were complete strangers. Yet, here we were marveling in such a beautiful sight together.
I looked at him to let him know I agreed and our gazes locked. I saw the light from the temple reflecting back to me in George’s eyes. He gently touched the side of my face, pushing my hair out of the way. He leaned in and pressed his lips against mine. My heart raced but in the best way possible. I felt his skin brush against my face and it felt so right at that moment.
George and I went on to date for a year after that. We lived for several more months in South Korea before he had to leave to go back to France. George and I lived apart for a few months before he offered for me to come live with him in Paris. We spent a magical summer together in our tiny studio apartment overlooking the Eiffel Tower.
It was a first date that sparked a magical year. We ultimately decided that our relationship wasn’t meant to last forever, though we did love each other. But one thing is for sure: neither of us regrets the day we decided to swipe right.”
The Perfect Trip
“My boyfriend and I had been dating for a while before my birthday in October came. My birthday falls in the first week of October and two years back, it happened to fall quite close to a long weekend. Three days before my birthday, my boyfriend called me in the evening and said he had a surprise for me. He asked if I’d like to go on a trip. I live in Pune which has a lot of picnic spots around. Thinking we might be going away for the long weekend somewhere close by, I said yes. That night, he showed up at my place with a bag. I had an office call to attend, and by the time I was done with the call, he and my roommate had packed a bag for me. I was incredibly surprised and wanted to know where we are headed, but all I was told was that it was a surprise.
The next morning, he woke me up around 4:30 am and told me we have to get ready as the cab. Now I am not a morning person and was a little irritated at being woken up so early. I thought, ‘ok, no issues, I’ll sleep in the cab.’ Barely 20 minutes passed, and the cab stopped. We were at the airport. I kept asking me where we were headed, and all I could see was a huge smile on his face. After the initial bag check-in, I was finally handed my ticket. We were on our way to Andaman and Nicobar islands. And not just for the long weekend, for a five-day trip. I was a little surprised and happy but also a little annoyed thinking how I’d explain another two days off at work. Turns out he had already spoken to a good friend and teammate to ask if she’d cover for me.
We reached Andaman and explored port Blair for two days. All in all, it was a good trip. I was beginning to relax and enjoy and get in the holiday mood. On the third day, we reached Havelock. The resort we stayed in was beautiful, right next to the beach and with a lot of greenery. We visited the beach in the afternoon when it started to drizzle. He got a call after which he suddenly seemed very distracted and lost. I asked him if anything was wrong, and he told me all was well. He said he didn’t want it to rain. I didn’t pay much attention to it.
We spent our evening on the beach and when it was around dusk, we headed back. He was quiet during the ride back. We reached the resort and he went in to check something with the manager. I went in to change and shower. When I came out there was a nice dress laid out on the bed. He came in and told me it was his birthday gift to me. I wore the dress and was happily adoring it when he said let’s head out for dinner. I thought it’d be a quick bite at the hotel restaurant. While we were walking, I saw a small pathway really lit with small floor lights. I was busy admiring them when my boyfriend suggested, let’s go there. The huge smile on his face had already told me something was up.
The lit-up pathway led to a small clearing on the beach. Where a small sitting space was created with a table in the center. There were small lights all around to give it a candlelight effect.
I was overwhelmed. I was actually going to have my candlelight dinner on the beach. I had read about this stuff and watched it in the movies, but never thought I’d someday experience it. We had a great dinner, danced on the beach and talked. After some time the manager showed up to ask if everything went okay. We complimented him on all the arrangements, and that’s when I found out this resort is known for its candlelight beach dinners, and it was only for this reason that my boyfriend chose to travel all the way to Andaman from Pune. The manager later told me they almost canceled it in the evening due to rain and offered to have the whole setup in the covered porch area. But my boyfriend was so insistent on having this by the beach. That was the reason he was distracted all evening, hoping for the rain to stop.
What made this trip the most romantic was the effort and planning that he did to make it perfect. He saved up for weeks before the trip and planned all this with the help of my roommate. Today we are happily married, with many domestic and international trips after that, but to this day, this remains my favorite and most romantic trip.”
It’s The Little Things
“I have been on quite a few romantic dates with my ex back when I was dating him. He was big on dates and would make it a point to celebrate our monthly anniversary by going on a nice date or doing something fun together.
So for our six-month anniversary, his childhood friends were in town so I thought he would be busy and I should give him his space. But he still insisted on meeting me exactly at 12 in the night. He got me flowers and said a few sweet things and I was already charmed. The next day we went out with his friends. He wanted me to come over to his place after that, but I insisted he spent time with his friends. So his brother decided to drop me home. On the way, his brother said that my boyfriend was feeling bad that he couldn’t spend time with me on our anniversary. I felt bad so I bought a lot of ice cream for him and his friends as a treat from me and gave it to his brother. His brother asked me to help him take it home as he had a bike and it would be difficult to carry it home.
I said I would drop it off and then he could bring me back home. When we reached his house it was dark and my ex was standing outside and told me there was no electricity and I should go wait inside. As I was going in, he carried me in his arms and took me to his room where he had lit up candles and my favorite songs were playing. I was so happy I was in tears almost. He then went down on his knees and gave me a big bunch of flowers and small chocolates saying, ‘Sorry there was no time to arrange for a nice gift.’
It was such a sweet and romantic gesture and he was incredibly cute and attractive at that moment. We then danced together as I love dancing, had wine, and enjoyed the rest of the evening together. That was possibly the best date I had. Still makes me smile.”
“My most memorably romantic date was March 24, 2017. In my freshman year of high school. I’d been asked out by a guy I had been crushing hard on at the time and had crushed on that same guy in my first year of middle school. For our first date, we went to Gatti Town for pizza and arcade games. Call it nerdy, but I thought it was perfect. He couldn’t stop swearing, I think he was actually so nervous the words just kept slipping out. I had to remind him, multiple times mind you, that there were children running around. He was so bashful about it. By the end of the night, neither of us wanted to leave, but my dad was outside to pick me up. Ever the gentleman he walked me to the truck, greeted my father, and smiled despite having to wait outside along for his own ride to show up.
That relationship never did last, but most memories I have from it are nothing but fond. Now every time someone swears while children are around, I scold them and smile.”