Brett and Kristin's love story is a compilation of magical moments. The two have learned to appreciate the small moments as they've learned how to navigate a relationship with two people at different places in life when it comes to faith and career. When they met, Brett was the band director at a high school in northern Indiana who was renewing his commitment to his faith, while Kristin was in search of someone with a faith as strong as hers as she was finishing up her education degree. They have the Bumble online dating app and an unscheduled duet of Lucky by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz to thank for bringing these two together. And although they are currently long distance, they've found home in each other.
The story was narrated by Stephen.
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Hello and welcome to the choose love podcast. I showed the Chronicles, the extraordinary love of ordinary people. Our hope is that these stories will help inspire. So hashtag choose love. My name is Steve Hayden and I will be your host. Hi, my name's Kristen . My name is Brett and we're from Indiana. Um, well we met on Bumble on online. Um, so basically I was always one of those girls that didn't want to get into the online dating scene. Um, I had heard so many stories and I just didn't feel like that was the right way for me. And , um, I remember, and like in high school, I didn't date at all. I didn't date , um, my first year of college and I just didn't want to waste my time with that because I didn't, I didn't really want to. I was a pretty independent girl. And so , um, I started talking to a couple guys and I knew that they weren't, they weren't right. And the beginning of my junior year of college, I decided that I wasn't gonna date. Like for awhile I was going to focus on myself and I was gonna focus on my relationship with God. And that was it. And I told everybody that and I, that was, that was it. And so then , um, a couple of my friends got on this website called Bumble. And I kept telling them, you should get off of that. Like, that's not, that's not the organic way, so to speak, but really nowadays, what is organic? And so they kept talking to you about it and they said, well, you should just get on there and you should just see who's on there. And so when I did, and that night , um, I found him on there and I , um , was such a stickler on that website. I did not swipe on many people at all. And there was one thing that I was looking for in a profile to make sure that I would swipe. And it was that they were Christian and they had a strong faith and he was the only guy that I swiped on that did not have that as profile. And I was crushed. And I was really excited about this guy and he didn't have that in stroke file . And so , um, we matched instantly and I put my phone away and I didn't message him that day. Um, and then the next day I went back, I remember standing in my bathroom and seeing , um , looking at through his profile again and somehow some way and his profile, it said that he was a Christian and I got so excited and I instantly messaged him and here we are. Okay, cool. So just explain to me, how does Bumble work on Bumble? The girl has to message first in order for them to respond to you. So even though we met, we matched, he wasn't able to message me first. I had to be theSpeaker 2:
one to initiate the conversation, which is probably good because I would've said something stupid. So , um, well I had just kind of gotten out of a, what I thought was a serious relationship, but it turned out that it wasn't that way to that person. Um, just, I guess we saw different things, nothing against that person, but you know, we decide different things. So I was kind of, I wasn't sure what I was looking for. I guess it was just kind of my, at that point it was my, you know, I'm gonna see what's out there and just, just, you know, take a chance. And , uh, so I had not really matched with many people. Um, and I came across her profile and she had this picture of her throwing up leaves in the air during fall. And I thought that's what , that was really cute. So not as deep as her as her reason for swiping. Right. But that was the reason I did. Um, and I th and I don't, I don't remember the particular moment, but I do remember at some point following the previous relationship that I had, that I had decided that I wanted to renew my religious beliefs in a sense. It's not that I had fallen out of the faith, I just, I felt that I had fallen away more than I wanted to. I wasn't going to church as much. I was using excuses. Um , I taught marching band and so we got home sometimes, you know, midnight on a Saturday. Well, you know, that's why I'm not going and I didn't really want those excuses. Um, and so I told myself I wanted to date someone with the same values as I wanted to have and the same values that I for the most, most of my life I did have, but it was kind of felt a little falling away from , um, so that was kind of what that coupled with the amazing , uh , fall leaves throwing up in the air picture was what made me swipe right on her. So Kristen , you're studying to become a teacher? Yup . I am a senior. I'm setting education elementary education right around Thanksgiving time. So I had a lot of assignments and a lot of work and a lot of papers and so he had to be very, very patient with me. So it took awhile for us to meet. I don't think we actually met until several weeks after we started talking. Um, I remember I was coming up to her school to watch , um, a former student performer recital. And I had messaged her, I said, Hey, by the way, I'm going to be in town if you want to get together. And she's like, well, I'm studying so you can come see me at the SkyBridge . And I said, sure. So I walked up to the sky bridge and she was with a couple of her friends and you know, that was where I learned that Kristen really cared about her studies because her friends talk to me way more than she did. And uh, yeah, it was, it was pretty funny cause I was trying to be cute and like close her laptopSpeaker 1:
or you know, tease her and she's like, I just want to study, like I really want to talk to you and I really want to get to know you, but this paper is due tonight at midnight.Speaker 2:
So eventually I left and I kind of thought, well that didn't go super well. I knew she was a good person deep down and I knew that right away. Um, and so there wasn't really any rush. And so I just kinda thought, well, maybe she is, maybe she isn't, you know, you never know unless you try.Speaker 1:
I thought it was cute and I thought he was cute, so I thought it was fine. So I was excited to go on a date.Speaker 2:
Our first date was at the mall. Um, just, we decided very public location yet you have to take safety precautions on sites and things like that. Like you never know. [inaudible]Speaker 1:
we went to the mall and we got some coffee. I remember , um , I drove there, I was a little bit early and I went and sat inside on one of the little couches and he wasn't there yet. And so then he showed up and he walked in a different door than I did. And so he texted me saying, Hey, I'm here. And I said, Oh, okay. And so I started walking towards the coffee place and he was sitting there at one of the tables and later I found out that Dan , you'd say that you thought that I was standing you up because I wasn't there yet. I , my suspicion , we just walked in different doors . It's a pretty big mall.Speaker 2:
Um, but we just kind of walked around and we saw some things and , um, one kind of cool thing is we, I think it was cool. You probably thought I was dumb, but I dunno . We went to , um, we'll look Yankee candle, we went to Yankee candle and um, you know, we, we're just kind of feeling each other out like, you know, what's, you know, what personalities do we have? So I suggested, Hey, let's play a game. Um, you have to pick out a candle that you without smelling it just based on the name of the candle. Pick out a candle that you think represents me from the first time meeting me and I'll pick one that represents you. And so we went around the store for about five minutes. We ended up picking out about two each. There were two specifically, one for each of us that we really felt connected to, I think when it came down to it and they smell pretty good. Um , yours was confidence and freedom.Speaker 1:
And then the candle I picked for him was focus and patience . So for Christmas last year, he surprised me. He like got my address and he mailed me one through Amazon, the exact candle that he picked for me on our first day and sent it to me in the mail, which was really sweet. And I still have that one in my room. But , um, and then I think it was a couple of months ago, the one that I had picked out for him, we went back multiple times to the mall. I had been in that mall, it's right by place. And I've been looking for it for, since we , since that day to get it for him. And I found it just a few months ago and I surprised him with it. So that was cute. I love that. So cool. Very smooth. Gray . I did . Okay . I did. So how are you both feeling after that first date? I was stoked. Yeah . Yeah. And I was, and I think I told you this. I was in , I wasn't stoked. I just, I , I didn't know. I was very unsure. Um, I think I was really hesitant to put myself out there again. And so I didn't know how I was feeling and I didn't, didn't really want to know how I was feeling yet. I just was kinda, you know, everyone that asked I just kinda said, yeah, it was nice. We'll see where it goes. You know, she may be someone I want to get to know better, maybe not, you know , um, until the wedding. Yep . So I was , uh, I was getting a little ahead of myself and I invited him to a wedding very quickly, a dry wedding. It was a dry wedding too . Right. And so I invited him to wedding and we went and , um, the ceremony and the reception, we're both in the same venue . So was it in between the reception and the, or the [inaudible] ceremony and the reception and music playing? You're waiting for the bride and groom to come back. And the song, lucky by , um , Colby, Colby, Kelly and Jason morass came on and I'm a very, I was all into music in high school and I, I have a very deep passion for music. And he teaches music. And so when that song came on, we both instantly started singing it and it was so much fun and we were singing it to each other even though we had just started dating. And um, yeah, that's when we both knew that we really wanted to get to know each other. I mean, how was your experience at that moment? I was definitely foreshadowing at its finest. Um, I think I was , uh , that was I and I told her later, that was the moment where I finally saw her as someone that I could be open with and , and put myself out there and not feel embarrassed to be me. So at this point we did not ask me to be his girlfriend yet. So we were still just casually dating. And that weekend he was at, he went in my town, there was a big music educators convention and my dad happens to work with music educators. So he was at this conference as well. And so they both ran into each other and he got your dad hunted me down. Yeah . So they got to meet each other and my dad got to scope them out before he asked me abuse conference , which was interesting. What was your, what was your side of that story? I was not there.Speaker 2:
Um, no, I, I was definitely very nervous to meet the dad of someone that I wasn't officially even dating yet. Um, I guess I just, I don't know. I was, I was very intimidated by the fact that, you know, not knowing anything about him at this point that, you know, since he runs a fundraising company, it's like, Oh my gosh, I'm going to leave running a new fundraiser for my band because it's , you know, or something along those lines. And, and uh , I think it was, it was interesting where to the point where I was walking kind of looking for him and he was kind of keeping an eye out for me I think. And so when we saw each other, it was, you know, rod just kind of said, Oh, Brett. Yeah. And I was like, good. So, and so I introduced myself and we talked and , uh , you know, we, we talked about, you know, her family and, and kind of where she came from as far as family goes. And then we talked about just, you know, that was kind of where the Cubs Cardinals robber , we started, he learned, he learned that I was a Cubs fan , um, die Cardinals fans . So, yeah. Yeah . So he, you know, he learned I was a Cubs fan , uh, reconsidered liking me at that point, but then he decided that it was worth it. And , uh, so we , so we talked a couple more times at the conference and just kinda talked about how , um, you know, how much we, how Kristen, I just kinda , we really just connected and got along and shared. And , um, it was at that point that her dad and I kind of discussed that faith would be the, the set at the center of our relationship. Um, and I think that that was kind of a , a really nice turning point for us moving into the hole as the old folks say, going through .Speaker 1:
So after his conference , um, he, two of his friends were in town as well. Well his friend and her and her boyfriend were in town because they're both music educators as well. And so they were texting me wanting to go on a double date that night. And at this point I was not yet 21. And um, so they were messaging me, this restaurant that was for 21 and over. And so I had to get on the website and see, and then I texted them and said, we can't go there. I'm so sorry. I'm not going to be allowed into that restaurant. And so then we found another place and we met up with them and it was really nice date, double date. And then we were walking out of the restaurant and we went and sat in my car and he got all nervous and he got all tents and then he asked me to be his girlfriend. [inaudible]Speaker 2:
I just , um, I kinda took that opportunity to lay out some of the things that I had been thinking. Um, just about how I had not been doing so great in the relationship department previously and how some of those things had really affected me. Um, and I just wanted her to know that going into it so that she, I didn't want that to be something that she was thinking about later. Um, I wanted that to be something she knew up front and, and um, that I was still going through some of those things. And then, but as the months have gone by, I mean, I don't feel that way anymore, you know, I, yeah, no, I'm not doing boards . Well , I think that's really cool. You wanted to try and clean the sleigh , have a fresh start and just style the good clear foundation. And I think that's the key to a strong start .Speaker 1:
I felt very calm. I didn't know what he was going to say. Um, but it was a really good conversation because that's where we kind of set like our boundaries and like expectations and certain things that we were going to put at the center of our relationship, like our relationship with God and making that a priority and different things like that that I think really laid the foundation for a healthy relationship. And so I'm really happy that we had that conversation and I'm really glad that he was very open and honest in that conversation. Um, and I'm not sure if that was the conversation that I had told him that I had never dated anyone seriously. Like I'd never been in a relationship, I'd never had a boyfriend. And so that was a very important thing that we talked about too. Um, because I had never gone through anything like that. And so it was all brand new for me as well. And so I think it was really, it was a really good open and honest conversation that we had that really paved the way for kind of where we are now.Speaker 2:
Wow. It's so cool. It's so mature and insightful. So what did that do for your relationship? How did the bond between the two of you develop from there ? Do you want me to go first? Yeah . Um, I think that the most important thing that that conversation allowed us to be was it allowed us to not just the two people who were dating, not just a boyfriend and girlfriend. Um, but I think that that conversation kind of spring-boarded us into being each other's best friends. Um, I think that that's, to me, besides faith is probably the most important thing at the center of our relationship is the fact that she's my best friend in the world. Um, and I didn't think I could say that about anyone except for the people that I had originally called. You know, and I, and I still have my best friends. Um, but she's the only person I want to talk to at the end of a really long day. She's the only person that I want to share all of those things with all of those moments. Um, in the club , the music class that I'm teaching right now, we're, we're working on creating it . We're talking about moments. Um, one of the things that we address in marching band is, is a music effect and it's about your highs and low, your biggest, you know, biggest big soft to sauce , that type of thing. And I think that we talk about that in music as being the, what creates the magic, you know , um, we talk about Walt Disney world and, and how , um, you've got all these people that see these thousands and millions of kids every day and they have to make it magical for every single one of those kids. So how do you, despite having done something a thousand times, how do you make it magical? Um, the point of all my rambling is to say that I think that our relationship has, and , and , and doing this podcast is really helped me see that is that our relationship is built on moments. Um, moments that kind of, you know, every late relationship is going to habits. It's plateaus. Um , it's going to have its values . It's going to have a TILs too though. And so I think that that's one of the things that is so special about our relationship is that we have those plateaus. There's just sometimes where not much is going on, but we've also had a lot of moments and we're going to continue to have a lot of moments person . What do you think about that?Speaker 1:
Yes , good answer . Yeah, good answer. Gold star plus I think to answer where our relationship has gone from there, that's definitely what I would say as well. So when I was in high school and early college, I always wanted this for myself, this type of relationship. But I never saw that in anybody. I never saw the potential in anything or anybody. And so when I first started talking to him and now since our relationship has progressed, it's crazy now to see it here and happening and looking back and understanding now why it, I didn't see that in anybody else. So what's been happening this year? Both of our schedules are pretty crazy and so our time together has been limited there . Our time together has been very limited. So we've just been making the, most of the time that we do get , um, since I'm a full time student , um , I'm working, I'm in a classroom for a few days, a week, every week. Um, so, and then he's working, doing marching bandSpeaker 2:
and all of that. So there's a lot of time that we are apart. And so we just try to make sure that we're catching up with each other, phone calls, texting, and then on weekends we try to just make the most of the time that we do have together. So I wouldn't say that right now it's a big, big hire , a big, big low. It's just trying to improve and constantly give to one another to continue to drive relationship where we're at right now. And what is the impact of your busy schedules on your relationship? I think that , um, I , I first liked to recognize that we are lucky in the sense that we, we get to see each other way more than a lot of couples might. And so by no means are we long distance. By no means are we, you know, we're not trying to complain about how much we get to see each other, but I think there is something to be said about being a young person and you know, you went through or we went through our lives where, you know, maybe the best friends that we had or the family that we have . We saw them, you know, every single day at school in, you know, middle school, high school in college. You know, I saw my best friends everyday cause my best friends were all in the music education program. And so I got to see and hang out with them at every class, every day. And so to have that person that is your best friend and to not get to see them everyday is a weird thing. Um , especially coming off of summer where we spent almost every day together. So going from spending all of that time together to having to go maybe a week in between, it was a really weird agenda, smut and spend more manageable recently I feel. And how'd you think the relationship is because of that? Do you think that you are stronger or you need to work at it more? I wouldn't, I wouldn't say that it's stronger or weaker. I think it's, we're just figuring out how to be together. You know, I think we're just trying to figure out what it's like being in a relationship and getting used to that. I , you know , I think that it'll probably make us stronger in the end. Um, but for right now, I think it's just more about us figuring out who we are both separate and together. And I think it's also about cherishing the moments that you do have together. I think what I take from listening to the two of you is it just makes you stronger. Um, you know, in the UK there's a saying absence makes the heart grow fonder. [inaudible] he has said that relationship . I mean, do you Christian , do you think that's true?Speaker 1:
Oh yeah, definitely. That's definitely true. Why would you say that? Because like he said earlier, like at the end of the day, you just want to talk to them and you want to tell them all the great things about your day. All the crappy parts of your day, every little detail that he probably does not want to hear. You just want to tell it all to them. And so when you come home and they're not there, they're 40 minutes away. It just, I mean a phone call is, while it's still nice to have a phone call and talk to hear their voice. It's a lot different than sitting on the couch next to them and just unloading about your day. It's completely different. Home is not a place anymore. It's a person. Great soundbite. That's a keeper. Oh shoot. First the candles. And now this you're on fire. Is there any advice that you would give to your single cells knowing now what you do about there's a show. I'll go first if that's a thing. Yeah, there's a show , uh, that you probably know called how I met your mother. It's a show about a man named Ted looking to find his future wife. And there, there is a , um, a certain episode where he's talking to a woman that he wants dated and she says something to him along the lines of she's coming as fast as she can. And , um, I think that that was, that's the advice I'd give my past self is be patient. It looks not great right now, but she's gonna get here as fast as she can. Wow. I think I'm falling in love with you . Well , I'm thinking, sorry bud. And what about you Christian? Is there any advice that you'd give your single cell ? I would say, Hmm . I don't know how to word this. Um , I kept my standards very high. Um , and in high school I didn't really college and I mean even now , um, she lowered her standards. I really didn't keep my studio time . And I mean, I guess, I don't know if it would be advice, but just encouragement to don't drop those standards, keep them high, like he's out there. Um, and also don't be such a stickler and relax a little bit. And whatever plans you think you might have, they're probably going to change because I was definitely not looking for him at the beginning of my junior year. But then you know, my friends said get on there, see what's on there and that every was so yeah, you might have plans, but they're probably going to change that . Keep those standard tie cause he's out there. That's what I would say.Speaker 3:
Wow, that's really cool. You gotta just say that's just so mature. It's such a grown up and mature way of looking at life to be able to say that I'm going to focus on my studies, I'm going to get the foundations strong and in place, and then we're going to build love onto that. I think that's such an important lesson. So many people tend to miss or even spend years trying to figure out for themselves they importance of being open and honest and in good communication with your partner . So I wanted to say congratulations to both of you because you're so young and you've already discovered that it's absolutely amazing. So, I mean, let me ask you, are there any lessons that you think that you've learned over the journey so far?Speaker 1:
Well , I think just patients. I don't, I know that that's not a like elaborate answer, but just patients in general I think is really important and something that I've had to, had to work on.Speaker 2:
I think I've learned, and I learned this from you, I think more than maybe you didn't learn patients for me, I'm not a very patient person despite you thinking me be a patient person. Um, I think I, I've learned thatSpeaker 3:
a single person is looking for the person that they want to spend their life with, that they're not looking for their other half. Um, they're looking for another person that is also a hole to share those moments with. And I think that that's, that was maybe what I was , um , doing incorrectly before was I was looking for someone to fill the void, to fill a hole, to , um, to basically be the other half of, of me. And I think that I needed to learn to be a whole person on my own before I was able to meetSpeaker 3:
my correct whole person. No two broken people don't create a whole person. Yeah, yeah. Now I think that's absolutely wrong . Bringing new [inaudible] bring to home with me to two holds means happy relationship. I'm trying to do the soundbites now. Okay, cool. Well I think we're bringing this to a close, so is there anything else you two would like to say? I didn't know it was possible to love someone this much and I'm just feel incredibly lucky that I found you ghetto . You two are just to keep , well thank you both for taking part in this. The best of luck in the future. Thanks a lot. Nice to meet you too . See up and down we have it , the story of Brett and Christian tonight. What a great couple and just so amazing to see such an open and honest relationship from the word go. If that's not the key to success in love, then I don't know what is. So I'd like to say thanks to Brett and Christian for being a part of the interview and best of luck in the future. And I'd like to thank you for listening. If you've enjoyed the podcast, please share with your friends and family, and if you have any feedback for us, then please get in touch. You can email email@example.com thanks again and see you again next time. [inaudible] .