‘I spontaneously booked a hotel room and drove 5 hours to meet a stranger. ‘What the hell am I doing here?!,’ I wrote to my friend. I felt absolutely crazy, but I was on top of the WORLD.’

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“Not only did we meet on Tinder, which is already super cheesy, but it was LITERALLY love at first sight!

I will never forget flying home to Canada for Christmas, December 2016. I had just spent the three weekends before heading home with Ben – my future husband – who I had JUST met, through Tinder. I was so excited to share the news with my family. Was I crazy? Absolutely! We just met, but it was a feeling from that first date, it was definitely meant to be.

@benni_hein

In October 2016 I finally ended things with my ex. I had tried to keep our dysfunctional relationship going for years longer than it should have. We met in early 2013. He was a German guy living in Canada but he going to be heading back to Germany in a few months. In my head, it was this great adventure for me to possibly go back to Germany with him, so when he was to leave Canada, I spontaneously decided to quit my Canadian life and move to a country where I couldn’t even speak the language! It was a huge risk, but I was in it. Shortly after arriving in Germany the troubles started. I became extremely depressed but was too stubborn to accept the fact I had failed, and move back to Canada. I was trying to start a new life in Germany but the problems with my ex were so overwhelming they sunk me into this extremely dark place which took years to get out of. Did I know he was wrong for me? Yes. But for whatever reason, I was so drawn to not failing, I fought for every little inch of the relationship to work. I can’t blame him for everything – there are always two sides to every story. But he cheated, I finally saw the truth, and I ended it for good.

@life_is_an_abenteuer

Shortly after ending the relationship, I was spending my Saturday night hanging out with some friends. One of them had Tinder and although I had it in the past, nothing had ever really worked out. I took my friend’s phone and started trying to find some matches for him. That quickly got boring, so I decided to get it again for myself. Now I’m sure everyone will say this, but I am the pickiest person ever. I never swiped right. I wasn’t looking for a one-night-stand and I always liked to read a good profile description – that leaves very few people to even swipe right for! But I finally did with him – Ben. And surprisingly we matched. He wrote to me and from there it started.

@benni_hein

A few days after we matched and after exchanging very surface level conversations, I noticed it showed he was 279 miles away. I asked him if he was on vacation and his response, ‘For the last 7 years.’ He had grown up near the town where I was living but had moved seven years ago to the southern part of Germany. He had been home visiting family when we matched, hence how close he was to me only a few days before. Well, having already moved across the world for someone, I certainly wasn’t going to do it again. A long-distance relationship was not an option for me. Why bother?! So we can drive hours every weekend? I wanted someone close and not to have to learn someone only on weekends. Having all of that in my head, we continued to chat for some weeks and for whatever reason, again, me and my spontaneity booked a hotel room and drove to meet him. As soon as I got to the parking lot of the hotel, I wrote my friend, ‘What the hell am I doing here?! I seriously just drove five hours to meet this stranger whom I had been casually chatting with for a few weeks!?’ I felt absolutely crazy, but something in me told me it was the right thing to do.

He picked me up from the hotel and took me to his favorite Diner for a burger. It was a super typical first date. I was nervous. He was obviously nervous as well because he kept tripping on his feet, which I still remind him of – it was just so cute. We had awkward conversation, switching from speaking German to English. It was after our burgers where it started getting really good. He drove us into the city to the most magical Christmas Market I had ever seen – it was a Medieval Christmas Market. The Christmas lights, people dressed in Medieval costumes, the sweet smells of sugared almonds, the joyous atmosphere of people all together enjoying the mulled wine and holiday spirit! We watched a fire show, and I was subtly trying to get closer to him but still wasn’t convinced he was even interested in me. We drank some hot chocolate, chatted a lot more and it went from being typical to a very warm-hearted situation.

He ended up taking me up to a castle overlooking the city which was even more spectacular. We went back to his apartment. I was hesitant, because again, it’s Tinder – what should happen next?! But it wasn’t anything like that. We talked for hours about everything. We were like teenagers sitting furthest away from another but throughout the night inching our way closer and closer together. It was getting into the early morning hours, so I thought to myself, now or never. I kissed him. I melted. He was the most respectful, gentle, and genuinely loving person. It was quick, and then I asked him to take me back to the hotel so I could sleep – but where did that leave us now?! We decided I should pick up some typical German buns in the morning and come back for breakfast.

I was on top of the WORLD. I only slept for a few hours. I was just so excited. What was happening to me?! Going back to his house in the morning for breakfast was such a special moment. He was kind, caring, attentive, and really interested in ME. It was an overwhelmingly amazing feeling. But again, where did this whole situation leave us?! We had decided that since I was going back to Canada for Christmas, I would come to him again in two weeks before I flew. That plan lasted a day. He wrote me the Monday morning after our first weekend together. ‘There is no way I can wait two weeks to see you. I’ll come visit you this weekend,’ he said.

@benni_hein

He ended up sharing with me that he had been long considering moving back to the area where I lived to be closer to his family. I was now even more of a concrete reason to do it. In early 2017, he started looking for jobs near where I lived. This whole process took a lot longer than both of us anticipated and he spent the next 10 months driving every other weekend to visit me! He finally landed a job, moved to me, and we got married last year on May 11th. In between all the excitement the last few years, we were also able to travel to Austria to hike the Alps, run around Venice sipping wine and exploring the canals, swim with sea turtles in Bali, roam the beautiful city of Prague, travel to Holland, Canada, England, France, as well as visiting many places in Germany – we love travelling and exploring new places and countries.

@fraeuleinhaupt/Kathi Hochzeitsfoto Herford
@fraeuleinhaupt/Kathi Hochzeitsfoto Herford
@fraeuleinhaupt/Kathi Hochzeitsfoto Herford

Ben has brought back so much love, light, and passion into my life. There were days I was so beyond depressed and couldn’t see myself as a loveable person anymore. He put my broken heart back together and gave me a spark I never knew was possible. We have our ups and downs too, but I know he is someone who will always be by my side no matter what. Although my past relationship was hard, I consider myself really lucky to have gone through all those difficulties because now I can truly appreciate the wonderfulness of having such a kind, caring, loving, and amazing person by my side. It brought me to that exact right moment and place in my life to meet Ben.

@lexii745
@benni_hein

The following is a piece from my wedding vows to Ben:

‘Benjamin. B. You are the most amazing person. You have showed me kindness, patience and love like I never knew was possible. I am so honored and proud to have you by my side. I love everything about you – even when you snore. You have put my heart back into one piece and I am so grateful you brought back this light in my life and sparkle in my eyes. I look forward to all the adventures life brings us – more travels, amazing times together, and hopefully one day, children. You are my one and only – thank you for making my life complete.’”

@fraeuleinhaupt/Kathi Hochzeitsfoto Herford
Courtesy Uncle Al
Courtesy Uncle Al

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amanda Hein of Germany. You can follow her journey on InstagramDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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