I met my husband at the airport

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The writer and her husband

I saw a handsome man at my airport gate. My job as a reporter made it easy to spark a conversation. I wanted to see him again, and my plane-seat neighbor encouraged me to give him my business card. We both loved travel and had an instant connection, and we’re now happily married with two children. As I said, I met him at the airport. I talked to him at our gate and gave him my business card after we landed.

That was in 2013 right after Christmas in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. I was coming down the escalator when I saw this tall, handsome black man with a nice fade waiting for the same flight as I was. He wore loafers and a Ralph Lauren hoodie and carried a laptop backpack. I thought he was fine as hell, and I wanted to meet him.

I sat at our gate a few seats away. When I stole a glance at him, I noticed he wasn’t wearing a ring. At the time, I was a reporter in Shreveport, Louisiana — where we were headed — and I knew many of the professionals in the area who were single. I wondered why I had never met him. My skills as a reporter helped spark our conversation.

I kept trying to make eye contact, to no avail. I had to decide whether I would go “reporter” on him and ask a bunch of questions to discover if there was something there. I asked myself, what do I have to lose? The answer: nothing. So I looked over and asked him, “Are you from Shreveport?” That simple question led to a gold mine of information.

I learned he wasn’t from Shreveport, was a software engineer, and worked at the nearby Barksdale Air Force Base. He also revealed he was new to the area, didn’t have kids, and was single. I was intrigued. He asked me questions, too, and learned I didn’t have kids either, was a TV reporter, and was from Ohio.

We then boarded the plane, sitting in different areas. I realized I had no way to contact him. While chatting with the girl sitting next to me, I mentioned how I was intrigued by the guy I just met in the boarding area but feared I might never see him again. She said she had seen me talking to him and suggested I give him my business card. I thought it was a genius idea, and that’s what I did when the plane landed. “Call me if you want me to show you around sometime,” I said. He took my card and said he would.

Five days passed before he did. He saw me reporting a story on the news and called to set up our first date at Cheddar’s.

What I remember most about that date was discovering that we both were driving 2006 Toyota Corollas, cars that were 8 years old. “He’s practical,” I thought. It turned out we were both saving money by driving cars that our fathers paid off.

That weekend, we went to the movies, the club, and to a restaurant. A few days later within the same week, he invited me over to his place for dinner. I loved his apartment. Not long after, I invited him to my place and cooked him some fried chicken, homemade macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. I thought this would win this Southern man over, and I was right. He was hooked.

After we ate that night, we discussed how we both were looking for a serious relationship. We sat at my kitchen table and wrote down everything we wanted in a mate. Then we compared notes. What we wanted was incredibly similar.

During our conversation, he revealed he had backpacked through Germany. I thought he was my type of guy, considering I had lived abroad twice. Everything aligned. A few days later, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

We’ve created some beautiful memories together. We went to Costa Rica six months into our relationship. He moved across the country twice for me while we were dating so I could chase my career dreams. Being a software engineer, he has always been able to secure great job offers wherever we’ve lived. We’ve always worked together as a team and have built a great life together. We got married on Clearwater Beach in Florida on November 19, 2017, the same beach where he proposed to me nearly a year earlier.

The writer and her husband at their wedding in Clearwater Beach, Florida

We honeymooned in Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Considering I now have a travel blog, it’s comical we met in an airport. This year marks 10 years since we met and six years married. We now have a handsome son and a beautiful daughter, and we’re living in our dream home in Central Florida.

My experience taught me not to be afraid to shoot my shot. And now I want to encourage my friends to shoot their shot and not always wait for the person to approach them.

My name is: Stephanie Claytor

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