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Shirtless Nostalgia

by Mandy

reality

December 10, 2013

Shirtless Nostalgia

15 years ago I went for a run along the beach in San Diego. Accompanied by my roommate, we laced up our running shoes and set out for a Saturday morning jog. We were in college and what else do you have to do when you’re 21 than to spend a leisurely Saturday morning breathing in salt air and enjoying the 10am sunshine. A few miles into our run brought us to a place on the beach where the path runs parallel to a 40 ft cliff with no railing. As we jogged along this treacherous piece of coast I noticed a guy running toward us. He was wearing a pair of running shorts, no shirt and was totally hot. He got closer and I recognized that he attended the same college as I did and though we hadn’t met I had seen him around campus. As we ran closer I tried to play it cool, pick up the pace and not look like I was sweating too much. And then just as we got close enough to make eye contact, he tripped right in front of me, letting out an “ugh” and almost falling down the 40ft cliffs. He quickly regained his composure, hopped up off the ground and kept running without saying a word. My friend and I keep running and as soon as we were out of his hearing range she looked at me and said, “He totally has a crush on you”.

Fast forward a week and I get a message on my phone from “shirtless wonder”. He tracked down my phone number and utilized his most impressive verbal skills to convince me to go on a date with him. The rest as they say is history. To be honest he had me from the moment I saw him shirtless and teetering on the edge of the cliff.

This past week we went to San Diego for Thanksgiving. While we were there, Joe and I went on a date to the spot he first fell for me. We ran on the beach, reminisced about our whirlwind romance and the three whirlwind children that are the by-products of that romance. We talked feelings and hopes and remembered all of the silly things we did in the early stages of our relationship. Most of all, we remembered what started this whole thing in the first place.

I can’t tell you that the last 15 years have been easy. We have endured hard times where all we were running on is the fumes from the romance that drew us together in the first place. There have been financial struggles and moments when I wondered if we were ever going to have fun together again. The weight of life stacks up sometimes. It is in those moments that nostalgia saves us. Remembering the spark that kindled a lifetime of commitment can re-ignite that fire a second time.

I wouldn’t trade any of the adventures that we have had since that first fateful meeting on the cliffs. And I am the luckiest girl in the world that the man of my dreams literally fell into my life (and shirtless nonetheless).

Hello, Darling. There is a God.

Reminiscing is good for the soul. Have you been on a nostalgic date recently? Whatever brings you back to those early days of dating can be a great way to spend an evening with your guy. Maybe it is visiting the restaurant where you had your first date or pulling out your wedding video and re-living the day. 

P.S. The Five Date Challenge. I’ll tell you about it real quick. It’s a great way to sauce things up with hubby. Go toMOPS.org/mobile for all the details. (Can you say chance to win an all-expense paid trip to a dreamy location?) Play the Truth or Dare game in the app. It is hilarious (can you say naked cartwheel?) and will make for great conversation. Also, no matter how creative you are it is hard to come up creative date ideas on a regular basis- the Date Plan-o-matic has lots of fun ideas if you aren’t feeling very inspired. Ok, that’s it friends. God speed and truth or dare.

Tell us about you and your guy's favorite nostalgic date location.

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Related topics: Dating, Mandy, Marriage, Relationships

Share your thoughts

The Great American Diner & Pub. Back when we were just friends, this is the place we met. I worked in the mall with two of his best friends and we all started going out for happy hour after the mall closed during Christmas season. The first time we met was when he joined us for happy hour. I spent the next several months giving him advice about other girls that he was interested in or dating until we finally broke the "no one is allowed to date Amy because we like hanging out with her" rule. 12 years later and we've been married now for 10 years and have a 4 year old son and three daughters ages 8, 6, and 5 months. We still go to the Pub every now and then. Our table is gone and a lot of the staff has changed, but it's still a favorite. :)

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For the last 8 years, since my husband and I started dating, we go out to eat for special occasions at our favorite restaurant, Wildfire. As long as we can find a babysitter :)

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Hubby and I went on an unofficial date the day before our first official date...to drive my sister and her friend to a N'sync concert. And we have been going to concerts ever since...no more N'sync concerts though. It's more like Chris Tomlin. :p

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We like sending the kids to grandma's and having home dates.

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Mini-golf...hands down!

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We like at home dates....I signed up at MOMcon for a dare of the month thing that gets emailed to me. They are PG-13 rated suggestions for spicing things up at home. My husband keeps asking when we get to do the next one.

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Bogen's Restaurant in Blacksburg, VA - GO HOKIES!

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we love to go hiking and be in the mountains, although hasn't happened as much with little kids. My hubby proposed to me on the top of a mountain, and we always think of that day when we are in the mountains.

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The St. Louis Art Museum.

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Our favorite restaurant from when we were first married.

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My hubby (then boyfriend) brought me lilies on our first date.

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Downtown Chicago

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My husband proposed to me in a gazebo in the middle of town at Christmas time. Every year we go on a date there and look at the Christmas lights.

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Our first weekend getaway was to Louisville, Ky. We got lost on the bourbon trail and it was so warm out that the sunroof was open. My husband (boyfriend) at the time was so frustrated that the map was wrong, he threw it out the sunroof. I will never forget those special days.

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houston zoo

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Niagara Falls. It is full of so many memories for us. Love, love, love it!

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Watching stars in back of his pick up

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My ex husband and I had several places, anywhere we could have time away from the kids! Motorcycle weekend to the mts, Vegas, snowed into the house, camping, honeymoon. There were many happy memories created.

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We used to leave work for long lunches at a retro diner called Lulu's...it's changed hands several times since then and is now an island style restaurant but it's still "our" place.

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Winter Park, Co

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Flying W Ranch! Sadley we won't be able to go back there for awhile, since it burned down last year in all our fires in CO. They are planning to rebuild though!

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Snowbird Ski Resort, Salt Lake Utah. We dated there, essentially got engaged there, had our reception there, and go there year round for hiking, running, skiing, their oktoberfest, and various activities through out the year. That place has a special place in our hearts.

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Las Vegas....we had the most awesome time and got engaged on top of the Eiffel Tower, My husband and I would love a chance to reconnect and to get romance back into our marriage. With 3 little boys, its hard to stay connected as a couple.

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My ideal slate would be a night in New York City!

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St. Louis! My husband and I made many trips to this beautiful city when we were dating long-distance. I was in WI and he was in LA and we looked at a map and saw that St. Louis was right in the middle. We would make the 8 and 9 hour drives to meet and spend fun-filled weekends together sightseeing throughout the city.

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Driving on the country roads and talking.

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This post spoke to my heart today!! I do sometimes feel we are running on the fumes of the romance that drew us together, and reminiscing is such a great way to rekindle those memories!! Spending time in Boulder, Colorado is a sure fire way for us to stroll down memory lane. We met there almost fifteen years ago as students, and around almost every corner there is a sweet memory of a time when our love was young and fresh, and not buried in diapers! Thank you for this reminder today...I should probably re-read it right before my husband comes home from work...in case I've forgotten the message by then!

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I think we would both say Olive Garden. It was where we went to eat on our first official date 23 years ago! (We also went to Toys R Us and to see Fantasia - never one do we wish to repeat without our children present!)

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Walking around our local park...holding hands & drinking Starbucks. :)

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My husband and I have moved around a lot, so we really can't go to a nostalgic place. Instead, we have to recreate the feel - a great drive through the country, Chinese food in a tiny restaurant, a pretty bed and breakfast, that sort of thing. When we do have the opportunity it's fun to walk our college campus, drive by the dive we called a first home, and if we have a babysitter, go do a little parking on a country road ;)

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Our first "date" was at a local minor-league baseball game, so at least once a year we try to go see a ball game. Now we bring our kids along - and spend most of the time keeping up with them instead of watching the game! But we enjoy it just the same. (Also, we first held hands while waiting for a traffic light to change, so sometimes when we are at that intersection, my hubby reminds me that is "our light." LOL)

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In the mountains- away from work cell phone range

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We met for a blind date in the parking lot of our local Applebee's. I was bent over my seat trying to spritz on some perfume when he walked up behind me, and quietly said "BOO." I let out the perfect Janet Lee scream, and we both got a great laugh. I just remember being so nervous, and he was so cool and collected. I am thankful for that day.

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Walking around Opryland Hotel in Nashville at Christmas to see all of the lights and beautiful displays.

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Walking around Opryland Hotel in Nashville at Christmas to see all of the lights and beautiful displays.

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I love reminiscing :)

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It would probably be Sushi Me if I had to pick just one place, but right now it would probably really be just about anywhere in the greater Seattle area (where we lived when we met).

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Ligonier PA at the camp where we first met. We got to go back about 6 years later... with 2 of our kids!

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My husband and I met at a restaurant. He was a manager and I was a hostess/server. The day I left the restaurant industry to pursue my teaching career, we started dating. My husband still works for the same company, although he doesn't work in the same store. We visit the store that we met at each year, and share with our son how mommy and daddy met. While dating we also had Disneyland passes, and went frequently. We take our son as much as we can and share with him the rides and experiences mommy and daddy had when they we dating.

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We live close to the beach and have enjoyed many nice dates there.

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Going and hiking like we used to do before we were married

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I know it sounds silly... but Dairy Queen. The first time we spent time alone together was at a Dairy Queen. We talked so long and so much we forgot to order ice cream! That was almost 15 years ago and my life hasn't been the same since :)

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The front porch swing of the house I was living in at the time. We had been friends for about a year, when he asked me to take a walk with him. We ended up walking and then talking on the swing for hours. Then he asked if I was interested in a dating relationship with him. We talked more and more, and finally about 3 a.m. he left and I went to bed--and had a fairly unproductive time at work the next day. (-: We've been married for 14 years.

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We don't really have a nostalgic date location so I would say anything back in San Antonio, where we lived when we met.

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My husband and I went on our first official date on March 22, 2003. I had tried for months to invite him out with my friends. He always had a reason why he could not go. I thought he was putting me off and not interested. So, that last invitation to go with me to Dave & Buster's was really the last chance I was giving him. We went out that evening and had a wonderful time! God must have been looking out for us that evening. Everything was perfect. We kept hitting token jackpots on the games. We unintentionally ordered the exact same meals and drinks. And, we talked for hours. The next day Dennis called me and said rather awkwardly, "I cannot marry you until my parents move." And, the rest is history. We have been married for ten years! I am so thankful that God helped me give Dennis one last chance. . .

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We love getting away to the mountains and hiking without the kids. There is something about getting away from home and doing something together that gets the "us" back.

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