The Story of Us : How We Met (Her Version)


“Hey Tristan, I feel like we’ve met, but I don’t know. I know we like each other’s statuses a lot haha” 

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, the first ever message I received from my now husband. Yep, he was quite the charmer. No, but in all seriousness, looking back at those Facebook Messenger messages still makes me laugh. (I’ll put a few screenshots at the bottom of this post just for a few good belly laughs)

A little backstory for y’all. Ben and I both went to Grove City High School, but he graduated two years before I did. I knew his name and could pick him out in a crowd because he was a popular football player, but had never talked to him personally. All I knew about him was the reputation that preceded his name and I wanted nothing to do with this kid. (I get really harsh thoughts in my head sometimes, but I promise I apologized haha) When I saw that message pop up on my phone screen, I tried remembering how in the world I knew this guy. Scrolling through his profile, I started to recognize his face and how I knew him. He dated a girl in high school for I thought for like EVER and she was best friends with my best friend and we all sat together for lunch. I also remembered that he went to the same church as me with said girlfriend and I would always say hi to them to make them feel welcomed. So now, seeing this message on my phone, I was wondering what in the world was his angle and did he still have a girlfriend? If not, I hope he didn’t think I was his next target… (!!?!) I didn’t want to be mean, so I responded,

“Hey! I think we’ve met before. I go to FBC Grove City and I think I’ve seen you there quite a bit. :)” 

HA still laughing. No but really, eventually after a few more messages, Ben sends me this good one,

Ben: “So you think God is pretty cool?”

Me: “Of course! He’s more than pretty cool. :)”

Ben: “tell me about yourself 🙂 let’s be friends lol”

And the rest is history… hahaha. After a few more FB messages, we exchanged phone numbers, and continued getting to know one another. He asked me to come to a Grove City HS football game with him (and his parents…) and in all honesty, I thought there would be more of his friends there and that it was just as friends. I arrived to the football game, with him waiting on me at the front gate, and it was just the two of us. I can still remember in my head freaking out because now I thought I was unknowingly going on a date — first thing that comes to mind was — What the HECK are you wearing Tristan?! I had just gotten off a long shift at Chick-fil-A (changed in the bathroom there, no joke) and was wearing an oversized hoodie, Target leggings with paint all over them because I had just moved and had been painting for days, and my grungy old Converse. I felt extremely uncomfortable at first, but then realized this was the real me, and if this was a date, then at least he’s going to like me for who I really am. It was cold because it was the end of October and it ended up DUMPING rain at the game after the first quarter, so we stuck it out until halftime and then decided we were “going to get some hot chocolate to warm up.” We landed at Applebee’s… please don’t ask me how, I have no idea… we ate french fries and really got to know each other. I can honestly say, our meal at Applebee’s was the first time I saw Ben’s true personality and started falling for him. He was intentful, passionate, and driven. A true gentleman and a man after God. It’s so funny because we pretty much only talked about God our entire time at Applebee’s, and our server overheard us. She approached us explaining that her husband was a pastor and they had been battling infertility for YEARS and she had just found out that morning that she was pregnant and wanted to share that with us. Talk about AWESOME! Our first date may have been a little bit of a hot mess, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It was totally US and I’m so thankful for those crazy memories!

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We are Ben and Tristan Handley - a husband and wife photography team promoting authentic marriages and documenting love stories through timeless photographs. We provide educational resources and encouragement for young couples who value devotion and commitment.


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