From Never to Forever

Hours after meeting, this couple bought a flight to see each other again.

Before they met, Traci and Terry had both sworn off of marriage.

They both had bad relationships in their pasts and were content with their lives as single adults.

But those plans went out the window in November of 2008 when Terry got back from serving in Iraq. He was fresh off the plane enjoying a few beers at a local bar when Traci spotted him from across the room. Their conversation lasted through the night and well into the next morning.

That same day, Terry bought a plane ticket to see Traci again. The couple have hardly been apart since.

Though they had vowed to not get married again, Terry and Traci were exchanging vows after less than a year. Sixteen years later, the couple wouldn’t change a thing.

Here’s their story.

Do you want to share your meet-cute story with the Love Letter? Email us at [email protected] or get in touch here!

How did you meet? 

Traci: It's a pretty unique story. My husband was with 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. My brother was also with the 101st Airborne. I made the drive up from Dallas for my brother’s homecoming in November 2008, and while I was there a friend who lived in the area invited me to go with her to a sports bar.

At the bar, I saw Terry walk in the door and I kind of watched him for an hour like a creeper. I talked to the bouncer and I asked “Have you ever seen that guy before?” And he said no. And I said “Did you see a wedding ring?” And he said no. I asked the bouncer what he thought my chances were and he said “Just go talk to him!”

I went up and tapped Terry on the shoulder, and he just immediately moved out of the way. He thought I was trying to get by. So I tapped him again and he leaned down and I said “Hey, I have to tell you, I’ve been watching you all night and I think you’re the hottest guy in this bar. I’d love to talk to you.”

He looks at me and he goes “Oh my god, you’re drunk. Who are you here with?” And so I pointed out my friend and he goes and asks her if I’m drunk, and she tells him I’ve only had one beer. And he was like “Oh, okay” and then we proceeded to talk the rest of the night.

What was your first impression of Traci?

Terry: At first I just thought she was trying to get by to go to the bathroom or something. When I saw her I was like Holy crap, she’s gorgeous. I didn’t know what to think. That’s why I thought she was drunk. I was like She’s got to be drunk because she’s talking to me and she’s way out of my league. When we started talking I just knew right away that I could never let this woman out of my sight again.

What did you think of Terry once you started talking?

Traci: I could tell within five minutes that he’s not a guy who’s going to play games. He wasn’t there to get another notch on his belt or anything like that. He was very open, very honest. He was all about communication. I could tell he was a loyal guy, and that just really stuck with me.

What happened next?

Traci: We closed down the sports bar and walked across the street to Waffle House and we were there until like four in the morning.

And then I took him back to base because they had just gotten back from Iraq hours prior to me meeting him. We were in my car, and we literally just talked until eight in the morning.

I finally realized that I needed to get back to the hotel because my mother and I drove up together from Dallas, and he pinky promises that he would see me again. I thought Okay, maybe we will, maybe we won’t. Who knows, maybe this is just a really nice guy that I met.

Do you remember what you talked about?

Terry: Probably everything you’re not supposed to talk about on the first date. Politics, religion, family relationships. I wanted to be up front with her. I wanted her to know this is who I am, this is what you’re getting. She was the same way.

The conversation was so easy, it just flowed. And mind you, I had just gotten back from my third deployment, so I wasn’t in the best headspace at the time. But this conversation made me feel so at ease.

What happened next?

Traci: I get back to my hotel and my mom is already packed and ready to get back to Dallas. So I hop in the car and get in the back seat and fall asleep because I’ve been up all night. Four hours later, I wake up and I had several missed phone calls from Terry, and one of the voicemails said “Hey, I just want to let you know I booked my ticket. I’ll see you tonight.”

Terry: After she left I went back and talked to some of my buddies and told them about this girl I just met. And the next thing I knew, I was like I’ve got to see her again. So I called American Airlines and booked a ticket.

I’d never done anything that dramatic. I’d never even been to Dallas before I got there. And mind you, the whole time I’m on the plane she hasn’t answered any of my phone calls. I’m thinking Okay, I’m going to Texas for the weekend. I’m just gonna have a fun weekend in Texas by myself, I guess.

The price was outrageous since I was booking at the last minute, but it was worth every penny. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Traci: He actually ended up beating us back to Dallas, so when I got home I went to the airport and picked him up.

How did things grow from there?

Traci: We proceeded to spend every single weekend together until he left active duty four months later. So we met in November, moved in together in March, got engaged in August and got married in December.

Were you confident when you made the decision to fly to Dallas?

Terry: It’s something I usually would have never done, but I think I knew she was the one. I had to take that chance.

If you don’t take chances in life, you might grow into an old person with a lot of regrets. Chances don’t always pay off, but this one did. Now I get to wake up beside my best friend for the rest of my life.

🤔 Poll

Can you tell if someone is 'the one' the very first time you meet them?

Click below to vote!

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

📊 Last Week We Asked…

  • [poll] “What would be your preferred way to re-connect romantically with someone you haven't seen since grade school?

    • 31% said “Connect on social media”

    • 60% said “Bump into them randomly”

    • 2% said “Match on a dating app”

    • 7% said “School reunion”

Do you or someone you know have a meet-cute story for the Love Letter? Get in touch here!

Did someone you know forward you this love letter? Subscribe Here

Interviewed and transcribed by Nicolas Vega. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.