We love that our customers share their experiences on social media, it genuinely makes us smile. So we were delighted when one couple agreed to share their year of dates story (so far) with us.
Kirsty Grant and Katie Rushton completed a date a week from A Year of Dates classic dating box after Katie bought it for Kirsty as a Christmas present. The couple, from Harrogate, North Yorks, have found the experiences to be a real boost in a tough year.
When Kirsty opened a small black box filled with 52 brightly coloured envelopes on Christmas Day, she never expected it would lead to a series of adventures with family, friends and her partner Katie.
“We’ve always enjoyed doing new things, travelling and having experiences together as a couple, but we’d got to the point where we felt we’d tried everything and we were stuck for ideas,” explained Katie.
“I wanted to buy a gift for Kirsty that would take us out of our comfort zone, give us fresh inspiration and allow us to spend time together not interrupted by work or the daily routine” she added.
And when, just weeks later, the pair found themselves at a salsa dancing class after their weekly date suggested they try out a new dance, they knew they’d already made memories to look back on for years to come.
“We both needed a couple of cocktails before we tried out any salsa moves,” Kirsty laughed. “It’s not something we would have ever thought to do ourselves, but it was so much fun and we were talking about it for days afterwards.”
Shortly after their salsa date the country ground to halt as lockdown was announced. But the weekly structure of the date box gave the couple much-needed routine and a boost of positivity.
Katie said: “Hearing constant bad news on the TV and radio and the fear and stress of the situation made it a tough time for everyone. But every Sunday we would open our date box and see what we should do next week. It was so nice to turn off from the outside world for a few hours and spend time together planning where to go and what to do next.”
One of the couple’s favourite dates was their kite flying trip to nearby parkland, where Katie remembered flying kites as a child with her brother and her dad.
She said: “As soon as kite flying came up I knew exactly where to go. I’d been there many times with dad, flying rickety kites, throwing them up into the air and watching them crash down again.
“It’s such a strong memory from my childhood, I remember laughing and running around, just having a brilliant time.”
And as Katie’s father now has early-onset dementia, those memories are even more precious. She said: “Dad can’t really take in much of what I’m telling him now, but I know he would be so chuffed that I’d taken Kirsty there and we’d had just as much fun together as I had with him as a child.”
The couple have also enjoyed dozens of other activities including playing tennis at their local court, joining in a virtual bingo game, watching the sunrise on the same beach where Kirsty spent family holidays as a child and even ordering in McDonalds when Kirsty – the worst cook of the partnership – drew the ‘make breakfast in bed’ card.
“We’ve bought each other things before that have gathered dust in the attic or that we’ve quickly got tired of,” Katie explained.
“Our A Year of Dates box has been the exact opposite. Relationships are built on sharing experiences. Having fun, spending time together and also sharing that with friends and family has just been unforgettable.”