“As much as I love Vancouver, the dating scene is tough, it’s almost impossible to meet people.” This quote from Plenty of Fish member Katharine hits close to home for anyone residing in Vancouver, BC, the home of Plenty of Fish headquarters. Dating can be hard, and finding your person can sometimes feel impossible in a big city where meeting new people is challenging.
Brian and Katharine found each other through Plenty of Fish right here in our own backyard, and they knew pretty quickly that they had both found someone incredibly special. Here’s their love story – Warning: It’s totally rom-com worthy.
When did you meet on Plenty of Fish?
Katharine: Summer of 2013. I remember Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (Dare we say foreshadowing?) was playing nonstop on the radio.
When you first saw each of your profiles, what was it that stood out to you?
Brian: I remember she had a picture of her cartwheeling and she wrote very eloquently. I also noticed that in her write up, she had a special code word that you had to mention to ensure you had read through the entire profile. I loved the adventure and the mysteriousness!
Katharine: I’d have to say the clear pictures of his face and body. It was obvious what he looked like (We ship a filter-free, good quality profile pic here at Plenty of Fish!) There were several photos of him in different cities, specifically one where he was in New York with his arms crossed, showing off his guns. He looked confident and sure of himself and that’s what attracted me. I honestly don’t remember what he wrote in his profile but I do remember his username was Airmilez and that corresponded to his love of traveling, something we both share.
Who messaged who first and why?
Brian: Technically, she had messaged me first using the “MeetMe” feature, but I had sent the first actual message to her and gave her my number to text me
Did you use a certain feature on the Plenty of Fish app to meet?
Katharine: Yes, as mentioned above, I used the MeetMe feature. I got an email and he popped up as someone I might be interested in so I clicked on his profile. I was 27 at the time and I had put an age filter on so that only guys between 26-33 could message me. He was 33 then and I was on the fence. I remember showing my sister a picture of him, asking her what she thought and her response was, “Sure, why not?” Unknowingly, her “Why not?” became a “Hell yes!” when he asked me to marry him in Egypt as we gazed out at the Nile river.
Was there something in particular, a unique shared love for something, that made you two click?
Katharine: Aside from traveling, I’d have to say it really was food, food and more food that made us click. Specifically, it was a Hong Kong cafe dish called swirl egg and shrimp fried rice noodles that he loved and that I loved making. When we first started dating, I was in the process of buying a place. He had a ton of experience so he helped me look. He gave me incredibly useful tips and tricks to being a savvy home buyer, and I promised him that once I closed on my home, I would make him this special dish. I not only kept that promise but I’ve been sharing my love through food with him, and our kids, ever since!
Brian: It definitely was food & travel. Once we did become exclusive she embarked on her Europe trip with her sister!
What did you do for the first date?
Katharine: It was a Friday after work coffee date and I was still in my office clothes. He was already there and I could see him through the window as I was walking in. It’s always nerve-wracking when you meet someone on a first date so I like to break the ice by giving the other person a hug. He bought me a coffee, I graciously thanked him and we sat outside in the sun.
We talked about family, what we did for a living, traveling, real estate, Vancouver life, where and how we grew up, our childhoods, and of course, food and all the restaurants we love. He was wearing gym shorts, runners and a t-shirt which was a total turn off for me but he explained that he’s recovering from a back injury and was doing his rehab exercises before coming out. I mentioned I was meeting up with my sister after so needed to leave before dinnertime. As I got up to go, I could feel a sense of longing. I knew we would see each other again.
What topics of conversation were important for you to bring up earlier on in your relationship?
Brian: Honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted and was meeting people here and there as well as meeting people online. Since I didn’t know what I really wanted (does anyone really know?) I asked a lot of questions. I asked about her favorite restaurants, places traveled to, top few places to travel in the future, family and sibling related questions, career aspirations, the list goes on.
Katharine: Money is something that a lot of people think and worry about but rarely do they directly talk about it. I grew up with humble beginnings; my parents immigrated from Hong Kong to Canada in the 1970s and they worked hard to put food on the table for me and my sisters. Those values are close to my heart. He shared these values of living within your means and prioritizing happiness and fulfillment over excess extravagance. It’s important to be open about your financial situation with your partner. Money is one of the reasons relationships fall apart so it’s better to bring that out in the open before moving forward together.
Additionally, if he didn’t want kids, it was an absolute deal-breaker for me. I’ve always wanted children and I’ve known that my whole life. Without a doubt, both of us had to see eye to eye on this question because we would resent one another if we weren’t on the same page. The same went for where to live, and staying close to home was tied to our shared values around family and upbringing.
What solidified that they were “The One?”
Brian: I just knew. This one is a secret.
Katharine: He had everything that I needed, wanted and deserved in a life partner. I was attracted to his confident, ambitious, open-minded, and extroverted personality. He’s a dreamer who likes to think big and a natural entrepreneur who pushes boundaries and isn’t afraid to try new things.
There was also an actual moment I knew he was “The One.” We were sharing a croissant in Paris and had been dating for about 8 or 9 months. I got a feeling that surpassed that exciting “all over each other” phase, that it was no longer lust and novelty but rather something deeper. We were in France for my friend’s wedding and I remember someone referred to him as my husband; I didn’t bat an eye. It didn’t scare me. It felt right, and that’s when I knew.
What is your best piece of advice for those using Plenty of Fish to find their special person?
Brian: My best advice for online dating is to be open-minded. Give everyone a chance to shine and spark joy. Some people are more photogenic than others so definitely don’t rule anyone out just for their photos!
Katharine: Using Plenty of Fish literally allows you to have access to plenty of fish in the sea. It’s a great platform to meet people. However, an increased number of options also comes with the burden of choice and making a decision can be difficult. You can’t be too picky and you can’t have zero standards.
When I was dating, I experienced all the challenges, from getting ghosted to catfished to random dudes who never did anything except text and then would get cold feet when I’d mention anything beyond that. I got pretty frustrated but didn’t give up. I sat down and really reflected on who I was and what I was looking for. It really comes down to understanding yourself and understanding what you need, want and deserve in a life partner.
Having met my husband in this city, I know it is possible to find love here and I wanted to help others do the same. So I decided to publish a book about it called, “A Brutally Honest Dating Guide” and it provides readers with real and raw advice about modern online dating.
Katharine and Brian’s story is so heartwarming, and I hope it gives everyone out there still searching the motivation to keep looking for their person. At the end of the day, that feeling you get when you “just know,” is worth whatever came before! Thank you, Katharine and Brian, for sharing your love with us!