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Butler County couples share blind date success stories

Melissa and Pete Turner met on a blind date in 2013. Submitted Photo

After Melissa and Pete Turner each experienced a series of “bad dates,” the couple found themselves bonding over their unfortunate luck when they went on a blind date.

The couple, who have since married and built a life together in Harmony, are among 43% of Americans who have gone on at least one blind date, according to datingadvice.com.

Though some of those dates undoubtedly end awkwardly, going on a blind date worked for at least two Butler County couples, who recently shared their experiences.

Melissa and Pete Turner met on a blind date in 2013. Submitted Photo

The Turners met after a mutual friend set them up on a blind date in 2013. It was the first time either had attempted a blind date, and neither had high hopes about meeting the other.

“I was at a point where I didn’t care,” Melissa said. “I was on so many bad dates at that point.”

Over dinner at the Franklin Inn in Allegheny County, Melissa and Pete bonded over their aversion to dating by sharing stories about their worst dating experiences.

Melissa and Pete Turner met on a blind date in 2013. The couple bonded over their bad dating experiences. Submitted Photo

“I was a single father, so dating for me was hard,” Pete said. “I had gone on an eHarmony date — only one — and then I canceled my subscription promptly.

“My date was a little aggressive; she moved a little too fast. I ended things quickly, and she ended up at my house.”

After some laughter, Pete said, “I was apprehensive about taking the blind date.”

But he recalled feeling at ease when he learned his blind date, Melissa, had her fair share of negative dating experiences, too. Melissa’s worst experience included a man who showed up to the date drunk.

The couple now resides in Harmony and have been married for almost nine years.

Melissa and Pete Turner were married about two years after a friend set them up on a blind date. The couple now resides in Harmony. Submitted Photo

Melissa and Pete said their recipe for a successful love life includes reserving judgment and finding “as much humor as they can in most situations.”

“Rather than picking each other apart, I think finding humor sometimes saves you,” Melissa said.

Pete added, “I think you have to be able to laugh at yourself.”

When they’re not caring for their four kids, they love to whitewater raft, canoe and ride bikes. Melissa also owns Studio Z Yoga on Main Street in Zelienople, which Pete helps run.

Another blind date

Melissa and Eric Morrison, of Zelienople, also found love following a blind date. Their mothers taught together at Butler Intermediate High School for over 15 years when they decided their children would be a great fit together.

Melissa and Eric were both 20 years old and in college at the time. They agreed to meet each other in October 2001, but Eric first caught wind of Melissa in May of that year, when his mother said she “saw a really cute girl” that day.

“I jokingly said, ‘Did you get her number?’” Eric replied. “I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. I was busy with studies and playing rugby at Grove City College.”

Either way, Melissa had a boyfriend at the time. But a few months later, Eric’s mother informed him of a fallout between the two. She volunteered that maybe he could take Melissa out to get her mind off things.

It was a first blind date for both of them — and it was a truly blind date.

“This would’ve been before cellphones, Facebook, social media. There was no way to creep to find out what people looked like,” Melissa said.

Eric replied, “There was an element of intrigue to not even know what this girl looks like.”

To set up the date, Eric had to call her home phone. Since he called late in the evening, nobody picked up the phone and he had to leave a message on the answering machine.

Melissa and Eric Morrison met on a blind date in 2001. Submitted Photo

“I’ve never been comfortable on the phone, and I left a silly message because I didn’t know what to say,” Eric said. “I was kind of talking to myself and today, she still laughs at that. It’s kind of funny how some of the foibles played into interweaving our relationship.”

The couple met at a local gas station and drove to a movie theater to see “Training Day.”

“Another source of humor,” Eric said, both of them laughing at their film choice. “It was a harsh street movie with violence and language and crime. And we’re both coming from these Christian households.”

“It was not a fuzzy, romantic movie,” Melissa added.

Halfway through the film, Eric said he wanted to do the gentlemanly thing and he asked her if she wanted to go, in case she was uncomfortable. Instead, they stayed. Two years later, they were married.

“I think the recurring theme is just roll with the punches and be able to smile and laugh through the unpredictable craziness of life,” Eric said.

“You have to choose every minute of the day,” Melissa said.

Melissa and Eric now each work in the medical field as a nurse and chiropractor respectively. They enjoy hanging out with family, cooking and watching sports.

They’ve been married for almost 20 years and reside in Zelienople with their three children.

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