A Love Story That Began With A Matchmaker And A First Date On NPR In 2017, NPR documented the first date of a couple paired by a professional matchmaker, for a story about modern dating. A year after their first date, the couple got engaged, and they recently wed.
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A Love Story That Began With A Matchmaker And A First Date On NPR

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A Love Story That Began With A Matchmaker And A First Date On NPR

A Love Story That Began With A Matchmaker And A First Date On NPR

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We have an update on a story we brought you that was part of our online dating series, What Makes Us Click. Rachel, you remember last year I told you about this woman here in Southern California. She had hired a matchmaker when she had gotten just totally fed up with all the dating apps.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I do. I do remember that. I also remember that service was really expensive.

GREENE: Like, super expensive. The woman, Kat McClain, paid $6,000 for this service. So the first guy she got set up with was Kevin Biely, and they actually let us come and record their first date.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

KAT MCCLAIN: I bet you at least a few people here think we're famous.

KEVIN BIELY: Exactly, right? So I grew up in a military family, so we bounced around a little bit when I was young.

MCCLAIN: Yeah. I am also a military brat.

GREENE: OK. So here's the update - Kat and Kevin got married this month.

MARTIN: Come on.

GREENE: I'm totally serious. I caught up with them before their big day. They came into the studio. And, you know, because we love to make things as awkward as possible, we had them listen back to some of that initial date.

What is it like hearing that?

BIELY: That's a little strange (laughter).

MCCLAIN: It's very strange. You know, I think in a way we kind of still sound like that, out and about on the town these days but just more comfortable.

BIELY: Yeah, exactly.

GREENE: I mean, you came together with Three Day Rule, the matchmaking service we were doing the story on. How much credit do you give them for bringing the two of you together, and to what extent do you think it might have happened even without them?

MCCLAIN: I don't think we would have met if not for them. I think - I had a weird dating app strategy and honestly, like, didn't go out with anyone who was under 6 feet tall. And you don't know Kevin that well, but he's under 6 feet tall.

GREENE: OK.

MCCLAIN: So he would have been, like, an instant elimination without me even, like, looking through his profile or the pictures. Like, it just wouldn't have mattered.

GREENE: You would just look at height and be like, eh.

MCCLAIN: Yeah. And then I think that the other thing I really credit them for is putting us in a place where we were on the same page from the very beginning.

BIELY: Yeah. It's the same experience for me. I mean, like, we were on similar apps. I mean, there's - it's probably theoretically possible that we could have crossed paths but, you know, probably not all that likely, and just because we kind of had, again, a head start, like, it just made everything that came after it so much easier was.

GREENE: Was there any stigma at all or if you had any reactions from friends that didn't like about meeting this way?

BIELY: I mean, I think if anything it was quite the opposite. I think, like, meeting through something exotic like a matchmaker almost carries a certain cachet - I mean, especially just because, you know, everybody's got a story of someone they swiped right on or they met in a bar. But we don't know anybody, I think, really, that kind of met in this kind of way. So we're kind of that one couple that did that so far.

MCCLAIN: I think the only negative responses I ever got were about how much it cost. Like, I can't believe you paid that much to do it. And I'm like, trust me. Kevin is worth every single penny and then some.

GREENE: That's really sweet.

MCCLAIN: (Laughter).

GREENE: So we sent you these questions for you to answer separately. You don't know what each other's answers are, which is kind of awesome. I'll start with Kevin. Before you went on your first date, did you think you'd be engaged within a year's time?

BIELY: So honest answer is no. Sure, in a vague and aspirational way, I knew I was ready to be settled down, but I really thought that that was far off, if ever. I think I was more in the headspace of being single permanently with something I really wanted to commit to and what that would look like.

GREENE: OK. Kat, before your first date, did you think you'd be engaged within a year?

MCCLAIN: No. I actually said I wish they could see me laughing about how absurd that would have sounded to me. Basically, for me, this was a last-ditch effort to meet someone before I bought some more cats and started telling people I never wanted to get married anyway. I didn't expect it to work. I had actually already started interviewing for jobs in cities other than LA. Like, I was just ready to close out this chapter of my life because it wasn't working, you know - like, so, yeah, not at all, not even close.

GREENE: Well, let me finish with this. If there are people listening who are just getting fed up with modern dating, do each of you have, like, one piece of relationship advice that you would throw their way?

MCCLAIN: So, yeah, I think you should be open-minded. A lot of the criteria you have in your head is not actually meaningful at all. And the person that you're looking for might not necessarily be the person that you're looking for.

BIELY: Yeah. And what I would layer on top of that is just be honest and be honest with yourself in particular. I mean, you know, the things that make me happy with Kat are not necessarily the things that I thought would have made me happy, you know, in previous relationships.

GREENE: Congratulations to both of you. This is such...

MCCLAIN: Thank you.

BIELY: Oh, thank you.

GREENE: It's such a lovely story, and you two are lovely and...

MCCLAIN: Thanks.

GREENE: Yeah, we're just all happy for you.

BIELY: Oh, we're...

MCCLAIN: We're pretty happy.

BIELY: Exactly.

MCCLAIN: (Laughter).

GREENE: They are so great. Kat McClain and Kevin Biely - now married almost a year and a half after sharing their first date with NPR and the world. And they shared more about their journey in a Q&A that is at our website, npr.org/dating.

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