Maurissa and Morgan’s First Date? His Company Office Party
By Kaitlin Menza
When Morgan asked Maurissa out on a first date, he knew his suggestion was a little unorthodox. “Honestly, it was just a shot in the dark,” says Morgan, who worked in sales at the time. “I just threw it out there, sort of expecting that she wouldn’t take it.”
They matched on Bumble on December 12, 2017, and the very next day she accompanied him to his intimate company holiday party.
“I freaked out and I called two or three friends,” says Maurissa, who works at a not-for-profit and was living in Washington at the time. “But they were like, what do you have to lose? Why not go?” After a few months on Bumble and a few dates, she had just sworn to herself that she was quitting the app—but she liked one particular line on Morgan’s profile: “All he said was, ‘Always down to play in the snow,’” Maurissa remembers.
She decided that if she could find a babysitter on short notice for her two daughters, then it was meant to be. “I called my sitter, really nonchalant, and I was like, ‘It’s not a big deal, but are you free tonight to watch the girls?’ The sitter was available, and so I was like, ‘Oh. I have no excuses,’” Morgan laughs.
The pair, who now reside just outside Portland, Oregon, decided to meet in a grocery store parking lot first to break the ice and come up with a backstory to tell his coworkers about how they met. Morgan brought a rose. “Probably my first thoughts were just making sure that she didn’t think that I was some sort of serial killer,” he says. Luckily, her first impression was a good one. “Oh my gosh, he’s really cute. He’s dressed up!” Maurissa recalls thinking. “And the rose definitely helped.”
The party was held right inside his office, with drinks in the kitchen and ping pong tables set up as about 30 people milled about. Morgan, who was already impressed with Maurissa’s “ballsy move” of saying yes in the first place, appreciated that she held her own with his coworkers. “She was great. It wasn’t like I had to sit by her the whole time—she still made conversation even when I would mingle. She did really well,” he says.
But they found plenty of time to chat with each other, diving right into their personal histories. Maurissa had felt awkward with past Bumble matches or dates about how or when to mention her divorce. “I didn’t know what to do, if I should write it in the profile, or if that automatically sets you up in a different light,” she says. “So I typically waited.” With Morgan, it was different. “We actually ended up talking about both of our divorces and kids within the first couple hours,” she says. “It was nice, because I didn’t have to hide that part [of my life].”
Morgan asked her to hang out again that first night, and then, “we just never stopped hanging out,” Maurissa says. She valued his honesty, and he liked her self-possession. “She was always very put together. She’s successful, was raising two kids on her own, and seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders,” he says. “Our love just sort of grew. It wasn’t expected, but it came and never stopped—just got better and better.”
And they were on the same page about their first priority and shared experience: their children. Previously, Maurissa had gone out with a man who, when he found out she had kids, remarked that he wasn’t sure he liked kids. “Great!” she jokes, now. “Mine are here to stay.”
“We tried to hide [our relationship] from the kids for as long as we could,” Morgan says, but shortly before the pandemic, the couple moved in together, blending his two sons and her two daughters, “The Brady Bunch”-style, as they put it. “I don’t think we knew what we were getting into, because now it’s a madhouse,” Morgan laughs. “But that was probably the easiest part, the transition. All the kids really liked each other, got along, and that came together really well.”
Just how tight is this new crew? In November, they started a business selling hot chocolate “bombs” on Etsy and Facebook, which are balls of chocolate filled with hot cocoa mix. Maurissa says it was an effort in “family bonding,” and Morgan came up with the name: 8 Little Hands. “They did pretty well this holiday season, too, and we are hoping to keep it up for them for college funds and building savings,” Morgan says.
In terms of other future plans, the couple has discussed marriage, but it’s not a priority. As Maurissa says: “Right now, we’re like, ‘Let’s just be happy.'”