For a Month, I Had No Clue My Now-Husband Thought We Were Dating

Guest Blogger-Asa Maria Bradley

Hi all! I’m Charly, Rebecca’s assistant. We thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Romance: The Good, the Bad, and the Disastrous’ theme with guest bloggers throughout the summer months. Every Monday and Thursday, we’ll have a guest blogger talk about fun stuff like horrible dates, good dates, etc. Some bloggers will have a contest, and some won’t – it’s totally up to them. If there is a contest, I’ll randomly draw a winner from the post comments, send the winner’s email address to the guest blogger, and they’ll take it from there. Rebecca will jump in and blog when she can. For now, enjoy as we play!

Asa-Maria-BradleyI met my husband because of tequila and a roommate’s paranoia. Our first date was a blind one, the kind you arrange yourself. At the time, I lived in California’s San Francisco Bay Area with my married friends Bobby and Andrew. I knew Bobby from college and he had met Andrew while working in the UK. Their marriage was legal in Great Britain, but at that time, the US did not recognize their union. Andrew’s immigration status was therefore always iffy, a topic he and I discussed almost as often as my love life, or lack thereof. Even though the Bay Area was predominantly male, I worked in a small IT company where everyone was older than me by at least ten years. And there was a reason the women there used to say “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.” Many of the guys were introverts who weren’t comfortable talking to potential partners. They weren’t comfortable talking at all.

One Thursday night while Bobby taught evening classes, Andrew and I indulged in our usual activity of watching NBC’s lineup while enjoying a pitcher or two of margaritas. As the cast of Friends sorted out their love lives, I once again complained to Andrew about my lackluster dating record.

This time, he held up his hand to stop my whining and threw a newspaper at me. “Check out the personal I circled for you.”

“You’re shopping for guys for me through the ads. Seriously?”

We usually made fun of the ads in the Bay Area free newspaper, but never read them for real. I turned to the ad Andrew had picked out and read the beginning: “Bashful Brit looking for monogamous relationship…” I threw the paper back at him.

Instead of laughing as I expected, he took my hand. “Darling, you really need to get out more. Why don’t you give this bloke a call and see what happens.”

I began to answer, but the opening music of ER interrupted me and as we settled in for an hour in the emergency room of Chicago’s fictional County General Hospital, Andrew sighed. “Why anybody thinks that guy Clooney can act is a mystery. He’ll never get another role after this show.”

I punched his shoulder to shut him up. I was quite happy watching Dr. Ross flirt with the nurses.

Two hours later, I dialed the numbers listed in the ad. Maybe the tequila in that last pitcher had suppressed my inhibitions. Maybe I couldn’t live down a dare that Andrew had thrown in after our first pitcher. Or, maybe I wanted what Bobby and Andrew had and thought meeting a Bashful Brit was a step in the right direction.

* * *

That weekend, I was cat and house sitting for my boss. In addition to giving me some time away from living with a couple, his house offered a multi-million-dollar view of the San Francisco Bay. On a clear day, I could see from the Bay Bridge to the abandoned salt ponds just north of San Jose. At night, car headlights illuminated busy streets like El Camino Real and the blinking lights of air planes going in for landing at SFO reflected in the shiny glass towers of the Oracle Corporation. I spent as much time watching the view as I did taking advantage of my boss’ big screen TV. I was enjoying a movie when my phone rang and when I answered, Andrew’s panicked voice startled me. “I’m going to be deported.”

Not again, I thought.

Every time our landline had a hang-up or callers asking for people we didn’t know, Andrew was convinced the calls were from the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).

“This English bloke called and asked for you. After I took a message, he wanted to know if I was British. When I said yes, he said, ‘fancy that’ and hung up on me.”

“What was the guy’s name,” I asked.


“That’s the guy we called on Thursday night. He probably thinks I collect British guys.”

I couldn’t stop laughing, but Andrew was not amused. “You have to call him back and go out with him to make sure he’s not an INS agent.”

* * *

Mike was pleasant, but a bit nervous on the phone, as was I. Even though he seemed suspicious about me sharing a house with another Brit, we made tentative plans to go out for dinner later in the week. I called Andrew back to assure him that Mike was a software engineer. Not convinced, he answered, “I won’t believe it until you actually go out with him.”

* * *

On Mike’s suggestion, we met for dinner at an Indian restaurant. The date went fairly well. We chatted pleasantly between short awkward silences. As we walked out, Mike suggested we’d to an Irish pub to meet up with a few “mates” of his.

I knew Mike was a regular when the waitress greeted him by name. When we stepped deeper into the smoky interior, a group in a corner shouted out “Mike” similar to the way Norm used to be greeted on Cheers.

More people than I could keep straight introduced themselves, including a striking blond, who happened to be Mike’s very recent ex-girlfriend. As the evening progressed, the crowd swelled and Mike and I ended up on opposites ends of an L-shaped couch. Sitting next to his ex, I chatted with her about her job while a nervous Mike tried to overhear the conversation. A beautiful Asian woman obstructed his view. She’d had some kind of corrupted data problem and wanted Mike to figure out how to fix it. A very charming guy sitting on my other side, who had introduced himself in a sexy Welsh accent, offered the opinion that just because the Asian woman was someone Mike had slept with, he shouldn’t feel obligated to give her free technical support.

At this point, Mike’s ex stretched out her very long legs so that the Welsh guy and I could admire her new pedicure. Her black with white polka dots nails perfectly matched the bows on her high-heeled sandals. I compared her feminine footwear to my black Dr. Martens, her short flirty yellow skirt to my black Levi’s, and decided that anybody who used to go out with this stylish woman was not my type. As I stood up, Mike hurried to my side and declared he’d walk me to my car. Before I drove away, he asked me out for the following weekend. I politely declined.

Back home, Andrew was sitting up waiting for me. “So, is he with the INS?”

“I don’t think you have to worry about that. The guy is too busy chasing women to have time hunting expired visas,” I answered.

* * *

Mike called a few times and asked me out again I declined each time, using my graduate thesis as an excuse. Then one evening, he called to invite me to a barbecue at the cute Welsh guy’s house.

“Hm, Welsh you say?” I pretended to search my memory. “Oh yeah, I think I remember him now.”

The barbecue was in full swing when we arrived. Mike walked me around the place, introducing me to everyone. All the guests were male except for four women seated in the kitchen. They had a large selection of Snapple placed on the table.

“Hey,” a stunning black haired beauty called out to me. “Pull up a chair. We’ve got important business to attend to.” She shooed Mike out. “This is no place for a man. Go outside and cook with fire.”

Another short-haired, fast-talking woman explained what the task at hand was. “So we have a big bottle of vodka, but no orange or tomato juice. The goal is to figure out which flavor of Snapple works best in our drink.”

As the tasting continued, the women grilled me about who I was, what I did and how I’d met Mike. I wasn’t sure he wanted it known that he’d placed a personal add, but since we hadn’t synchronized our stories, I figured it was better to stick to the truth. My new friends seemed a little taken aback, but quickly recovered. They told me stories about Mike and I got to know a different person than the one I thought I had gone on a date with. Their Mike was a great friend, a fantastic coworker, and always the first one to lend a helping hand.

Eventually we ran out of vodka, perfectly timed with the hosts deciding to move the party to the pub, which was walking distance from the house. I asked Mike if he expected his ex to show up. He looked embarrassed when he answered, “She’s only been there once before. I have no idea why she was here that last time. I know how that must have looked.”

By the end of the evening, my view of Mike had altered completely. Now I was quite keen on going out with him.

And we did see each other, several times per week. Each time Mike walked me to my car after and we talked for a long time before he left to go home. Except for a hug or two, there was almost no physical contact. I figured he’d moved me into the friend zone and I’d lost my chance.

* * *

About six weeks after our first date, my birthday came around. I invited Mike to join me and some friends at a club in San Francisco. We had a great time dancing and hanging out, but again, Mike acted more like a friend than someone interested in dating. He lived in the south bay, about an hour and a half from San Francisco, so when the club closed I asked Mike if he wanted to just crash at our place. He accepted and when we got to the our townhouse, he bounded up the stairs to my bedroom.

I followed, slightly confused. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“What do you mean? You asked me to spend the night.” Mike stripped off his clothes and made himself comfortable in my bed.

“Yeah, like on the couch.”

“Oh, is it too soon in our relationship?”

“What relationship?”

“We’ve been dating for a month.”

“We haven’t even kissed.”

“I can fix that.” Mike reached for me and I lost a few minutes as his lips touched mine. When I came too again, I was even more confused.
And a little hot. Okay, a lot hot.

“I can’t believe you didn’t know we were dating,” Mike said. “I’ve been pursuing you forever.”

“How have you been pursuing me?” I was still confused.

“I’ve been calling you weekly.”

I may have been bad at interpreting Mike’s sign of intent early in the relationship, but I definitely got better. Or, maybe he just communicated clearer. Five months later, we moved in together. Four months after that, Mike proposed. This year, we celebrated our sixteenth anniversary.


Asa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired the immortal Vikings and Valkyries in her paranormal romances. She also writes romantic suspense and currently resides on a lake deep in the pine forests of the Pacific Northwest with a British husband and a rescue dog of indeterminate breed. Her debut book VIKING WARRIOR RISING is released by Sourcebooks on November 3.

Visit Asa at and sign up for her newsletter to get book news, bonus materials, and fun giveaways.


Viking Warrior Rising:

Immortal Vikings are among us.


Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.

Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.

But Naya doesn’t want to be found…and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.

Release date November 3 and available for pre-order at:

Amazon  B&N    [Books-A-Million]


What’s the most confusing courtship or date you’ve experienced? Leave a comment below for a chance of winning a prize package consisting of: a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift certificate (your choice), a cute Viking Ducky, and some fun Viking souvenirs I brought back from my visit to Europe this summer.

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94 thoughts on “For a Month, I Had No Clue My Now-Husband Thought We Were Dating”

  1. Lori Meehan says:

    I love the story of you meeting your husband. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Sounds like you’ve got the makings for the beginning of a great contemporary story there 😉 Terrific looking story, definitely have my interests piqued, and hot cover! Thanks For Sharing Today.

  3. Stephanie & Lori,

    Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed my story. 🙂

  4. Erika Kelly says:

    Oh, I love your story, Asa! It’s all so awkward in the beginning, isn’t it?! And your book sounds unique and fascinating!

    1. Hi Erika, thanks for stopping by. Beginning of relationships are so super awkward. It’s a wonder so many people manage to figure that part out. 🙂

  5. Sidney Halston says:

    I love a good blind date and tequila story, Asa!
    Can’t wait for Viking Warrior Rising!

    1. We should get some tequila going, or at least margaritas at the next conference. 😉

  6. Asa,

    Loved your story. Especially since mine is the exact opposite. I met my future husband at a Saturday night party and he asked for my number. On Monday night, I was out for drinks with a friend and told her I’d met the man I was going to marry. She asked if he’d called me yet.

    “No,” I said. “He’ll call tomorrow afternoon.”

    “You seem awfully sure.”

    I was. He called the next afternoon. We were engaged within six months and will celebrate twenty years of marriage this October.

    1. Lensa says:

      What an awesome story! Congrats on the 20th anniversary.

    2. I love that story, Julie! I don’t think I’ve ever been sure what’s going to happen next in any of my romantic relationships. 🙂

  7. Pintip says:

    Aw, Asa, what a cute story! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing! And congrats on your sixteenth anniversary and your upcoming release. That cover. I still think WOW whenever I see it.

    1. Thanks Pintip! I’m still in love with your winged cover. Reminds me of Odin’s ravens. 🙂

  8. Sarah Andre says:

    TOO CUTE! Somehow I can just picture this, Asa! Fun has a way of following you around. Glad you met Mike and kept him. Wonder what the ex is doing now…and what color her nail polish is.

    1. The ex is actually a very nice person. 🙂 She moved to Hawaii for a while, I think, and I’m sure her toes where very happy and pretty in all that wonderful sand. 🙂

  9. Sarah E. says:

    love this story!! So cute 😉

    1. Thank you Sarah! And thank you for stopping by!

  10. Frank says:

    “Girl can TELL a story….”


    You know, I don’t think you’ve ever told me that tale, but it’s a great one!

    1. Thanks! I’m surprised I haven’t told you that one. It requires a bit of wine to be told in person, but we usually manage that part. 😉

  11. Tammy Baumann says:

    That is one of the best “how I met my husband” stories ever! LOL And I bet you shooed him away to the couch that night, right??? ;0)

    1. Ehm…ehr, yes, yes, of course I did. After a while. 😉

  12. Jessie says:

    Hi Asa – even though I have heard you tell this story in person, it still brings me a huge smile. You two are such a cute couple!

    1. Thanks Jessie! Can’t wait to see you at Emerald City. I think you and I make a cute couple too. 😉

  13. Rachel says:

    This is so cute! And LOL funny.

    1. Glad you thought so and thanks for stopping by!

  14. Susan Dunn says:

    This is hysterical! Mike wasn’t really shy after all!

    1. He applies himself when he wants to. 😉

  15. What a storyteller you are! Now I know VIKING WARRIOR RISING will be a fabulous read! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Sheri! And thank you for stopping by!

  16. Shelly Alexander says:

    Great story! And told so well. The stars aligned and you two go your HEA.

    1. Thanks Shelly! HEAs are my favorites, in real life and in books. 🙂

  17. Lensa says:

    Åsa, I loved reading about how the story of you and Mike began!
    And I giggled and chuckled at your humorous descriptions.

    1. Thanks Lensa! Am excited you stopped by!

  18. Witty, wonderful story. I’ll definitely check out your Viking romance. Love Vikings. Sharing this post around too…

    1. Thanks, Selene, both for stopping by and for the shout-out!

  19. Beth I says:

    Beats my experience with “The Persian Diversion”. We met thru a friend at a coffee shop. I was researching how to smuggle things from Iran to Afghanistan for a book I wanted to write. He thought I was with a government agency trying to recruit him because I’d printed maps off the website. “WHERE did you say you worked?”

    1. I want to hear the rest of THAT story! That sounds like a wonderful beginning!

  20. Asa, I felt like I was reading a romcom! You are such a good writer, and that is a great story, well told. I met my husband on a street corner. He said to me and my friend, “You girls look bored.” I thought that was the worst pick-up line ever and kept walking, but my friend stayed to talk to him. My friend and I “broke up” ages ago, but the husband has stuck. That was 28 years ago. And let me just say that I am super excited about your book. Cannot wait to read it.

    1. LOL! I’m glad I know you, or I’d get a whole different picture of what your career is after picturing you standing on street corners with “friends” and talking to strange men. 🙂

  21. Carrie Padgett says:

    Heehee … Fun story, Asa! I love all the details. It’s obvious he’s a keeper. I’m glad you figured it out before someone else did!

    1. He’s definitely a keeper, Carrie. Thanks for stopping by!

  22. Ah… The story romances are made from. Love it! Thanks for sharing, Asa.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Stanalei!

  23. I love this story! And great headline — I clicked over from FB, where a friend had shared it. I’d read a full contemporary romance based on this! 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you found the blog, Cathy! You should follow it, Rebecca posts some great stuff and have fun guests. I’ll have to think about making this into a contemporary romance. You’ve given me some ideas now. 😉

  24. Okay, that was adorable. And, if it was fifteen years ago when I was single and free, I might want to head to San Francisco where all these Brits and Welshman hang out! Lol.

    1. They were very charming and cute, if a bit unclear in their courtship. 🙂

  25. Lanfear says:

    That is a great story! I have nothing to compare. My worst date was deadly dull. He talked about his health issues for 2 hours. I paid the bill to escape.

    1. Oh no, that doesn’t sound good. Glad you had an escape route. And I’m so impressed you paid the bill first. A lot of people would have just left. 😉

  26. Gorgeous story, Asa. Loved it!

  27. Rachel Lacey says:

    Oh my goodness, this is the best real life “cute meet” story I’ve ever read! Love it! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rachel! I like the cute meets in your books better since it always involves adorable animals and very hot guys. Definitely a win-win. 🙂

  28. Asa, I love your story! It just goes to show men love it when a woman has a life of her own, whether she’s trying to be hard to get or not 🙂

    My most confusing date was when I went out with a cocky bastard who kept “negging” me, which at the time, wasn’t even a recognized term or thing to do (giving backhanded compliments that make the woman feel uneasy or crappy, theoretically to make them want to please you).
    Example: “That’s a great top. That style is very ‘in’ right now. I saw three other girls here wearing the exact same thing.” or “I think it’s great you wear contacts. Girls look so ugly in glasses. Not like you, in contacts.” (when obviously if you wear contacts you also wear glasses) or “You’d look great with your hair up. Really beautiful. It’s just messy if it’s down, IMO” when my hair is down, etc etc ad nauseaum.

    So as the date progressed, (and I didn’t know about negging) I couldn’t understand why I disliked him so much even though he’d only been “nice.” Terribly confusing. I went with my gut and didn’t see him again (and I ended up with the best hubby ever). Life is too short for games, players!

  29. Good for you, Shoshanna! I hadn’t heard about the term “negging” either until a few years ago. I was like, “Oh, that’s what those ex boyfriends were doing. No wonder I broke up with them. 🙂

  30. Mary Preston says:

    That was fun to read through thank you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

  31. Katrina Snow says:

    I love your quirky how-we-met account for so many reasons. Especially, that sweet ending, which was just the beginning. 😉 The novel sounds fun, too. I’m off to Amazon now to check it out!

    1. Katrina Snow says:

      So, I’m back from checking out your book on Amazon… I checked out the book info, then jumped to your Amazon author page and got swept down the rabbit hole to your website where I discovered Pintip’s fabulous cover reveal from May. I’ve now pre-ordered both books. 😉 November is going to be fun! Hugs, Katrina.

      1. Katrina Snow says:

        PS – For anyone else reading along, Pintip’s book is Forget Tomorrow. I still can’t get over that cover. So cool.

        PPS – I’m obviously distracted by the fun books…can’t get over my overuse of “check/checked/checking out” above. 😉

        1. I love that you checked in with us and checked out our books and then checked in with us again! 🙂

          Thank you so much!

      2. Pintip says:

        Aw, Katrina, that is so sweet – thank you!!! I really hope you enjoy!

  32. Saralee says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing it. How funny that he thought he was pursuing you, and you didn’t even know — good thing it all worked out well.

    1. I guess those Northern Brits are just not too obvious. 🙂 Thanks for hanging out with us for a bit.

  33. Abbie Roads says:

    Oh, Asa!
    I love your story! It made me laugh!

    In high school I started dating a guy… The problem: He never made a move. Never tried to hold my hand, hug me, or kiss me. Nothing! After two weeks he broke up with me because dating me “wasn’t what he expected.” Did he think I was supposed to initiate everything? I was waiting for him to do something and thinking he must’ve wanted to take it sssslllloooowwwww.

    1. Gah! Dating in high school was the worst! I hadn’t yet figured out who I was supposed to be by myself, never mind figuring out who I was supposed to be in a relationship.

  34. Amy DeLuca says:

    I LOVE this story!!! And your cover. Really fun post. 🙂

  35. Jen Doyle says:

    Asa, that is a fantastic story! I am so totally plying you with wine next time I see you so I can hear it in person. 🙂

    1. I’ll give you the x-rated version! 😉

  36. Jessica Ruddick says:

    I absolutely love this story, Asa! It never gets old!

    1. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  37. Evie Claire says:

    Asa, this is awesome!! I love hearing how great & happy couples met:) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Evie! And thanks for the FB friend request!

  38. Shelly Chalmers says:

    Asa, super cute story! Glad you two figured out the different dating-style-issue early before you gave up! 😉

    1. Yeah, we’re still working on our communication skills, but hopefully we’ll get there eventually. 🙂

  39. April Hunt says:

    LOVED this meet-cute, Asa!! Like you, the hubs and I can’t really pin a date to the start of our relationship b/c it just kinda…happened. lol.

    1. We’ll have to chuck it up to a slow beginning and look forward to the strong HEA ending. 🙂

  40. Shaila Patel says:

    Hi Asa,

    We met at RWA, and I absolutely love your how-we-met story! I would’ve been just as befuddled! 🙂

    Can’t wait for your book to come out!

    1. Hi Shaila! It’s so good to “see” you again. Those were some awesome empanadas, weren’t they?

      1. Shaila Patel says:

        Yes! They were, and I’m missing them very much. We need a Nuchas truck here in Charlotte! 🙂

  41. bn100 says:

    haven’t experienced any weird ones

    1. My wish is that you never will. 🙂

  42. Natalija says:

    Fantastic post, thanks for sharing! I don’t remember any strange dates, but I have had my share of dates who never showed up or wanted to be friends with me from the start 🙂

    Looking forward to reading the book.

    1. I’ve had that too. On one hand it’s kind of good because then you don’t have to figure out what their intentions are and look for signs for something that is not there. On the other hand, that one time that a hot fireman wanted to be just friends…… 😉 (Another true story for another blog.)

  43. Nan Dixon says:

    Asa – I love this story! Fabulous!

    1. Thanks Nan! You’re our lucky winner, so I emailed you to ask for your mailing address. Aren’t you glad you stopped by? 😉

  44. McCall Hoyle says:

    Asa, this post mad me smile this morning. Thanks for sharing. I especially love the part where your husband said he’d been pursuing you forever by calling weekly. Too funny! 🙂 Hugs.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, McCall! I definitely know–now–that “pursue” is a very subjective word. 😉

  45. Charly says:

    UPDATE: The giveaway winner is Nan Dixon. CONGRATS! I have sent your info to Asa.

  46. Robin P says:

    love the story of how you meet your husband. I have never dated much so I don’t have a funny story to tell.

    1. That may be a good thing, Robin. No bad dates. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!