Maybe it’s true that it’s the middle of stories that count the most, but we also love knowing about how stories started and set the stage for the beauty to come. Here, local couple Ellen (Hahs) and Rich Flentge share the story of how their love began, as well as the wisdom they have learned as they start their married lives together. May their story encourage you to continue on in your chosen path in life as we live as witnesses to love.
Hometowns: Ellen is from Sikeston, Missouri, and Rich is from Cape Girardeau, where the couple now resides.
How did you know this person was the one?
He says: Pretty much, yes, it was love at first sight. On our first date, which was a Redhawks football game, we held hands crossing the street. I had a very warm, comfortable feeling that we were connected. I prayed for a good woman who loved camping. So many things lined up. It’s like we’ve known each other for a much longer time. Ellen fit everything I want in a wife, and I couldn’t let her get away.
She says: My friend Lori came to my work and strongly suggested I meet this guy, Richard, who was in Missouri Campers. After moments of Lori mentioning to me that Richard was a Missouri Camper, I looked at a selfie of him on his Facebook page. The picture said it all. We’re really a lot alike. I have no doubt God brought us together. Weeks before, I had a “what if” moment while staying with friends from seeing them genuinely devoted and so happy together. I literally stood in their living room and said, “What if there really was a good one, for me?” Plus, I had a feeling of being drawn to go into his workplace because I’d see it on my way to work. When my friend Lori told me Richard worked there, I was giddy thinking of the synchronicity.
He says: It’s important to have shared interests in a variety of things. We enjoy sports, camping and fishing. It’s much easier and more fun when you’re with someone who also wants to be there. Wanting to be married and having a commitment to the wedded commitment matter most. Couples should have an inner desire to be a good mate, plan to do things together and let each other have the room to do the things you’d rather not without conflict. Keep up the good experiences, conversations, meals and socializing, and take pictures to look back on. Share the good vibe to keep reminding you why you got married.
She says: Changing your thought processes from being single to being a couple does require being open to change. Always remember why this is the spouse you chose. Learn their love language. You can learn lots by observation. Be their confidant, sounding board, cheerleader and consoler. Be truthful with yourself and them. Communicate what is joyful, and discuss what is unsettling. Make your marriage into one of the best choices of your life. Life-long love is an accomplishment for you both.
Photography: Friends and family of the couple