Poll: Vote your favorite ‘meet-cute’ story

It’s time for readers to vote for their favorite “meet-cute” story! It’s up to you to vote for your favorite out of the following top three (selected by vote by editors at the Northern Star). The couple with the most votes by 5 p.m. Thursday will win a prize of flowers and chocolate! The winner will be announced Friday.


Not only was my husband my blind date, he was my blind date to a wedding! I told my sister that I was going to a wedding alone. She perked up right away and insisted that she and her fiancé would find someone to be my plus-one. Reluctantly I agreed. After a few names were thrown around, they landed on a friend from college, Riley. My brother-in-law asked him and he agreed to go, later explaining that he already played a lot of golf over the summer so why not give up a Saturday in September? 

Seneca Knapik-Christensen (left) and her husband Riley Bauman. (Courtesy Seneca Knapik-Christensen)

Over the next few days we texted to arrange our plans, and when the day arrived I was strangely calm. I’m not a very social person and I’m definitely not a blind-date kind of person, so it was unexpected that I felt so content with this arrangement. After parking my car I walked towards the church, right up to who I could only assume was the stranger that I was meeting. Timidly I said his name, “Riley?” He turned around and simply said, “Hey Seneca.” I’ve heard that basic phrase many times in my life from different people, but this was different. I’ve never believed in love at first sight or soulmates, but I believe in signs and intuition, and I knew that this guy, this ‘date,’ and my life was going to be different and possibly better than I could ever have hoped. 

We sat through the ceremony, and then because we had time to kill and I had forgotten a card, we went to Walgreens and spent time goofing off and finding a card to bring to the reception. Then we accidentally crashed a reception of a different wedding in the same building, but we finally found where we were supposed to be. Things had gone surprisingly well so far but a reception can prove to be awkward (ahem: dancing!).  As it turns out we didn’t dance, we did something even better, we talked the entire time. After about eight hours of nonstop talking and laughing, the reception was winding down. We realized we were two of the last people there. After gathering our things, he walked me to my car and we went our separate ways. Early the next morning he reached out to ask if he could see me again, and of course, I agreed. We have been together ever since and celebrated our second wedding anniversary this past November.

Submitted by Seneca Knapik-Christensen. Knapik-Christensen is a senior psychology major at NIU. Her husband does not work at or attend NIU.



Becca Katz and her partner Spencer Rudie. (Courtesy Becca Katz)

Spencer and I met through mutual friends in the Huskie Marching Band. The first time I saw him was in the Patterson Dining Hall. I can remember the insane butterflies I got the second we made eye contact. A few days later we went to Corn Fest with some friends, and when we got back we ended up talking until one in the morning! Spencer is a Chemistry Education major and needed “help” sewing a hole in his lab coat. He was so kind and cute, I couldn’t pass the opportunity up.

The next day he actually asked me out, but I said no! I had known this guy for less than a week! I knew that I wanted to be with him, but I wanted to become friends first. Fast forward a few weeks and we started to date. The rest is history. Forever and always, I love you, Sunshine. 

Submitted by Becca Katz. Katz is a first-year history education major and her boyfriend, Spencer Rudie, is a third-year chemistry education major.



Cecilia Lucente (left) and her partner Nicholas Duka. (Courtesy Cecilia Lucente)

Nicholas Duka and Cecilia Lucente met in January 2021 at the NIU Masters of Counseling Pre-Admission Workshop (PAW) online. Somehow we both were stuck in an unsupervised break-out room for about 10 minutes waiting for an instructor to come back. We engaged in some small talk and both seemed interested in one another. Once the list of applicants accepted into the program was sent out, we both checked to see if the other was admitted into the program. We each ended up looking at each other’s social media (but no communication or actual contact) over the summer and anticipated meeting each other once school started in the fall. We had three classes and advising together during the fall semester of 2021 but never really spoke to one another. 

About halfway through the semester, we became friends with each other on Facebook. On Christmas Day 2021, I (Cecilia) messaged Nicholas on Facebook to tell him Merry Christmas. After talking for a few days, Nicholas asked me on a date to go axe-throwing on Jan. 4, 2022. We connected very well and started seeing each other more regularly outside of class. Our teachers must have caught on quickly because we ended up being paired together for several class assignments/activities. We officially became boyfriend and girlfriend in March and have been together ever since! Shout out NIU Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program for bringing us together. 

Submitted by Cecilia Lucente. Lucente is a second-year clinical mental health counseling graduate student at NIU and public health graduate teaching assistant. Nicholas Duka is a second-year clinical mental health counseling graduate student and Braven leadership and accelerator course graduate teaching assistant.


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