‘Love at First Fight’

3 min


By

Nina Reyes

‘Love at First Fight’

When Alys Daly met Dan Peters in August 2018 through the dating app Bumble, she was no dating neophyte.

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She’d been at it for decades, actually, and had developed a board game, “Landing Mr. Right,” which was designed to help women attain a sense of levity during the tribulations of dating. She had also written a weekly dating-advice column (“Get in the Game!” in the online West Palm Beach Magazine).

She had plenty of material to work with, in other words, but maintained a sense of optimism and good humor.

“Everything around the game and column was laughter and inspiration, making women feel like they are not alone, and when something doesn’t work out, stay in there,” she said. “We’ve all had those experiences. It’s going to get better.”

Her first date with Mr. Peters lasted longer than the valets’ shift at the restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where they met, and as they walked to their cars, Mr. Peters said to her, “Alys with a ‘y,’ you intrigue me.”

“And I said, ‘Thanks, Dan from Jersey,’ and he gave me a kiss,” she said. “It was a very special moment.”

Mr. Peters, 56, had just moved to Jupiter, Fla. He was divorced, with three grown sons, and is the managing director of the Valentiam Group, an advisory firm in Morristown, N.J., that specializes in transfer pricing and tax valuation services. He both graduated and received an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Ms. Daly, 50, was then the public relations manager for Florida Power and Light Company’s solar-development business unit. She graduated from Florida International University.

The next day, the two had a second date.

“I knew right away this was a woman I could find my life partner in,” Mr. Peters said.

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But maybe a half-dozen dates into their relationship, after a movie, Ms. Daly found herself passionately debating Mr. Peters about an issue of little consequence to either of them.

“I thought, ‘I don’t want to be on an emotional roller coaster with someone who gets very angry over small things — I just don’t want to do that,’” he said. “As much as I think of this woman, if that’s the way it’s going to be, I’ll just let it go.”

“I realized the next day that, Daly, you kind of messed that up — what were you thinking?” she said. “I called him to apologize.”

The two got together to talk the matter through. As they talked, Ms. Daly felt something she’d never, in all her years of dating, experienced before.

“I realized I was in love with him,” she said. “His honesty and his thoughtfulness just gave me butterflies in my stomach. The only problem was that he was about to break up with me.”

But he didn’t. “She came back to me, and was willing to discuss it,” he said. And so he recalled thinking to himself, “This works. This is the sort of person I can be happy with, and I shouldn’t walk away from this opportunity.”

The two went out to dinner again the following night, and have been together since.

“It was love at first fight,” Ms. Daly said.

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On Nov. 13, the couple was married at the Martin County Courthouse in Stuart, Fla. Genevieve Barrett Jones, a deputy clerk of the court, officiated.

Like their romance, their wedding was not an altogether straightforward affair.

“This is round — I’ve stopped counting — I think Round 4 of our plan,” Ms. Daly said.

They called off their original wedding after the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, and an alternative plan in Saratoga, N.Y., was foiled when New York State announced a quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors. The two-year anniversary of their first date, in August, became the next possibility, but was scrapped when a close family member fell ill.

And then, with their marriage license about to expire, they abandoned a plan to marry in October after Ms. Daly’s purse was stolen, which, of course, necessitated all manner of cancellations, renewals and reams of paperwork. So with all that already behind them, Ms. Daly didn’t blink when the date set for their marriage turned out to be one that another couple might view as inauspicious.

“I called to get the marriage license, and said we want to book the ceremony, too,” Ms. Daly said. “Friday is a great day for us. And she said, the 13th? And I thought, what could be more fitting than Friday the 13th, 2020?”

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