07/19/2012 12:00 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

LGBTQ Stories: Gay Couple's 4-year (and Counting) Relationship Began 20 Minutes Late

I'm From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit forum for true lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories. Earlier this year, founder and Executive Director Nathan Manske and two companions successfully completed a four-month, 50-state Story Tour collecting LGBTQ stories from towns and cities across the country. They're pulling some of the most relevant, important and sometimes just enjoyable stories from their archives and sharing them with HuffPost Gay Voices.

What's the key to a successful relationship? For this couple, being late, dry humor and unrelenting sarcasm. Damien Butvick and Rafi Mittlefehldt are celebrating their 4-year anniversary this weekend, despite the fact their relationship came stumbling out of the gates. Damien explains:

[H]e was 20 minutes late. I bought two beers while I was waiting 20 minutes in the back yard, waiting for him to arrive. ... I sent the text message to a friend of mine and I said he's 20 minutes late. And he's like, "Are you serious?" And before I responded, you walked in.

The date improved from there. They discovered shared passions, specifically beer, meat, and cheese. Plus, it didn't hurt that Rafi paid. Damien reflects:

It was nice that he was somebody who drinks because I like that. You can also get cheese and meat plates at this place so we ordered that and Rafi took out his card to pay for it and so now I was even more impressed, I was like, cool, because he even got the last round, too, and now he's paying for the meat and cheese, so alright, he has money as well.
RAFI: And that wasn't true because I don't have any money.
DAMIEN: Yeah, everything was false.

The date that began 20 minutes late led to a makeout session that lasted nearly an hour. Rafi recalls teeming with sarcasm:

Yeah, about an hour. Under the BQE because that's really romantic... Right next to the BQE Discount Wine and Liquor Store. It was really a nice setting. Very sweet.

The banter-infused trip down memory lane ends right where it began...or when, rather:

So that was our first date. And our second date was four days later. And he was 20 minutes late.


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