“We arranged to meet one Thursday in February,” Erika, 28, recalled. “It was the only day we could both do that week.”
That Thursday turned out to be Valentine’s Day, which made the date feel “far more intense” than they had anticipated.
But, if that wasn’t enough, Erika’s parents decided to gatecrash the first date, and her dad grilled Ollie about his intentions.
Ollie, 29, remembered: “I went to pick Erika up for dinner from her parents’ house, and they opened the door.
“To my horror, they were wearing their coats and shoes. It clicked – they had invited themselves to dinner. Erika’s face was everything I needed to know.”
Erika said: “I was absolutely mortified and wanted the ground to swallow me up.
“Once we got to the restaurant, we all sat down at the table like it was Lord Sugar’s boardroom.
“Ollie got absolutely grilled by my dad, and I was just praying he wouldn’t get ‘fired’.”
Erika revealed: “He was asked about his intentions, his life goals and 10-year-plan – as well as who he hung out with and what his family did for a living.
“My parents asked every question you could possibly think of. I just sat there in shock. It was turning into a complete Valentine’s Day date disaster.”
Thankfully, Erika felt like Ollie took the interrogation in his stride, but she thought to myself: “Well, there’s no way I’m getting a second date after this!”
Surprisingly, Ollie was interested in a follow-up date, and the pair have been together for five years and are now engaged.
“I’m quite traditional,” Ollie said after revealing that he had asked Erika’s father for his blessing before getting down on one knee to Erika.
“Erika and I were away with her parents in Scotland for the week,” he recalled.
“And her dad and I went for a round of golf – something that he and I both love. I paid for the two of us to play at this beautiful course, so I’d already buttered him up.
“We went for a pint afterwards, and I asked him whether he’d give me his blessing.”
The loved-up couple will have their wedding in Portugal, with Ollie stating: “If anyone experiences a date disaster on Valentine’s Day, just remember this story. There’s always hope.”
A survey of Amazon UK employees reveals an unrivalled snapshot of modern-day relationships, including the biggest turn-offs and how it now takes the modern–day couple 68 days to meet each other’s parents.
Amazon’s Valentine’s Day research also reveals the biggest ‘icks’ in a potential partner are smelling bad and foul manners, though poor grammar on text messages and ‘your date looking like a relative’ are also big no-nos.
Valentine’s Day is just one of the many topics that feature in Amazon’s new Chatterbox series, designed to create a barometer of opinions among one of the UK’s most diverse workplaces. Watch the series here: www.amazonchatterbox.co.uk.