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They survived their accidental three-month-long third date — and now, as Valentine’s Day approaches, they’re taking the next step and moving in together.
Khani Le, 30 and Matt Robertson, 32, left for a spontaneous long weekend in Costa Rica last March, and ended up spending 79 days there due to the coronavirus lockdowns. The adventurous, NYC-based pair met on dating app Hinge in February 2020, and after two successful meetups — one at an Indian restaurant and another at an ax-throwing bar — they decided they were ready for a quick, romantic getaway.
But their whirlwind trip to paradise changed course when the COVID-19 pandemic turned into a global crisis.
Suddenly, the all-inclusive resort where they were staying shuttered, and their return flight was canceled. “There were definitely a couple of moments where I was overwhelmed,” Robertson, an account executive for a film production company, told The Post in May. “You go from everything being normal to, all of the sudden, living with someone you barely know, in a foreign country during a pandemic.”
The duo made the best of a difficult situation, learning more about each other in the process. Brand publicist Le said she was immediately impressed by Robertson’s can-do attitude: “He doesn’t get stressed out or freak out at every challenge,” she told The Post. “We figure it out together.”
After months of schlepping around the Central American country — staying in a treehouse one night, and in a tent in the jungle on another, they finally secured return airline tickets on a government-sponsored flight that cost almost $1,000 each (compared to $200 fares they paid last March). They landed in Houston in early June, unsure of what to do next, or how re-entry would affect their relationship.
“Coming off a roller-coaster ride of experiences being stuck in Costa Rica, I think there was also some element of procrastination — not wanting to get back to ‘real life,’ in case that changed the dynamic between us at all,” said Robertson of their return to the States.
Le also worried that the couple wouldn’t make it through the transition. “I didn’t really want to get my hopes up” about a future together, she admitted.
Yet, when faced with a chance to go their separate ways, the pair decided to keep the adventure going.
They hopped in a rental car and embarked on a road trip from Texas to Robertson’s native Maine, to visit loved ones he hadn’t seen in several months. “I think we were both anxious and excited for a series of ‘firsts’ — meeting friends and parents,” Robertson said.
His family was thrilled to receive the newly minted serious couple. “You guys are going to get married” was the general refrain.
After that, Robertson and Le took another road trip, this time to meet Le’s parents in Seattle, Washington. They took the “scenic route” across the country, winding through Yellowstone National Park, the Rocky Mountains and the flatlands.
Le’s father, who only found out she was stranded with Robertson — and not a group of girlfriends — days before they returned home, warmed to her accidental boyfriend. “I had a lot of pressure, but things went well, and I seemed to have passed the first of what I expect will be many tests,” said Robertson, who doubly impressed Le’s family when he tried balut, a fertilized duck egg, which is a traditional Filipino delicacy.
After the trip, they made yet another serious gesture: They adopted a French bulldog puppy together, named Banks.
Since then, they’ve been living in Seattle with Le’s family, although they took a quick trip to Hawaii in January, which Robertson planned as a surprise for Le’s birthday. This Saturday, they’re coming back to New York, where they’ll be moving together into an apartment on the Lower East Side, and will likely spend Valentine’s Day unpacking.
Since last March, “we haven’t gone a day apart,” Le said. “I wouldn’t change anything.”
Robertson added, “In many ways, you can say we’re still on our third date.”
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