Love Stories: From Bumble Matches to Timeless Bonds

February 14, 2024 /

Love at first Bumble for Jackie and Bryce:

Jackie Gutierrez and Bryce Fussy both have busy work schedules but that doesn’t stop them from showing up for each other. 

How did you and your partner meet and get together?

Gutierrez: Me and my boyfriend we’ve been together for a little bit over a year now, around 16 months. It’s kind of funny we actually met on Bumble. But we usually tell people that we met at his work at that time. He worked at a coffee shop. So we tell people that we met there, but we met on Bumble.  We both slugged right on each other and ever since then we’ve been talking.

We started dating in August, and we went on a few dates. I feel like instantly, we both knew that we liked each other a lot. Literally on the very third date [I told him], “I like you so much. When am I going to see you again?” We kept planning our dates and he was the same way. I just feel like we were kind of scared because we’ve both been hurt in the past. It was more like trust and getting to know each other. And then in October, after just dating for about two or three months he asked me to be his girlfriend.  

How did you guys spend your first Valentine’s Day together last year and what are your plans this year?

Gutierrez: Last year for Valentine’s Day I was actually working nights and he was working mornings. So he came to see me at work on my break and he got me a little smashmallow. The Saturday before we hung out and got Tony’s Pizza before Valentine’s Day. 

This year I’m working in the mornings and he’s working at night. So we’re not going to be able to celebrate our Valentine’s Day until Sunday. I’m not sure what we have planned yet.  We’ll probably go get something to eat and then maybe have a little picnic. Spend some time together and we usually plan it together. If I tell him I want to eat Mexican food or American food he’ll usually plan to cater that.

He doesn’t know this yet, but I’m really excited about one of his gifts I got him. I got him a couples game called Let’s Get Deeper. I’m really kind of excited to play that.  

Do you guys have a favorite date spot in town? 

I feel like recently I thought about this then I forgot.  We both like to eat. We like trying new food spots together. Other than that I feel like we would go to the marketplace and walk around to the shops. 

What do you love most about your panter? 

I feel like we understand each other very much, and we both want our relationship to work so we’re always telling each other as long as you have me, I have you. We have trust in each other.

I feel like he’s completely honest and he means what he says. I like how genuine I feel around him.

New Adventures Awaits for Mikaela and Eduardo:

Last July, Mikaela Esqueda and Eduardo Alvarez celebrated their seventh year anniversary together. Although Valentine’s day is not a big thing for the couple, they make up for it every year on their anniversary.

How did you and your partner meet and get together?

Esqueda: Oh my goodness, me and him met when I was in 6th grade when we were both in the after school program at our middle school. We became cool friends.  We only went to high school together for one year and then he moved his junior and senior year. His senior year and my junior year in 2014 we started talking again after a homecoming football game and we started hanging out more. We were friends again for like another year or so. And then in 2016 we got together because we realized our friendship was more.

Alvarez: We were just hanging out [that] summer when I realized I really like this girl. I was like I have to ask her out and I have to meet her today. I texted her that I was coming over and that I needed to talk to her about something. I spilled my guts out to her and confessed how I felt about her. I told her if this happens I know it’s gonna be for a long time.

How do you spend your Valentines every year together?

Esqueda: We like to try different restaurants we haven’t had in a while. For example, last year we had Bauman.  There was one year where he took me to Olive Garden and he surprised me with flowers, a love letter, and a stuffed elephant. 

We don’t have any Valentine traditions. His love language is quality time, so I really like to just be with each other. What I like about our relationship is we check in with each other. We ask each other how the relationship’s going, like our favorite thing about one another or what we appreciated that the other did in the past month. 

What traditions do you and your panther have together?

Esqueda: My birthday is exactly a week before our anniversary. So, we try to make it like one big thing. One year we [decided to go to] San Diego because we wanted to pick a place where we both had never been together before. For our 5th anniversary we went to Portland, Oregon. We took a train up north to Oakland, and then we flew out the day after. We really loved it. There was so much green and a bunch of trees. We checked out the zoo and we went to a barcade. It was so fun playing video games and drinking.  

Alvarez: The first time we ever traveled together [to Oregon] it was a cool experience because it was just the two of us. It was new and foreign to us. It was basically a test run of how life would be if it was just me and her. It was very adventurous. We ended up in Washington at one point because we went white water rafting. [We recently] booked our next trip together in November to Cancun. And then Tokyo’s on the list.

Our other favorite tradition is that on our anniversary sometimes, we like to get a banana split with raspberries. 

What do you love most about your relationship and how did you know your partner was the one for you?

Esqueda: What I like about our relationship is we’re both comfortable to know if something’s bothering me or I feel like we need to work on something specific in our relationship. I can have that conversation with him and it’d be okay. We don’t argue over the uncomfortable conversations. Resentment has never been a thing for us. I think that’s what stops a lot of fights that could happen, but we always make sure to prevent that. 

Alvarez: It was actually a song that I heard on the radio and it just kind of described Mikela’s relationship at the time. It just made me realize that I needed to make us happen. It was “My Boo” by Usher. 

Long-Distance works for Jaileen and Lenin: 

After moving from Balersfield to Sacramento together Jaileen Flores and Lenin Melo realized how much their love for one another is appreciated when they have to spend time apart. 

How did you and your partner meet and get together?

Flores: We’ve been together for just about seven years this past August. We actually met in high school, but if we want to go back as far as to like when we actually met. We met in elementary school when we were about 10 years old. But we didn’t really reconnect until freshman year of high school.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day you guys spent together?

Flores: The first time we actually went out of town together. We were still in Bakersfield College and we decided to make a trip to Sacramento because we were thinking about coming here after school. We booked a hotel and came to a couple events here in Sacramento. It was all really fun. We went to a couple vintage pop ups and markets that were in Sacramento. That was the first time we ever planned a trip. 

Do you guys have a favorite date spot in town? 

Melo: We like to go out to eat, and like, get a couple drinks. We try to do every couple weeks is to go to the movies. It’s really fun.  We go at night.  We go to a restaurant and we have like a couple drinks and then we go and watch a movie with some friends.

Flores: I guess like a tradition, we always watch every Marvel movie every release that they come out. We make it a plan to watch everyone that comes out, no matter which one it is.  

How did you know your partner was the one for you?

Flores: I feel like the moment that I knew he was right for me was when he encouraged me to actually start my makeup page. I feel like ever since then like I knew he was going to be the person to constantly encourage me to achieve my dreams and pursue anything I wanted in life. And no matter what it was, he was always going to be the one to encourage me to follow my dreams and support me in every endeavor. I feel like that’s when I knew he was definitely the person for me. 

Melo: Whenever there is distance between us, I miss her a lot. I don’t like to be clingy or anything, but I just feel like it just shows how much I really appreciate her as much when I have her. I just can’t wait to see her again and once I finally see her again I’m like damn I don’t really appreciate the moments we have together as much as I should. It makes me appreciate her a lot more.

Flores: There are a few times we have to part ways. He has family in Mexico and I have family here in Bakersfield. We tend to spend a lot of time apart, and it can be weeks to months on end. He knows that no matter the distance, we’re able to still connect and reignite what we have. Whether we’re apart or whether we’re together.

What do you love most about your partner?  

Melo: What I appreciate the most about Jaileen is that she’s really supportive of me no matter what I do or what I’m doing. I feel like she always has my back and it’s kind of hard now because we live in a world where you don’t always feel the confidence to do a lot of things. But  every time I see her, every time I’m with her, every time I talk to her, I feel really confident. I feel really grateful for her because she’s the one I can go and talk to about my problems. She would just tell me straight up what I should do.  And I just love that about her that I can. I’m able to talk to her freely. And her opinion always helps. 

Flores:  The thing I love the most about Lenny is his humor and his humorous personality overall. I tend to be a very dark headed person, a very stern person. I tend to be very anxious about a lot of things. And I tend to be very uncertain about life, especially that I’ve graduated. And I’m not sure what to do with my life.  I feel like I’m constantly a little bit anxious and uncertain about what I want to do in my life and I feel like I have to get everything absolutely 100 percent right. But he tends to have this humorous and flow personality that makes me feel more at ease with everything. Because of that I feel like I can just relax and not take everything in life so seriously. That’s definitely something that I appreciate. He keeps me very balanced. Especially in a world where  everything feels like you have to get it exactly right, a personality like his definitely keeps me centered and humbled the majority of the time.

The invisible string trying Candy and Adrian: 

This year will be 20 years since Candy and Adrian Sandoval met and 11 years of marriage together with two daughters.  

How did you and your partner meet and get together?

Adrian: We actually met through my cousin. The summer I was going into my sophomore year and Candy was about to enter freshman year in high school. We were at the East Hills Mall and Candy is hanging out with Christina, my cousin. As soon as I saw her I’m smiling from ear to ear and hoping that she notices me as much as I noticed her. I introduced myself  but she was very brief on me.

Candy: It wasn’t until like two or three months later Christina reintroduced me to Adrienne. Now we’re in the high school setting and all of a sudden I had a hormonal peak. I was like, oh wow, who’s this handsome guy? I was really interested. When Adrian asked me to be his girlfriend he was really romantic. He asked his cousin Christina to tell me to go outside from her house and he had plucked a rose from the neighbor’s house. It was like 10 p.m. and the moonlight was romantic.

How did you know your partner was the one for you?

Candy: He always unequivocally supports me and all my crazy ideas. Instead of a no it can’t be done, he’s like “Okay, what do you need help with? How can I help you? How can we do this?” He’s the most supportive and he’s just an incredible father. 

I always joke about this, but shortly after we were married we did a lot of camping adventures.  Our honeymoon in Big Sur  I think that when I was most  amazed by him. I guess the primordial part of me was like, oh wow, I really did choose a great partner when he made a little fire by digging a hole.  I don’t know where he learned this, but he was able to make a little fire for us because we were freezing cold. Then we made food and we made what we had brought to prepare. We had hiked really high up or into these mountains and woods. We had just like a little hammock that we set up and he was able to make a fire. I was so amazed that he was able to make a fire by digging a hole first and then creating a fire. I don’t know how he did it.  My instincts thought I could survive with him in the wild.  

Adrian: After being together for a month I told I love her because I meant it. I knew at that point if this happens to be my wife someday, then I’m easily the happiest man and because we had literally followed each other from very early. When I was around four we lived on the same street, well the same complex but we never met each other. Then we moved after, and we both ended up moving to the same street. Like, what the heck? It’s almost like I’m giving you all these signs.  Like the invisible stream. It literally felt like that. And it wasn’t like I have to be with her but I’m choosing to be with her.


Haley Duval

Haley is a reporter for Kern Sol News since December of 2023. She was born and raised in East Bakersfield and went to Foothill High School. Haley studied Journalism at Bakersfield College. When Haley is not reporting, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. She can be reach at