When “The Bachelorette” star Kaitlyn Bristowe created a reality dating competition of her own, nurse Luke Frey had no idea it would change his life. In fact, he had no idea he was even a contestant, let alone part of a travel nursing love story.
Luke’s sister was listening to Kaitlyn’s podcast when she heard that the former bachelorette was creating a podcast spin-off of the popular reality TV show. She immediately signed her brother up without his permission. When she told him, it didn’t take much to get him on board. He said, “My sister knows me best, so she takes a lot of pride in that and I don’t blame her.”
From Philly to Music City, U.S.A.
At the time, Luke was living in Philadelphia so he flew down to Nashville to participate in the competition. It was there that he met Blaire Lasure.
“They had me wait in the bathroom while they interviewed her,” he laughed. When they finally gave Luke the cue to emerge from the bathroom to meet his date, he knew they had an immediate connection. The two greeted each other with a hug and then, at the exact same time, they bowed and curtseyed to each other. “It was weird,” Luke said. “We didn’t plan to bow and curtsey, it just worked out perfectly. Literally ever since then I always tell her we’ve been riding the same wavelength.”
The first date
On that first date, Blaire and Luke went ballroom dancing and then talked over a drink. Each of them admitted that the attraction was strong both on a physical and personal level. However, while Luke told listeners after their first date, “I would 100 percent go on a second date with Blaire,” Blaire had a tough decision to make: this was a dating show, and there were still four other guys vying for Blaire’s attention. She said, “Literally every date was great. I thought there was for sure going to be one bad guy or one awkward one, but like every date went so well.”
So it took a few weeks and that second date for Luke to convince Blaire that she should pick him over all the other guys. In the season finale, Luke and Blaire stood on a Nashville footbridge as she offered him the “final scrunchie” of the competition. Luke accepted full-heartedly.
Dating after the show
Although there were no other men between them now, there were still 805 miles separating Luke and Blaire. At first, Luke said this was a great way to build a strong relationship. “Long distance actually worked out in our favor because it allowed us to talk more and get to know each other a lot more since all we could do was talk.” But it wasn’t long before Luke knew he needed to be closer to Blaire. “It just kept getting harder and harder each time we were leaving each other.” But Blaire loved her Nashville-based job as a producer for CMT, so the only option was for Luke to move down to Tennessee. Lucky for him, being a nurse offered him the opportunity to move closer to her without sacrificing the career he loved.
A fan to the rescue
RNnetwork recruiter Samantha Carfi, a big fan of Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast, saw the potential roadblock for Blaire and Luke’s relationship. So she decided to call Luke with a solution.
“Sam reached out to me before the final show,” Luke said. “She was like, ‘OK, if everything works out well and you win, let me know and I can get you hooked up. We can get you down to Nashville through RNnetwork and traveling.’ She read my mind.”
After a couple months of dating, Luke reached out to Sam to make it happen. “She said, ‘I’m on it,’ and she’s been crushing it ever since.” Luke credits his RNnetwork recruiter with making his travel nursing love story a reality.
A travel nursing love story
After dating for about a year, Luke knew it was time to propose to Blaire. He decided to pop the question on the same bridge where the show’s finale took place. But instead of a scrunchie, Luke offered her a ring. It was a magical moment. “It worked out perfectly,” said Luke. “It was a picture-perfect night. The sunset was incredible over the skyline of Nashville, just having all our friends and family that we love, and they love us, and it was a perfect night.”
Until they get married, Luke plans to continue to use travel nursing to stay close to Blaire. “Long distance works, but it’s hard, so it’s definitely better being closer, a lot better and a lot easier.”
Eventually, the couple hopes to travel around the country to experience other cultures together, something made possible with RNnetwork. “The plan is to use travel nursing to take us on new adventures and experience the country and see what it has to offer.”