“True Love’s Kiss” is a song actress Amy Adams sang in the movie “Enchanted” as she pined, I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss and a prince I’m hoping comes with this. In her early 50s, Beth Anderson Gneiser, fourth generation Evergreen native, found the true love she both longed and waited for when she met Wayne Gneiser. “I never wanted to settle for someone,” shares Beth. “I wanted to find that one person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, and I did.”
Coming from a long line of hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone stock (see this month’s Characters Count column on Beth’s brother, Pete Anderson), Beth applied her determination and sticktoitiveness in finding Mr. Right.
“When online dating services took over the internet, I was one of the millions who tried and failed to find true love,” Beth reveals. “I didn’t like their processes and became consumed with the thought I could create a more personalized dating service that would be both easier and cheaper for my clients. When my mom and dad decided to sell the family business, Anderson’s Mountain Market, in 2000, I was 37 and knew the time was right to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Psychology and simultaneously incepted my own singles’ business.”
Beth flew to and from California to attend the University of Santa Monica two decades prior to COVID that incepted Zoom and other online technologies. “Nearly half of America’s population was single and I wanted to create several offerings because not everyone was into online dating. Hardcopy ‘guide magazines’ were then available in every grocery store, which encouraged me to create the Colorado Singles Resource Guide that I published quarterly. I also established Cottonwood Connection, a singles club that offered a unique matchmaking service allowing singles, whom we screened, to meet through a wide variety of events and activities,” she says.
While Beth was striving to unite hopeful singles in safe, loving and fulfilling relationships, Wayne was working as a traffic signal technician for Sturgeon Electric before hiring on with United Airlines as a facility maintenance electrician. “I also owned a small hotel in Byers, Colorado. When my then wife died in 2004, I took a crash course in how to manage a hotel, which I did for 11⁄2 years, then hired a full-time manager shortly before selling the hotel. Newly single as a widower, I struggled getting out in the singles scene. I tried online dating but kept meeting the same type of women over and over and over, so I threw in the towel. Online dating wasn’t for me,” Wayne explains.
Two mutual friends knew Beth and Wayne shared much in common and they took it upon themselves to play Cupid by stepping in to give each the other’s telephone number. “Wayne and I started talking on the phone, a lot,” Beth confesses. “He was eclectic, smart, and it didn’t take long for him to make my heart flutter. We had a lot in common, such as hiking, camping, and embracing the outdoors, but what really cinched the deal was he liked my dogs and they liked him.”
Beth had met a number of men over the years, and claims, “Wayne was the complete package. It didn’t take long for me to realize that he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Six months into dating, I told Wayne, ‘You’re stuck with me.’ He got me out of my shell by taking me snorkeling, camping, and I love hanging onto him as we ride his motorcycle. The one thing he hasn’t talked me into is scuba diving, but never say never, especially when you’re with someone you love and trust.”
Wayne, on the other hand, wasn’t quick to commit due to being married previously. “I gave committing myself to Beth a lot of thought and didn’t confide my feelings for her to anyone, including Beth,” Wayne admits.
They dated, moved in together, and continually worked on their relationship for five years. “Wayne isn’t one to share his feelings, but I knew he had deep feelings for me through his commitment and dedication. I thought we’d be together forever, but not married,” Beth says.
While dining with friends at Conifer’s Ebony & Vine, Wayne dropped to one knee and proposed with an intertwined engagement ring and wedding band that he designed. Beth and Wayne exchanged wedding vows on August 14, 2021 at Staunton State Park in a romantic setting surrounded by their nearest and dearest friends. For those of us who hadn’t met Wayne prior, it was magical to watch the two become one. Beth’s brothers, Pete and Steve, walked their little sister down the aisle. Wayne, an amazing woodworker, created a never-to-be-forgotten structure of interwoven wooden hearts, which the minister, Wayne and Beth stood before. And friends and family bonded in a way I have never experienced. It felt like a magical family reunion comprised of close family, friends and strangers.
Now two years married, Beth claims, “Marriage is definitely an adjustment. I was used to making my own decisions, and now have learned the art of consulting with Wayne. I was single for a long time, but I have to admit, marriage isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve heard it said the first year of marriage is the hardest, but it wasn’t for me. I think that’s so because Wayne and I are older, and we don’t allow the little things to bother us like we did in our 20s and 30s. We know we have to take the other person’s feelings and ideas into consideration and understand where they’re coming from, as opposed to clinging to our own opinions.”
Wayne chimes in, adding, “Both of us do a lot of compromising. It’s not a matter of winning the battle. We’re very different people but we keep things together through our mutual respect for one another. Our core values are the same even though we have different views on a variety of issues.”
It’s said, “Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.” Beth and Wayne seemingly have both.