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School staff helps single mom and single dad connect, now they’re married

Single parents find new love at chance encounter in school parking lot
Posted at 8:30 AM, Apr 12, 2024

A single mom from Shelburne, Vermont, spent two months coming up with a list of qualities she wanted in a man. When it was finished, she sent it to her closest friends in a group chat.

At the time, they thought she was crazy.

“One of them said, you’re never going to find that in Vermont,” Dorilee Lavin shared in an interview with Simplemost.

She found that man in Vermont three days later, and in the most unexpected place: The parking lot of her kids’ school.

Sean and Dorilee Lavin
Kira Huante Photography courtesy of Dorilee and Sean Lavin

She was on her way to watch an Ultimate Frisbee game at the school when she pulled in and saw a “tall drink of water” searching for something on the nearby grassy area.

“I saw this beautiful man, being totally present, and I was drawn to him immediately,” Lavin said.

Despite living in a small town, Lavin did not recognize the man. She assumed he was someone connected with the opposing team. She did not introduce herself and she moved on.

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Until three days later, when she saw him again at the school parking lot when she went to pick up her daughter from after-school care.

“He’s coming out of the school hand-in-hand with two girls,” Lavin said. That’s when she realized he must be a local. However, she wasn’t sure if he was also single.

Lavin relied on her small-town connections to help her learn more about her mystery man. She had no social media at the time, so she could not do the classic online search most people do. Instead, she texted other mom friends who had kids in aftercare to inquire about the man. When she struck out there, she discreetly talked with a couple of people inside the aftercare room.

“I didn’t even ask his name,” she said. “I wanted the authenticity of introducing myself.”

She found out what time he usually picked up his girls and made a point to schedule her pickup time to coincide with his.

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After a few missed opportunities and close calls without the chance to introduce themselves, their meeting finally happened, thanks to one of the daycare staff members passing along Dorilee’s number to Sean Lavin, the mystery man.

Coincidentally, Sean had noticed Dorilee during those passing moments and couldn’t get over her resemblance to a woman he saw in a dream. Dorilee thought that was crazy, but Sean showed her text messages he sent to his friends about the dream.

The pair had a couple of dates and clicked immediately. The smitten single mom even sent a video of her reaction following their second date to a friend. Dorilee eventually shared the video on TikTok. You can watch it below:

@dailydoseofdorilee This energy has only grown 🥰 #newlove #justgettingstarted #lovestory #howitstarted #husbandwife #love #firstkiss #seconddate #soulmates #meanttobe @Sean Lavin ♬ original sound – Dorilee


Between that video and the video below, where she stitched a video on TikTok answering the question “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done when you’ve had a crush on someone,” Dorilee’s unusual love story went viral.

@dailydoseofdorilee #stitch with @Jackie Gansky #strategic #interested #perfectman #husbandmaterial #howwemet #waitforthegreats ♬ original sound – Dorilee

On Oct. 11, 2023, just 111 days after their first date in June, Dorilee and Sean got married and created a new blended family. Their five children range in age from 7 to 15 years old.

Dorilee and Sean Lavin on their wedding day with their 5 kids
Dorilee and Sean Lavin

While parenting five kids comes with challenges, Dorilee said the new family got along well from the beginning. After their first “family date” together at a local fair, Sean’s family spent the night. The next morning her oldest son asked how long they were staying.

“In my heart I was like, ‘Oh’, because that didn’t sound like a good question,” she said. “He said, ‘Well, I was just wondering if they’re still here when it’s dark, can we play laser tag?'”

But, what about Dorilee’s list of qualities she hoped to find in a partner? She actually shared it with Sean on their second date. He said it was one of the reasons he felt drawn to her.

“I had put a lot of intention and work on what I was looking for in pursuing a relationship and it was very parallel to hers,” he said. “She tells me she has this list and to me it’s like a big green flag. As she was listing those things off, they all paralleled exactly the intentions I had put into my thought process.”

Six months into their marriage, the newlyweds are seeing their love story inspire thousands of people on social media, and they intend to keep sharing positivity along the way.

“I think my story has resonated so much because it’s about a journey and a positive journey,” she concluded. “People are hungry for positivity; the faith I had in my journey, I am so thankful it is spreading. I have so many people saying, ‘I have hope now.'”

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