A STUDENT who spent months ogling her "rugby boy" neighbour has confessed she finally bagged him as her fella by wolf-whistling, knocking on his window and making paper aeroplanes reading "marry me".
Francesca Burrin, 20, had been revising earlier this year with her housemate when they spotted a rugby ball being thrown up and down behind their garden wall in Liverpool, before discovering it was Joe Pearce, 21.
The 20-year-old routinely spied on her new crush from her bedroom window before slowly trying to get him to take notice of her – which Joe admits he and his friends found hilarious.
"When I spotted him, I was attracted to the fact he was sporty and tall. I found him good looking," she said.
"It got to the point where every time we were upstairs we'd look outside the window to see if they were there."
Francesca said her housemate Jasmeena pushed her into reaching out to him, as Francesca had just come out of a long term relationship and was ready to find love again.
Francesca said: "Our back garden backs on to the boys' back garden. We saw this rugby ball being chucked up and then coming back down and being chucked up again.
"We ran upstairs to Jasmeena's room which is the back bedroom where I stuck the sign on the window.
"We saw Joe and a couple of his friends playing outside. I don't think they saw us at first.
"They eventually caught on once we started knocking and whistling and stuff.
"They lapped up the attention but pretended they weren't interested, but then we finally met them."
The anatomy and human biology student began scrawling romantic notes on paper aeroplanes and even pinned up a sign on her window featuring her Snapchat username to entice the lad.
"Jasmeena said 'why don't you put your Snapchat on the window'. We didn't hear anything but about three days later, someone added me on Snapchat and it was him," Francesca explained.
"I put an 'at' sign which said '@rugbyboy Snapchat = Francesca Burrin'. His nickname was 'the rugby neighbour'."
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It took three days before Joe finally added her account, coolly asking "you must be the neighbour then?".
The pair chatted online for a while before Francesca and her housemates met Joe and his friends for drinks, which quickly led to the pair dating.
"We talked for about two months and didn't agree to go on a date or anything. We knew who each other was and followed each other on Instagram," she said.
"We eventually met in May and went for some drinks. Jasmeena matched with Joe's housemate on Tinder and he said 'why don't you and the girls come out for some drinks'.
"We all got on really well but me and Joe didn't get to chat that much. Then he asked me for a couple of drinks the next day then we got on really well."
Soon after, the pair started dating and were even forced into self-isolation together as Francesca caught coronavirus.
Despite admitting it could have been make or break, Joe temporarily moving in helped them grow closer and before long, they were an item.
Francesca said: "When we'd known each other for about three or four weeks, I caught covid, maybe from the gym or something, and he's living with three boys.
"He hadn't really seen them so he had to isolate with us. He had to isolate with us after only knowing each other for about three weeks.
"It was make or break but we got on. It made us get on even more.
"We just got on and I ended up being his girlfriend. We became official in mid-June so we've only been properly together for two months but known each other since the start of the year."
Now, after celebrating two months as a couple, Francesca hopes her love success story will encourage other women to "shoot their shot" – proving romance can be found outside of dating apps.
Meanwhile, Joe admits it was obvious what Francesca wanted from the start, as he said putting signs up in the window "is not the most subtle".
Joe said: "Me and the boys used to go out in the back garden and mess about when it was hot. We'd always be out there.
"We clocked a few times that blinds would twitch on a window on the opposite side of us. Eventually we caught on and we'd look over, then their heads would disappear.
"We'd pretend we weren't paying attention then eventually we caught their four heads and they disappeared. It was quite funny.
"One day she put that note in the window and me and the boys saw it. We fell about laughing – it was funny.
"I decided to add her on Snapchat. I had an idea what she wanted – it was a bit obvious. A big note in the window kind of says it – it wasn't the most subtle.
"We've been together about two and a half months now and things are going well."
Francesca thanks TikTok for encouraging her to make the move.
"When I tell people how we met, they can't believe it because everything nowadays is the usual Tinder or Hinge," she said.
"It's good because on TikTok it's encouraging girls to just shoot their shot. I'd usually be too scared to do that."
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