6 Meet-Cute Stories That Actually Happened In Real Life
It’s February and love is in the air— or is it?
It’s a COVID-tainted Valentine’s Day, which means romantic dinners and weekend getaways may be on hold for those of us who are happily coupled. And for those of us not coupled? Well, even in the midst of pandemic-related restrictions, it can still feel like, come February, love is everywhere you turn — and you can’t help but wonder how or why Cupid’s arrow keeps missing you. So whether you’re celebrating from your couch or not celebrating at all, Valentine’s Day will come and go just as it does every year. The grocery store aisles will be lined with red hearts full of candy; hurried husbands and boyfriends will line the aisles picking out cheesy greeting cards to make their someone special smile; and those of us waiting for love to happen will wonder what we’re missing when it comes to finding the right one.
Here is the thing about Valentine’s Day — it is an opportunity to celebrate love. And here’s the thing about love — it can’t be chased or planned for, and it doesn’t have a predictable beginning or end. It just happens. And sometimes it just happens when (and where) you least expect it. If you have yet to meet the one, well, you just have to trust love’s timing, and know that it could be right around the corner.
So, go ahead, grab some chocolates, a glass of red, and indulge in a little romantic nostalgia with me. In honor of romance (past, present and future), I have gathered some of the cutest how-we-met stories to keep you warm, fuzzy and hopeful this Valentine’s Day.
“Rick crashed my party. He wasn’t invited and showed up with another girl. I told him the second we met that we were soulmates and we would get married because he is a Gemini and I am an Aquarius. He brought me back to his house that night and showed me his book of astrological signs and he didn’t even make one move on me! He drove me home and I kissed him first and we were married 6 months later.”
— Tricia, 49, and Rick, 50, married 21 years, Connecticut
Come Here Often?
“I was seeing a therapist about my decision to give up on dating. He was seeing a different therapist, same office suite, about his two divorces. Sitting in the shared waiting room, I pulled a magazine out of my purse. A voice across the room said, 'That’s smart to bring your own magazine. I read the same old Newsweek every time I’m here.' My first thought: He’s handsome. My next thought: No one talks in here! It’s the social contract of therapist waiting rooms: I’m not here, you’re not here, don’t make eye contact, DEFINITELY don’t communicate.
"We both left our appointments at the same time, walked out the back door, and chatted all the way to the parking lot where our cars were coincidentally parked beside each other. Two weeks later, I saw him again. This time I was leaving as he arrived. (Confession: I walked through the waiting room instead of the back exit just in case he was there.) 'I’ll see you again in two weeks,' he said. Nope. I told him I was taking a break from therapy. I wouldn’t be back for a while. He suggested we get together outside of the office … and the rest is history!”
— Jess, 48, and Greg, 62, married 13 years, Texas (shown in the photograph above)
Green with Envy
"I met [my wife] at the gym. She got stood up the night before. The guy who stood her up was working out on the treadmill right next to her! She panicked and asked her roommate what to do. She came over to me to make the other guy jealous and the rest is history!”
— Marlon, 39, and Ashley, 32, married 4 years, Florida
Mistaken (Sexual) Identity
“My principal came to me with a university student looking to volunteer in a primary classroom. Initially I refused as I had a challenging class and couldn’t handle another body in the grade 2 room. My principal wouldn’t take no for an answer. And, when she interrupted my lesson, the volunteer thought I was gay. I have a theatre background, am very loud and flamboyant and I was in the middle of an energetic read aloud. We’d both written off relationships, too, so there’s that! Long story short: she entered my classroom and we’ve been together ever since. I proposed after 6 months; I couldn’t hold back and neither could she! We got married in 2006.”
— Jay, 46, and Andrea, 39, married for 14 years
Set-up in Aisle Number Four
"I saw Mike in the grocery store in Baltimore in 2010. I'm a matchmaker so I approached him and said, 'I know this sounds weird, but I'm a matchmaker and I was wondering .... are you single?' He replied, 'The real question is ... are you?' We flirted, exchanged numbers, and the rest is history!”
— Amber, 40, and Mike, 43, together 10 years, Virginia
She Wore a Raspberry Beret
"I first saw him at a school dance celebrating Valentine’s Day a month before my 16th birthday. He danced in the middle of a large circle of his peers yelling out, 'What did she wear?' while the dancing boys and girls surrounding him answered, along with Prince, 'she wore a raspberry beret…' I was smitten. I asked around, discovered his name, and bought him a dozen carnations, sold as a fundraiser at the dance that night and delivered to his homeroom. I signed the card with my first name only. I loved knowing he would feel special when he received them. And I loved cloaking myself in a bit of mystery.
"He loved receiving them; he loved the attention. It was now his turn to ask around, find out who I was and ask for my phone number. We talked to each other on rotary phones for over an hour that night. He fired off questions, asking, for example, if I preferred grape or orange soda. I said orange. He preferred grape. Our courtship lasted for the next nine and half years until our summer wedding almost a decade later."
— Christine, 50, and Larry, 51, married 25 years, Connecticut