How did you meet your significant other?
September 5, 2016 9:35 AM   Subscribe

I'm a writer (read: I have not attempted to publish anything yet but I write. A lot.) I'm working on another novel and I want my writing to be as real and authentic as possible. However, I'm running into a gap in my life knowledge that I need your help with. (Please note: I'm not looking for you to post ideas or plot suggestions - I'm looking for a better understanding of real life, in all its messy and complicated glory, to draw from as I write this story.)

In one section of the story, a male and female character in their mid to late thirties meet each other and form a friendship that slowly shifts into a romance. Here's where my problems emerge:

1. I know how I met my husband, but I feel like it was a rather unusual way to meet someone. (We met at our best friends' wedding. He was a groomsman and I was a bridesmaid, and we walked down the aisle together. Then we were assigned to sit next to each other at dinner, and we got to talking . . .)

2. Many of my friends have not yet married/are single for a kingdom, so I haven't heard a lot of personal"how we met" anecdotes.

3. This is the first novel that I've written for adults. (My previous ones were YA fiction, which tends to have a very different mode of meeting people, on account of living with parents and attending school.)

3. I have it on good authority that bumping into each other, falling down, and then scrambling to pick up scattered papers whilst looking into each other's eyes and falling madly in love happens significantly less in real life than in the movies.

So my question is: how do real people, in real life, people of all ages, people with messy, complicated, real lives, meet other people? How did you meet your other person? I want to get a feel for what really happens, for what's actually relatable and recognizable and authentic.
posted by quiet_musings to Human Relations (170 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Internet. Livejournal, text MMORPGs. Ended up moving in with them after I moved back to New Orleans three days after Katrina.
posted by egypturnash at 9:39 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

My good friend moved into a house and needed another roommate, so she got an acquaintance of hers to move in with her. That acquaintance is now my SO.
posted by cmoj at 9:44 AM on September 5, 2016

moved to the other side of the world; she was my next-door neighbour.
posted by andrewcooke at 9:47 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

My boyfriend and I met because we lived in the same dorm. It was dramatic, messy dormcest!
posted by stoneandstar at 9:49 AM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

My brother also met his wife at a mutual friends' wedding. So I don't know that it's so unusual as much as it is a Hugh Grant movie cliché.
posted by AndrewInDC at 9:49 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

He was teaching a workshop I was taking.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:50 AM on September 5, 2016

Usenet. A group dedicated to motorcycles. The group organised bike rides and camping trips IRL, and that's where we first met in person. We found out there was an overlap in our friends circles, which made it more natural to spend time together. We were friends for eight years before the penny dropped and I started to see them as partner material.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:52 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

We had class together, and were also part of the same student organization so had an easier time bridging the gap between classmates and socializing. Also I was on the board of the student org so he thought I was cool.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:52 AM on September 5, 2016

I met my spouse at my summer job between my Junior and Senior years of college. She had graduated (from a different college) that spring and was the company receptionist. I was working in the mail room.

As bonus bit of trivia, the company we worked for was called USA Funds, which was the early precursor of Sallie Mae. I spent the summer mailing out boxes and bags of various types of student loan forms to colleges and banks across the country. Sorry.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:54 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

We both had blogs at the beginning of blogs. He stumbled onto mine, commented, and offered to help me improve some of the code behind my blog. We just celebrated our 12 year anniversary.
posted by shesbookish at 9:56 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

We had the same college scholarship.

My parents met because my dad worked at a place where my mom had just recently gotten a job, and he was the guy who showed her around the office.

A lot of my friends met their spouses in grad or professional school. Also common is to belong to the same immigrant/diaspora community.
posted by the marble index at 10:00 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Met on a gig when we were both married to someone else. Friends for ten years. Became single right around the same time. One thing led to another after a night of drinking. Homing on our tenth anniversary.

Depending on the age of the characters you also shouldn't discount the various online matchmaking websites. I have many friends who are now married to someone they met on or okcupid or whatever. Age is important, I think, because the pool of available quality partners starts to noticeably shrink as you move through your mid twenties as a result of people pairing off in enduring long-term relationships, and this effect radically accelerates as you move through your thirties and into your forties. This means that the opportunities to "just meet someone" as you go through your daily life become fewer and further between. As a result, most of the people I know who met and married someone in their mid-thirties or later were actively looking for a life partner and often pursued this search through various online services, among other things.
posted by slkinsey at 10:02 AM on September 5, 2016 [10 favorites]

Through mutual friends.

I went to college with a guy who would later run a bar night event in a city we both moved to after college. He was dating a woman who worked with the future Mrs. jeffamaphone. He had bar night one week at the crappiest dive bar near the school where I was taking masters classes. Since I had class that night I agreed to show up but otherwise I wouldn't have bothered going to such a gross establishment. He also, unrelatedly, convinced my wife to come. We met, the rest unfolded as you'd expect.

So we get to say we met at the crappiest dive bar in the area.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:06 AM on September 5, 2016

My flatmate decided to help me find a girlfriend. She introduced me to one of her work colleagues and we hit it off straight away.
posted by crocomancer at 10:07 AM on September 5, 2016

Best answer: We both helped one night a week at a youth centre. She turned up one night, and I liked her in *that* way instantly, from the start. (Apparently I grew on her gradually.) We got to know each other during these evenings. Then, someone else at the centre asked her out for a drink. She told me (this was the last thing she wanted, he was creepy), and I used that as an excuse to ask her whether she'd prefer a drink with me, instead. A couple of months of going out afterwards once a week for a drink and a long chat (we'd always stay until they were turning the lights off in the pub, but apparently these were NOT dates) turned into going to a few films and gigs together. We helped with outdoor activities so were away camping with a group one weekend. We were able to leave them for the evening and go to a pub for a meal, which involved walking up and over a coastal hill. The meal was great, and at the top of the hill on the way back, we stopped to watch fireworks in the distance on the coast. It felt like the right moment so I put my arm round her, we kissed, and that's how we got together 15 years ago.
posted by dowcrag at 10:08 AM on September 5, 2016 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Amy and I were aware of each other through a hiking club we both belonged to, but due to a couple factors (age difference, my on-again-off-again girlfriend) we kept our distance. Then, in the summer in 1994, we were both involved in separate car / moose collisions. Amy called me to talk about the experience. Three years later, our wedding cake was topped with a bride and groom moose.

I dare you to put that in your novel.
posted by bondcliff at 10:09 AM on September 5, 2016 [71 favorites]

At work.

We worked in the same department (but in different teams); I didn't really know he existed but he noticed me and started chatting (as in, instant messenger) to me about a shared interest (World of Warcraft). We bonded over (and in!) the game and that's where he asked me on our first date.

It's our wedding anniversary today, actually. :) And no, we don't work together anymore!
posted by snap, crackle and pop at 10:10 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I put up a Craigslist ad looking for a date. He responded saying he wasn't looking for a date, because he was a little old for me and was only in town for the summer, but was looking for someone to backpack a specific ridge with and I sounded like a good match for that. The backpacking trip turned into dating, and we have been together 8 years and married 3.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:11 AM on September 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

I met my husband at a party, didn't get his number... but he worked at the same place as the person hosting the party so I just popped in until he was there and asked for his number.

My parents met on a dy of skiing with mutual friends. My dad then introduced my uncle to my aunt.

My gran met my grandpa when he stayed in the hotel where she worked.
posted by chapps at 10:12 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll list a few from couples that I know:

1. Were seated next to each other on a flight to Hawaii where she was going for grad school and he was stopping on a brief layover. Wrote letters for a year before meeting again in person. Broke up and then got back together when he proposed to her in the parking lot of a burger joint. Married for 45 years so far.
2. Met on OkCupid
3. Both joined the Peace Corps after college, were assigned to Mongolia in different locations, met when there was a country-wide volunteer get together
4. Graduated from the same college, but ten years apart. Met at an alumni event in DC.
5. In the same program in grad school.
6. Worked at the same company.
posted by MsMolly at 10:13 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

We (both North American) were both working in Australia. We met at a meetup type group (in our case a lesbian discussion group--obvs that won't work in your story) and got to know each other in part because we had some similar perspectives on and complaints about living in Aus.

My parents met at university through family connections. My mother was teaching, my father was a grad student (in another department), and one of my aunts was also a student. My father apparently was first interested in my aunt, but she thought he was too old for her... and introduced him to her older sister.
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:15 AM on September 5, 2016

I went to a bar with a friend on a quiet night, he was the bartender.
My friends met at work when they randomly shared an office for a while.
My other friends met when a mutual friend of theirs organised a bar trivia team.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 10:22 AM on September 5, 2016

Best answer: We met extremely un-cute in the ID line at the student resources office in Ann Arbor. He was chatty and I suggested we grab a coffee on the way to class, but he made some kind of awkward excuse, because he thought I was hitting on him and was not interested. The excuse was something like "I have to go over there now, because of a stuff thing," and it was terrible and I felt bad.

Then we were in the same row in one of the core classes, and we were in the same group project. He goes by his middle name, so he had crossed out the first-name tag he'd been given for that first day, in the most messy, stabby possible way. "Looks like somebody has an anger problem," I thought. Eventually we realized that we were actually pretty simpatico, since we had to do this contextual inquiry project together and hung out at the client site a lot, and now we have a couple kids and a house and several kinds of insurance and stuff.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:23 AM on September 5, 2016 [9 favorites]

Work. As did like 3 other couples.

Ask Metafilter is very anti-workplace dating but aside from the internet and parties/friends, it's where most people meet their spouses.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:25 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

(I will actually mention that his initial cold rejection of me has had little reverberations throughout our relationship -- you might say I've never quite gotten over it, if you don't want to be compassionate -- so it was really a crap way to start one's hopefully only marriage.)
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:26 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I met my hubby-to-be at a con; we were both cosplaying the same character.

My mom and her husband met on a blind date.

My dad pretty much married the girl next door - she lived at the end of the alley, and asked him out for years before he said yes.

(My parents met when my mom was a waitress and my dad was a chef in the same restaurant - though that obviously didn't last.)
posted by okayokayigive at 10:29 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

- at a frat party (who wants to play beer pong?)
- at a bar
- online
- work
- speed dating
- undergrad classes
- church

These are how family members/friends have met their people.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 10:30 AM on September 5, 2016

I've heard that the single most common way for hetero married couples to meet in North America is when they're in college. Not that they necessarily start dating then, but that they meet there, and then eventually over time get together.
My husband and I met at work, where we ended up getting to be friends because we lived close-ish to each other (which was far-ish from work), so carpooling then sharing an after work pint together was a no-brainer, and would take smoke breaks together. If it weren't for the drinking, smoking, and driving (all of which are so bad for you!!) I don't know if we would have ever gotten to be so close, which then turned into heartfluttering wheeeeeee lovey feeling.
Aziz Ansari's nonfiction book about modern romance has a really interesting chapter on the differences in how people meet their partners these days vs historically, it might be good research for you.
posted by dotparker at 10:31 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

We met at a party of a mutual friend. We talked about Radiolab and chased a cat around the yard. We were friends for several months before hooking up, and said mutual friend had to do some work in the background to make that happen.
posted by lunalaguna at 10:32 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

My ex and I met in typing class in high school at age 16. He picked a fight with me basically over the pronunciation of a word. We were married more than five years when I learned this was his way of having an excuse "to talk yo a pretty girl."

Later, we were part of yhe same gaming group. My dad had been career army and his dad was career army, so we had some common ground and reasons to spend time together.

We were good friends for a year or so and his girlfriend dumped him and I dumped my boyfriend around the same time. Shortly thereafter, we were an item.

It was messy in that he had trouble letting his ex go and, with more than two decades of marriage, I never really felt like he loved me more. I always felt like he would have married her if she had not dumped him. When I told him that towards the end of the marriage, his dismissal of my feelings on that point failed to make me feel deeply loved.

I loved him and he was very dutiful and I don't regret the marriage, but I always felt kind of like my marriage was a case of unrequitted love. My life revolved around him for a long time, his life revolved around him and I suffered a lot from the fact that we both put him first. Over time, this gradually eroded my loyalty to him because it was simply unsustainable.

We had an extremely amicable divorce. The divorce was a better experience than the marriage.

/Messy reality
posted by Michele in California at 10:33 AM on September 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

1. Weddings are not an uncommon way to meet so if you put it in a story, it would seem like a cliché.

2. Internet sites or apps, work, university/grad school, through friends. I know some couples who have met through meetup groups.

Even though MeFi is so negative about dating at work, that is the most popular non-internet way to meet someone once you're out of school.
posted by betweenthebars at 10:35 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Twitter, after he searched for a shared interest and found me.

My parents met because my mum's first husband was the drummer in my dad's band.
posted by corvine at 10:36 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Internet. OkCupid to be exact. I was very very unhappy with the dating pool in the college town where I was a grad student, and was checking OkCupid, expecting to see nobody interesting for the millionth time, but I saw him as listed in my town. I messaged him and it turns out he was just about to defend his Ph.D and drive cross country to start a post-doc at my University. We didn't talk again for a few months, but one of my friends who was a grad student in his department started talking about the "hot new post-doc" and I decided to message him again. We went out on a date at a local bar, and both basically knew that this was it. He told his grandma in the first week after we met that he thought he might have met the one. I started having anxiety attacks that he didn't like me or think I was attractive enough because he went back to his grad school the week after we met for his graduation ceremony and didn't set up another date for a week. We were both mid (me) to late (him) twenties when this happened.

Anecdotally, most of our friends and acquaintances in our age group meet online, whether or not they like to admit it.
posted by permiechickie at 10:36 AM on September 5, 2016

The story we tell: We attended different work events at the same large hotel in Philadelphia (he, a conference; me, sales training), and crossed paths in the lobby.

The actual story: World of Warcraft. I was a Dwarven holy priest somewhat lost in a bad part of Feralas, with not much offense and no mount yet.* He was a Gnome rogue in my guild with terrible aggro management but good survival skills. He is my epic world drop.

*Things were harder then.
posted by kimberussell at 10:39 AM on September 5, 2016 [34 favorites]

1. I know how I met my husband, but I feel like it was a rather unusual way to meet someone. (We met at our best friends' wedding. He was a groomsman and I was a bridesmaid, and we walked down the aisle together. Then we were assigned to sit next to each other at dinner, and we got to talking . . .)

I met my spouse at my oldest friend's wedding (well, commitment ceremony). We'd known of one another for some years because we knew a lot of the same people, but had never really met. And then we did and then I moved across the country, and here we are, 16 years later.
posted by rtha at 10:44 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I met my partner of 23 years for the first time when I picked up his best friend for our first date. They lived together, and Life Partner was in the living room. (We didn't get together until three years later, after Best Friend and I had been partners and lived together for awhile and transitioned into friendship.)

Basically any place you can put two people is a place where people have, and do, meet their romantic interests: they're both at a conference. They have rooms next to each other in a crappy motel at a second-rate beach resort. They're on a cruise (my partner's parents met on a cruise!); on an airplane; at a music festival. They're both involved in community theater. They're both visiting friends in the hospital. Their kids play on the same softball team. They're both invited to a friend's wedding, or to a dinner party. I just spent 10 days on an inpatient unit for people with intractable head pain; the nurses told me that they'd had more than one relationship start on the unit: patient/patient; staff/patient; family member/patient. People meet in dog training classes, bowling leagues, on the job, and at the bus stop.

I met one of the people I was involved with because we were both dating the same person at the same time. I met lovers in classes I was taking. I came out as a lesbian because my college roommate and I fell in love (one of those things that would strain credulity in fiction but actually happened).
posted by not that girl at 10:52 AM on September 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

We met at a volunteer meeting for an event, which meant we saw each other again at the event, then chatting on Facebook, then a date.
posted by cabingirl at 10:53 AM on September 5, 2016

My mom met my dad because she was dating a friend of his, and when my dad got home from a stint in the army, the friend brought him along one evening. My mom said she knew by the end of the night that she was going to marry him.
posted by not that girl at 10:53 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Beloved Partner and I met in a book group--unusually, a mixed gender group. We talked about books, naturally. I learned she collected Nancy Drew, and I told her I knew of a used bookstore at which she could find a lot of them...
posted by librosegretti at 10:56 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I met my spouse while chasing a chicken (who was wearing a name tag) through Golden Gate Park with a bullhorn as part of a collaborative art project.

The problem with fictional romance is *lack* of imagination, rather than implausibility. Nothing is too weird to be true. Too boring to bother reading about, on the other hand, is ubiquitous.
posted by eotvos at 11:07 AM on September 5, 2016 [46 favorites]

We met at work. We both had the same dead-end job in an insurance company's cubicle farm a couple years after college. We hung out some as friends, but I had a live-in girlfriend and she was moving to Colorado in a couple weeks so nothing more. I kept working at the same place for a while and became friends with one of her friends so we were in touch occasionally. When she moved back a couple years later, she called me up and asked me to go to the movies. I was single at that point. That was about 16 years ago. Oddly, she and my former girlfriend have the same first name.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 11:08 AM on September 5, 2016

I was visiting friends out of town. They threw a Halloween costume party where I met a funny and attractive 'Premium Beer'. We've been together 10 years next month.
posted by JennyJupiter at 11:08 AM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

We were roommates! In a foreign country.

I know a lot of people who met their spouses through work, mutual friends, and for sure the internet. Weirder ones: I have a cousin who met her spouse on an airplane (seated next to each other, both afraid of flying). A friend met her spouse while, um, pretending to be a member of an ethnic(ish) group that she is not actually a member of. Another cousin met her spouse at a football game (groups of friends seated next to each other).
posted by goodbyewaffles at 11:09 AM on September 5, 2016

We had the same college scholarship.

That's how my parents met! It was a reception for students who'd received a scholarship aimed at students from rural areas. (My mom says the college's own data showed that such students did better than average, but the college was convinced the hicks needed extra support so there was a variety of programs that went with the scholarship.)
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 11:20 AM on September 5, 2016

OKCupid. Despite being in a small town, we probably would never have met otherwise; we both worked at the types of institutions (art museum for her, college for me) where people tended to socialize within their work groups and not so much outside of them.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:23 AM on September 5, 2016

We bumped into each other, fell down, and then scrambled to pick up scattered papers whilst looking into each other's eyes and falling madly in love.

No, seriously...

It will save pronoun troubles if I say at the outset I'm a guy...

So a (male) friend of mine got me invited to a party at the home of still another mutual friend, where I met a young lady. We sorta hit it off (and 30+ years later we're still friends), but two months later there was just no spark there. While we were dating, however, we introduced my friend to her (female) friend, and they wound up marrying each other (a year or so later).

Meanwhile, about 2.5 months later, my friend's said that his girlfriend suggested I meet the person who is the future Mrs. randomkeystrike. However, FMRKS is quite the introvert, and she has made little impression on me when she was also at the same party 2.5 months earlier, nor at other occasions where at least once I took the 2.5 month girlfriend to the home of FMRKS.

So my friend and I are having this phone conversation where he's trying to pass on his girlfriend's advice, and we're two dudes who 2.5 months earlier were in someone else's home with about 20-30 other people, and I'm not understanding who he's talking about. In fact, I think he's talking about a DIFFERENT woman, whom I did not hit it off with at all, and I'm about to take a pass when I ask ONE MORE QUESTION (which was probably something profound like "Are we talking about that tall girl with the red hair*?"), and he says "No, you're thinking of someone else..."

So I decided to agree to go along on this semi-blind date, and 30-mumble years later, here we are...

*this is not to be construed as a criticism of tall women with red hair, whom I approve of in general. I was just trying to identify this one person whom I had not gotten along well with.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:26 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Twitter, after he searched for a shared interest and found me.

My parents met because my mum's first husband was the drummer in my dad's band.
posted by corvine at 10:36 AM on September 5

I thought no one else would say Twitter! I met my current partner on Twitter.

I met my ex-husband in a hostel kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa. The same hostel kitchen I met the most recent ex-bf before him, actually.

The one before that I met on a Dave Matthews fan site, (RIP), planning a shared trip to see a few shows on the East Coast.

This thread definitely suggests there are tons of true-to-life ways to write your meeting scene. Good luck!
posted by guster4lovers at 11:27 AM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

My parents met in Paris on Halloween day. My mum was sitting at the bar smiling at him, and so my dad went up to her and asked 'Are you American?'. She is not, she's Swedish, but he stayed over that night at hers and they remained inseparable ever since. I cannot wait for something like this to happen to me!
posted by akita at 11:36 AM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

A group of students from my seminary was taking a school-sponsored summer trip to southeast Asia. We felt from Dallas to LA, then had a 5 hour layover before flying to Hong Kong. The younger sister of one of the faculty co-sponsors lived near LA at the time, and came up to the airport to see her big sister and hang out while we were waiting for the next flight. We met and hit it off, spent most of the layover together. When I got back to the States we started dating, and were married 15 months later.

(We met this was in June 2000. Random airport meetings got a lot harder after September 2001.)
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:37 AM on September 5, 2016

We met playing in the same social sports league. Many of our friends also got together this way... Drinking at the bar after games is a great bonding experience. :)

I also know many people who met at work or on dating sites.
posted by saturngirl at 12:01 PM on September 5, 2016

We met at work, too! I had a boyfriend and was a manager (though not of his team), so we were friends for about a year (except the two months when we got in a political argument and I called him a Nazi). Then after my breakup, a bunch of us who worked together hung out a bunch and eventually, the day I resigned was the day we first kissed. Our first wedding anniversary (and third of being together) is in just over a month.
posted by dame at 12:08 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

We met in grad school at a kind of trivia club organized by him based on a popular Russian game show. I remember thinking that it was awfully rainy and cold and debating whether I should go, but eventually went since I wanted to meet more new people. After the event I added him and his co-organizer on Facebook, he commented on some random list of books I had read, we switched first to Facebook messages and then gmail. Our first date was attending a lecture about data-driven approaches to solving global poverty and then four hours of talking over two pots of tea. We could not stop talking. That was five and a half years ago, we've been been married 3.5 years now. Weirdly it turned out we were in the same grad school physics class about three years before I met him at the trivia event (though we were studying completely different things), but though we had mutual friends who knew each other in the class, we never knew of the other's existence and were wrapped up in other relationships at the time.
posted by peacheater at 12:12 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

My parents met on a blind date canoe trip.
posted by phunniemee at 12:12 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Not many people believe us when we tell this story, but my now-husband and I met on Omegle. The Internet chat site that pairs you up with random strangers. This was back in 2009, when it was brand new and less infested with bots. We've been married for 3 years now :).
posted by cozenedindigo at 12:17 PM on September 5, 2016 [9 favorites]

Studying abroad. SO had just arrived for our home country, stayed with me for a couple of weeks, then moved to own place. We started as friends. Many years later, the dynamic changed. We're now married.

Other major encounters:
1. We worked in the same office building and started talking to one another
2. Internet dating site
3. Introduction from a mutual friend
4. We met at a party... and started talking
5. We both were regulars at a local bar... and started talking
6. We were in school together, ran into each other again many many years later (by chance) and sparks flew instantly
posted by Kwadeng at 12:27 PM on September 5, 2016

We met at a grad school barbeque mixer. He ate three burgers----I should have seen it coming as I have been cooking ever since----good thing I do like to cook! :-)

As an addendum: Our eldest daughter met her husband when they had leading roles in a romantic comedy play. The middle daughter met her husband on The youngest daughter met her husband in Guatemala where both were doing a summer session of neuroscience---studying dung beetles. Our son is still single.
posted by ragtimepiano at 12:28 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have it on good authority that bumping into each other, falling down, and then scrambling to pick up scattered papers whilst looking into each other's eyes and falling madly in love happens significantly less in real life than in the movies.

I met my ex in college. I was sitting with my legs out in the hallway before class, and he tripped over them, and books and papers flew, but it wasn't love at first sight. I was in a sour mood and scowled quite openly at his objectively terrible haircut.

Later, the seat next to his in modern European history was the only seat open. Later than that, he lived down the hall from my friends at the dorm across campus. And our classes had us passing each other in the halls. We just sort of kept getting thrown together. Eventually he got a better haircut.
posted by mochapickle at 12:35 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

When I arrived at grad school in a foreign country, I saw the tables out for the outdoors club, with canoes and kayaks and skis and snowshoes, and I thought "Wow, that looks like a fun. I should do that."

When I went to my first meeting of the outdoors club, I was totally impressed by the competence of the club president as she ran the meeting, and I thought "Wow, that's awesome. I should get to be good enough to do that."

Four years later, I'd just broken up with a girlfriend and become the club VP (only undergrads could be president, it turned out). I got up to run my very first meeting, and in she walked, and I thought "Wow, she's cute. Too bad she's here with a boyfriend."

It turned out that was her brother in law.

That was sixteen! years ago. Huh.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:38 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by pleasant_confusion at 12:46 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I just thought of two goodish stories:

1) My best friend met his spouse because another friend of ours was playing online games and met a cool woman. She drove across the country to visit him (just for kicks), met best friend, and it was luv.

2) The online gaming friend married our 9th grade English teacher. They had a normal teacher/student relationship in school, then about five years after graduation they connected on Facebook and started hanging out (mutual interests). It's very weird! But I can attest to the fact that nothing untoward was happening while we were teens.
posted by stoneandstar at 12:48 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Parties/social gatherings at a friend's place

Happy hours hosted by professional societies, charities, or ethnic organizations

Friends-of-friends when a group goes out to a movie/dinner/etc

Charity fundraising events

The scenario is similar: two people chat each other up, and contact info is exchanged. In some cases, a mutual friend acts as the intermediary to get the contact info into the other person's hands after the fact.

form a friendship that slowly shifts into a romance.

This is about as common as the "bumping into each other, falling down, and then scrambling to pick up scattered papers whilst looking into each other's eyes and falling madly in love" scenario, simply because if they had personal chemistry and romantic interest with each other, they would have started dating when they met.
posted by deanc at 12:56 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

We met as counselors at a gifted summer camp in our early 20s, kept in touch, and got together a few years later. I know of several other couples that met at camp, and I'm a little surprised that nobody else has mentioned it yet -- maybe it's a little embarrassing.
posted by crazy with stars at 1:00 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

We met at a new year's eve party hosted by my aunt. He volunteered at a non profit with her, but I was living in another state. When I moved to town that summer, we started seeing each other in group settings and eventually we went on a first date.
posted by ceramicblue at 1:00 PM on September 5, 2016

At a MetaFilter IRL meetup! (It turns out we attended the same university, too, but not simultaneously.)
posted by capricorn at 1:04 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

The first time I met my husband, it was 20 years ago and we were regulars at the same goth club. We were in our early 20s. We were both married to other people.

Over the course of the ensuing 13 years, we saw each other literally hundreds of times at the same scene events, parties, club nights, and bars. Our interaction was always the same: recognize each other, nod, say "hey what's up," and keep moving. This was back when Livejournal was a big thing, and we were friends there and would comment on each others' posts from time to time.

The second time I met him, it was 2009 and I'd been divorced for about five years. I'd become a bit of a hermit as I tried to recuperate from the one-two punch of being diagnosed with MS and getting divorced a year later, so I hadn't been out clubbing or to parties with same kind of frequency and I hadn't spoken to him in years.

I was trying to decide between renting a very boring apartment in a neighborhood I loved or an amazing apartment in a neighborhood I didn't know very well, so of course I posted to Livejournal to ask for the opinions of my friends. He happened to live in the neighborhood I didn't know, and he replied with a ton of helpful information that made me feel a lot better about relocating. I rented the apartment there, and told him that when I got settled he would have to tell me where his favorite place to get coffee was so I could treat him to a cup.

I made good on my offer, but due to the vagaries of work schedules and timing, coffee turned into drinks and dinner. When I was waiting outside the restaurant to meet up with him, I was genuinely worried that I wouldn't recognize him because it had been so long since I'd seen him. I didn't know that he and his wife had split up.

Five hours later, when the waiter refilled our water glasses for the umpteenth time and asked us pointedly if we needed anything else, we went home separately for the last time.

We count that dinner as our first date, despite the fact that neither of actually intended for it to be a date when we planned it. This year, on the seventh anniversary of that dinner, we got married. In my vows, I promised I would never, ever buy him a cup of coffee[1].

[1] He likes to joke that he's just sticking around because he was promised a cup of coffee that he never received. In seven years, we've been very careful to make sure I've never bought one for him.
posted by jesourie at 1:06 PM on September 5, 2016 [36 favorites]

We were part of the same crowd that went for coffee after AA meetings.
posted by Peach at 1:07 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Via OKCupid after many, many, many, many bad; mediocre; lackluster; fine, but no click; passionate, but quick to fade; promising, but ended in ghosting; dates.

His first email to me wasn't super enthusiastic and our first date was going to see a Holocaust you know...meant to be.
posted by brookeb at 1:11 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

This ["this" = friendship followed by romance --Ed.] is about as common as the "bumping into each other, falling down, and then scrambling to pick up scattered papers whilst looking into each other's eyes and falling madly in love" scenario, simply because if they had personal chemistry and romantic interest with each other, they would have started dating when they met.

Wait, you mean when they meet over a bunch of scattered papers? I don't know, I didn't have any particular romantic interest in my husband at first, nor he with me AS DESCRIBED PAINFULLY ABOVE. But I think there are plenty of friends who could be romantic partners under other circumstances, and some of those circumstances are internal (shyness, lack of focus, interest in someone else) , as opposed to external (like partners, distance, appearance of impropriety...).
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:12 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I met Mr Nilehorse at a New Years Eve party. We were both living abroad, but didn't meet for a two years. It's amazing we never met, as we both hung around with the same set of about people . None of our friends believe that we didn't meet before. One friend showed me pictures of a birthday party with Mr Nilehorse in some photos, and me in others but Mr Nilehorse had left early and I arrived late. Even my sister met him a year before I did, when out with my friends for some reason. Mr Nilehorse remembers her saying "but you must know my sister, Nilehorse!"

When we actually met, I kissed him in the garden, but as it was New Year and I'd had a lot to drink, I actually didn't remember it. I didn't find out until me and Mr Nilehorse had been together for a few months and a friend said "but you guys always had a thing right" and I had no idea what she was talking about. It turned out someone had seen me kiss Mr Nilehorse through the patio windows and everyone thought I just wasn't talking about it.

After that, Mr Nilehorse was always really nice to me, but I never thought anything of it. I was going through a bit of a rough time, and wasn't thinking about anyone. I went to Mr Nilehorse's birthday party. I'd been really looking forward to it but when I arrived I was feeling awkward because I was so miserable. He must have seen me looking uncomfortable, because he came and sat next to me, and was really really kind to me. Then I moved into the same house as Mr Nilehorse's best friend, the same house as the New Years Eve party, and got a lot happier. Mr Nilehorse was around a lot, and started winking at me whenever I left the room. We kissed in the garden again and have been together ever since!

Sorry that was so long. I'm a bit smitten with Mr Nilehorse and my friends are sick of hearing about it.
posted by Nilehorse at 1:16 PM on September 5, 2016 [15 favorites]

Work, sort of. We are both scuba instructors. I swear diving is the best match-making service, I know of at least 3 marriages and dozens of relationships that are headed that was that started thru a scuba class or organized dive. Pairing up with a potential complete stranger in a situation where your life could literally be in their hands if something went wrong, you learn a lot about that person really quickly, and often without saying a word.

As a dive instructor I've also seen a lot of fights that may or may not have led to divorce so there's that too.
posted by danapiper at 1:17 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Myspace. He sent me the following message: I like your Firefly Jayne hat.
posted by ilovewinter at 1:24 PM on September 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

Met as coworkers. Her contract ended, so we weren't coworkers anymore, so we went out for lunch and ended up spending the rest of a very nice day together. She moved in two years later.
posted by emelenjr at 1:49 PM on September 5, 2016

At an after-work softball game.
posted by yclipse at 2:01 PM on September 5, 2016

My ex insisted I learn how to play the video game that my current partner & I would eventually meet through after playing on the same team for a night. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ l o l
posted by Snacks at 2:15 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I (female) was 27 and separated from my first husband. The man who became my husband 25 yrs ago was almost 35, never married or seriously involved. We both worked for the same university, different departments. I had met him casually when visiting other (male) friends in his department. Once he learned I was separated, he invited me to dinner at his house. I went, hoping he wasn't a psycho but mostly thinking it would lead to nothing because I wasn't attracted to him. He served me clams in white sauce, and a cannoli for dessert. I like neither clams, white sauce, nor cannoli. But when he walked behind my chair, I felt a frisson of chemical attraction and that was that.
posted by mmw at 2:28 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: A lot of times people who get together in their 30s or 40s have known each other for quite a while already through a group of mutual friends, or a professional working relationship or something, and been attracted but unavailable due to not being single. Then they are suddenly both single at the same time, and it's like...okay! Talking about heterosexual partners, in my experience, men tend to have very little difficulty moving quickly from one relationship to another, while women tend to take a little longer. A plausible, common scenario is a woman who's been single for 3-5 years going on a first date with her future life partner, a man she's known for 10 years, the same week that his former girlfriend dumps him. In your 30s or 40s, there's maybe a bit less pretense and coyness. Especially if you already know each other. First date can definitely be understood as a date by both parties. Cards on the table.
posted by aunt_winnifred at 2:45 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

(I haven't so I'm reading this with great interest!)
posted by soakimbo at 3:04 PM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Saw him on the bus in high school and thought he was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen but he couldn't possibly be interested in me. Then found out my younger sister was friends with him and would tell me stories about him over the years. After years of having what I thought was a silly crush, my sister told me to just friend him on facebook already, so I did. He messaged me and then told my sister that he thought I was ridiculously pretty and here we are.
posted by lunastellasol at 3:07 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

My best friend met her fiancé on a Pirate RPG web forum, in the early 2000s. They were in their twenties at the time and acted like adults in most other areas of their lives. I should add they lived on different continents at the time.
posted by Atrahasis at 3:17 PM on September 5, 2016

I am loving these stories!

I met my SO on He actually looked at my profile a couple of times but didn't message (later, he told me he was concerned I was a bot/fake account). In a (tipsy) fit of pique, I sent him a message and we connected.

We went on a couple of great dates... and then he flew back to his home country for almost two weeks. I had recently just had this experience where I met someone, things seem good, and then they go away for a few weeks and we don't regularly speak and kaboom, kaput. So, despite being pretty interested I wasn't particularly optimistic.

Well... we chatted on Skype every day for hours despite a several hour time difference. Those ridiculous yet epic conversations where you talk about everything from religious faith to favorite sexual positions. I want to say these conversations went on for at least seven straight nights. He was sleeping through the days he was supposed to be hanging out with family. I was floating through my workdays and outings with friends on an exhausted little cloud of infatuation.

We're still together, although I think for the first couple of years we dodged the "how did you guys meet" question. Now we just answer it straight on but it seemed to weird folks (in a major metro area in the US) out a bit a few years ago. But there's literally no other way we'd have met.
posted by sm1tten at 3:18 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

My parents' story:

My dad was very burnt out on grad school and decided, somehow, to take the foreign service exam to see if that might be a good change of pace. He went to DC to take the exam and bombed it. His childhood best friend Ken, who lived in the city, invited him to a party that night as a distraction. At the time, Ken was separated from his wife and casually dating another woman I'll call Mary. Mary was hosting the party.

My mom was living and working in DC then. She had been casual acquaintances with Mary in college, while they did a study abroad program together, but hadn't heard from her in years. On the day of my dad's exam, she randomly ran into Mary on the street. As they were catching up, Mary brought up that she was having this party tonight, and maybe my mom would like to can guess where the story goes from there.

Postscript: My dad and Ken are still friends, and Ken eventually got back together with his wife and had two children. My mom once noted in front of the children that if Ken and his wife had never separated she and my dad would have never met. The children did not know about the separation until that day. Oops.
posted by ActionPopulated at 3:41 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is about as common as the "bumping into each other, falling down, and then scrambling to pick up scattered papers whilst looking into each other's eyes and falling madly in love" scenario, simply because if they had personal chemistry and romantic interest with each other, they would have started dating when they met.

Horse hockey. Most of my exes I was friends with first, and many of the successfully married couples I know were longtime friends before they got together. How else are you supposed to know whether you're not just attracted to a person, but actually like them and can stand to spend time with them?

My wife and I have known each other for over 20 years; we went to high school together. We stayed in loose contact off and on throughout the years because of the magic of the Internet. I moved cross country, she got deployed to sandy places, we both got together with other people (we were not a thing in high school; there was never any attraction there).

3 years ago, my long-term male partner and I broke up. My wife messaged me on Facebook saying hey, I know how this goes, been there done that, just want to check in on you and see how you're doing. When I didn't answer, she messaged me get a couple days later. I answered, we started Facebook messaging a lot, then we moved on to the phone. I was living in North Carolina and she was living in Texas. Finally, I bought a plane ticket for November, and went down and saw her and met her girlfriend. A year later, her girlfriend served as the witness for our legal wedding and as bridesmaid for the social one, and girlfriend is one of my best friends.
posted by joycehealy at 3:43 PM on September 5, 2016 [6 favorites]

Eharmony matched me with his roommate. (Roommate was a BAD match - also my husband says he was on eharmony at the same time so ???)
posted by agress at 3:54 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I met my wife briefly when I was dating her roommate while in college. After college I was drafted (this was 1968), I called her and asked her out to dinner with no expectations other than an evening away from the army.
posted by SemiSalt at 3:57 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

She was sitting in my seat at a performance by the Bolshoi Ballet touring in the US.
posted by sammyo at 4:11 PM on September 5, 2016 [14 favorites]

My husband and I met at work, several works ago. My job was temporary for a year, and we were in different departments, so we figured if things went awry we'd only have to live with it for the balance of a year. We were also going to library school at the same time, so we ended up being cute and taking a couple of classes together. We spent a couple of months doing after-work-drinking together with other work-mates and friends before we started actually dating. We danced around our flirtation until we kissed in the hallway outside the bar's bathrooms one night.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:27 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I met my wife at a food truck. It was November and was bitching about how cold it was to my friends (it was not that cold), and behind us in line a cute lady called me out for not knowing what cold was, and that I should try to spend a winter in New England, where she was from. I embarrassed her a little bit by invited her and her friends to come eat with us, and we all hit it off, and ended up getting drinks nearby.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:33 PM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

We met at a dance, actually a ballroom dance. She was supposed to meet up with a guy who never showed up. I was sitting with a table of female friends. I asked her to dance and we talked about cheesecake. She asked a mutual friend what my story was who proceeded to tell her I wasn't going to be interested. She was surprised when I asked her out to a costume party. We eventually married 11 years ago yesterday.
posted by coldhotel at 5:31 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Internet Dating - I wanted to start dating casually after my divorce. He was the second person I met.
posted by getawaysticks at 5:39 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

MuddDude and I lived in the same co-ed dorm freshman year, on opposite ends of the hall. We were part of a big freshman gaggle, and I was dating some other guy for a bit. Initially I thought Andy was too cool for me because he went to a fancy east coast high school and had played on the football team. After I broke up with the first guy, MuddDude and I started hanging out more and discovered we were both incredibly dorky. On a Wednesday night I asked if he wanted to make out, and that was that.
posted by muddgirl at 6:00 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

My favorite meeting story involves friends who met giving blood. They were lying on adjacent tables, and he noticed her beautiful long dark wavy hair hanging down off the table (so he said), and so then struck up a conversation with her.

Mr. gudrun and I were in the same coed college dorm. We found out later that we were on each others radar, but we were both too shy to talk to each other for a while. After a couple of months ... he was talking in the dorm hall to someone and I was walking by and noticed the science fiction book in his hand, and asked him about it. We turned out to both be serious readers of sf, and we were off and running.
posted by gudrun at 6:02 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh, and my mother's younger sister married my father's older brother (my parents met first and the siblings then met and hit it off).
posted by gudrun at 6:05 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was looking through vinyl records in a shop and some guy I'd never seen before said, hey! then threw his wallet at me. When I caught it, he said stay right there, I'll be right back.

And as you already know, he was incredibly sweet and and had impossibly poor impulse control.
posted by vers at 6:19 PM on September 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

Pub trivia. I was on a team with some friends, and one of my friends/teammates brought my future husband along to join our team as our sports expert (he actually knew far more about other subjects than he did about sports, but he knew more about sports than the rest of us). After a few months of playing weekly trivia (and our team winning the championship, woot woot!), he asked me out on a date.
posted by amro at 6:36 PM on September 5, 2016

we met at work - specifically, I was one of the people conducting his job interview. He got the job, but I didn't really consider him "that way" at first - he was pretty nervous and jumpy at work. We started hanging out a lot, we had a pretty tight friend group that hung out after work every weekend. He was a lot more relaxed and fun outside of work! Eventually we got together after a night of drinking that included an indoor snowball fight. That was 14 years ago and we now own a house together.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:53 PM on September 5, 2016

My SO was my roommate's lab partner in their grad program. He used to come over to study with roommate, and I guess I came home one night from a dinner, and he, by his telling, was intrigued immediately. I feel really bad to say that I don't remember this at all. I remember our first meet being at a party that roommate and I hosted a few weeks later. We all went out drinking at the local bar afterwards, and he got my number. I had just gotten out of a LTR, so I literally ran away at the end of the night, and he took the hint. A few months later, roommate broke their collarbone, and he was there with them at the ER when I came to pick them up. He was a huge factor in helping roommate and I keep our sanity while she needed help with everything for the next few weeks, and we hit it off. He asked me out and the rest is (sappy) history.

Other people in my life have meet their current/ex partners:
Ultimate frisbee, skydiving, Tinder, college, neighbors
posted by gollie at 6:54 PM on September 5, 2016

I'm single, but here are some of the "how I met that ex" stories that weren't via online dating -

1. I went to a party at one of my college friends' dorm rooms, and I was more interested in meeting HER new boyfriend to assess him. But I ended up talking to this guy she'd just done a theater history project with and he got my number and later that semester he was my first....first.

2. I went home from college one summer and got a job at the local movie theater. So did he.

3. I went to get tickets for a folk singer's gig at a club in the West Village, but before I got the tickets I saw the guy working the box office had a SANDMAN t-shirt on, and said "hey, cool shirt." He said "omigod, you know about SANDMAN!" and we started talking about that instead, and got to talking so long that he invited me to have a seat in the booth with him, and an hour later he suggested we go to the gig I was planning on seeing together as a date, and an hour after that we were making out.

4. I was at a bar in my neighborhood and a guy picked me up.

5. I was coming home from work and that guy who picked me up was standing outside a different bar with another guy, and I went over to say hi and that guy who picked me up introduced me to his friend "T", and they invited me to have a drink with them both, and then when that guy who picked me up left I was still talking to T and stayed another hour.

6. We were in the same kayak club, he'd recently divorced and I apparently was wearing a really flattering bathing suit.

7. My friend R had just started seeing this guy, N, who was having a party. She brought me along, N brought a couple of his friends along - including P, a guy I fell into immediate lust with (it was mutual, but we were both too chicken to act on it for a year and a half).

And I have three other ones from friends and family -

* My friend C was producing a play, and his co-worker L came to see it - and brought her old college friend N who was visiting from Chicago. L introduced N and C, they all went to dinner together, and a week later C was flying to Chicago because "I just had to see you again." They've been together nearly 14 years.

* The aforementioned R and N met because N started a Neil Gaiman Fans Meetup group, and R was the only one who joined. They had a couple of "meetup club meetings" just the two of them, treating it just like a Meetup group, and then on the fourth meeting they suddenly realized, "wait...these are dates." Their daughter is due in a couple months.

* My brother was living in Denver and was involved with a girl, and his buddy was involved with a girl, and the four of them went camping together a lot. My brother's girl would go to sleep early, and so did my brother's buddy, and my brother and his buddy's girl would hang out around the campfire and talk a lot. Then my brother broke up with his girlfriend, his buddy broke up with his girlfriend, and my brother reached out to his buddy's ex to see how she was doing and one thing lead to another and I was one of the readers at their wedding 10 years ago.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:26 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

The gradual progression from friendship to love you refer to is probably quite common in arranged marriages, for what it's worth. A couple marry because their parents choose or suggest a spouse. They then become friends and eventually realise that they love each other. They may not experience chemistry, passion, etc in the same progression or perhaps in the same way, but that doesn't mean that they aren't in love for much of their lives together. I've seen it in countless couples in older South Asian generations.
posted by tavegyl at 7:31 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

My husband went on a date with a woman during a summer job before his senior year of high school, and they decided to stay friends. That fall, she and I became college friends. In the winter, he visited because he was considering going to our college. I thought he was so dreamy I made a fool of myself but I only made a vague impression on him. Next summer, all three of us worked together, and he and I dated.....but he'd decided to attend a college 8 hours away, so we parted amicably.

That lasted until October. The next year he transferred. Three years later we got married.

Our short version how we met is "at work."

I have friends who met via dating app living in the same neighborhood in an already-small town; both assumed they knew everyone dateable in town and found each other searching more-distant zip codes.

My inlaw's story is my favorite. My FIL went over to a male friend's dorm room every week to watch Star Trek. Friend made a vague mention of a kid sister visiting. FIL expected a tween and was astonished when he was met at the door by a beautiful woman in a towel! The friends are still friends, Towel Girl and Star Trek Fan have been married over 40 years.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:50 PM on September 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

Met my wife when she brought a friends instrument to my store to be repaired.

It was several years before we started dating but we really got to know each other when she was looking for someplace to garden and I was starting one in my back yard.
posted by boilermonster at 9:40 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

My grandparents met at an outdoor event during the 1910 Eucharistic Congress in Montreal. My grandmother was from England and not even Roman Catholic, but it was a big pageant and they got talking while looking on. My parents were introduced by a mutual acquaintance called Mabel. One of my friends was working in an open computer lab at university and met the man who became her longtime partner while he was using one of the computers for a project. Most of the others met through groups of friends. But people are correct about how this is much easier when everyone is young and life is more fluid.
posted by zadcat at 9:51 PM on September 5, 2016

My mother's college roommate set her up on a blind date with her boyfriend's roommate. That guy got the flu, and so my father (also a roommate) took over the commitment for him. They were scientists and figured it was an equivalent substitution. The original couple married as well.

My super fit roommate first met my brother when he was grossly overweight and hiding behind his hair. Two years later I reintroduced them. He had lost 80 pounds and cleaned up his act. She thought he was some new sibling I had failed to mention, which delighted him as evidence of his successful transformation but embarrassed her. He has kept the weight off for 30 years.

N-thing the comment above about knowing what you want when older. Mr Carmicha and I met because we're in the same profession and while married to other people. We worked together often, including lots of travel together. Years later, when we were both single, things took off. We had a weird interval where we knew each other really well, saw each other all the time and talked every day, but had never met each other's people, seen each other at home, or in casual clothes, or driving something that wasn't a rental car.
posted by carmicha at 10:29 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I travelled to Australia as the project manager for a project at work. He was one of the people being trained on the product my company made. When I saw him the first time I thought "Wow, he's hot." When he first saw me, he reportedly thought, "Wow, she seems like the kind of girl I'd marry." I tracked him down on Facebook once we both went home. Now married with a kid.
posted by olinerd at 10:53 PM on September 5, 2016

But also let me share my grandparents' story - my grandfather was the (small midwestern college) football team quarterback. My grandmother, who paid her tuition by working as a waitress in the dining hall, thought he was cute. So she dropped a knife in his lap while she was serving his food so she'd have an excuse to talk to him. I find that rather delightful.
posted by olinerd at 10:54 PM on September 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, and one of my friends' stories is pretty great. He had some funemployment between jobs so he fucked off and went on safari. He met a woman who was traveling with her mom. They got along well. While visiting one village, a guy offered her mom 100 cows for her. After the safari, my coworker and she started dating, and eventually got engaged. Upon engagement he mailed a box of 100 toy cows to his future mother-in-law, marked "dowry". It was, fortunately, accepted, and they have been happily married for quite some time.
posted by olinerd at 11:01 PM on September 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

The most romantic story I've heard was from a guy with whom I went on a date, about his parents.

His dad was on his college's ice hockey team and was a visiting team at an all male college one year. They won the game and were celebrating in the dorms where they were staying. Being an all-male college, the guys were trying to rustle up some girls from the neighboring women's college by calling their dorms. Before the call, he announced that he was going to marry the next girl who picked up the phone. He convinced the girl who answered to come to the party with some girl friends, they ended up dating and, eventually, getting married!
posted by violetk at 11:35 PM on September 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I kinda wanted to date her roommate.
posted by dondiego87 at 11:53 PM on September 5, 2016

Best answer: This is about as common as the "bumping into each other, falling down, and then scrambling to pick up scattered papers whilst looking into each other's eyes and falling madly in love" scenario, simply because if they had personal chemistry and romantic interest with each other, they would have started dating when they met.

Kind of an aside, but this made me think: Adults can have friendships that shift slowly into romance, but there's got to be some sort of reason why that happened. One (or both) of them being partnered is an obvious obstacle, but you've also got to come up with a reason why they keep being in the same place often enough to become friends. Like, they work together, or they are part of the same hobbyist group, or if they have kids they're both parents on the same soccer team or something. At the very least, they have the same, or similar, circles of friends and keep running into each other at parties.

I think the combination of forced socialization and adolescent awkwardness means that friendship-to-romance often happens seemingly naturally, absent any external pressure, in school situations. In adulthood, there needs to be a reason, or reasons, why they a) didn't get together early on, but b) became, and remained, friends.

To answer your question: I met my wife on OKCupid. I know people do sometimes become friends via OKCupid, but I don't know that online dating sites would work particularly well for the plot you're pursuing.
posted by breakin' the law at 11:54 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

He messaged me on PlentyOfFish. He was a little older than I was looking for (8 years older than me - my general rule was 7 years in either direction) and didn't seem like my type based on the picture in his profile. However, his message made it clear that he'd actually read my whole profile (he commented on and asked about specific things in it) - a rarity! - so I decided to reply.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:42 AM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

My parents met when my mom was on a date with one of my dad's good friends.

As for myself and my boyfriend? OKCupid. We were only a 50 percent match, due to his only answering 2 questions. We went out anyway, and have been together three and a half years.
posted by weathergal at 2:34 AM on September 6, 2016

My wife was on a date with a good friend and coworker of mine, I showed up where they were after work (purely by accident) and then she and I left together, went back to her place to watch a movie and I moved in immediately.... That was 19 years ago and we're still going strong (and still friends with that coworker.)
posted by Jacob G at 6:00 AM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Talked to myself ("where are the stairs again?") after a class we had together. He thought I'd talked to him, or maybe we wanted to think that because he liked me. Being weird can pay off!
posted by LoonyLovegood at 6:01 AM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I first met my partner at a Doyleist Sherlock Holmes slash-fans' picnic-get-together in London. She was wearing the most fetching waistcoat and bowler hat; I was rather smitten.

After returning home, I summoned all my courage, messaged her on her LiveJournal to ask if she might want to go out for dinner with me...and off we went from there.

Six years on, and we're getting married in nine days' time (in the first legally-binding same-sex wedding at this particular church, no less!).
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 6:12 AM on September 6, 2016 [6 favorites]

In one section of the story, a male and female character in their mid to late thirties meet each other and form a friendship that slowly shifts into a romance.

This is specifically what happened to me. We were co-workers and became friends. He was married (unhappily) and I was dating. Everything was very on the level and platonic. I would always tell him about my (usually awful) dates I went on. There was no flirty undertone or anything inappropriate, but we were clearly clicking. Then after 6 years of friendliness I realized I was in love with him so I started being bitchy to him so that he wouldn't know I was in love with him. I knew his marriage was unhappy, but I never wanted to be the cause of the end of someone's marriage, even unintentionally, and I didn't even think that he liked me that way because there is an 8 year different between us. It was all very complicated and awful for me and that went on for a fregging YEAR. Then his wife asked for a divorce because SHE fell in love with someone else. People at work had an office pool for how long it would take for us to realize we loved each other and get together. SPOILER: it was two weeks. We're married now and stupid happy and in love. Our third wedding anniversary is in 2 weeks.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:49 AM on September 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

Metafilter Meet Up!
First met in 2008, lots of meet ups later became general "pals" meet ups, but eventually at another specific MetaFilter meetup , we hooked up. YAY METAFILTER! YAY BEER! 5 years+ now.
Thanks, MattHowie!
posted by goshling at 6:52 AM on September 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

Met a group of people via a Reddit meetup. Kept in touch with a few, became good friends. One of those friends introduced me to one of his high-school friends. That high-school friend decided to start hosting a game night/D&D group. One of the high-school friend's friends who attended the game night regularly is the someone I am now dating.

Prior to that, I dated a guy I knew from high school- we'd had several near-dates and on and off attraction for years, and finally took the plunge, but after a year, it didn't work out.

Prior to that, OKCupid.

Prior to that... World of Warcraft. Eegh.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:59 AM on September 6, 2016

Mine is a very L Word chart-type story. I met Mrs. ikahime at a friend's brunch I attended with my ex (whom I was still involved with). I actually heard my wife laugh before I met her and thought, "I have GOT to meet this person." Luckily, my ex had been housemates with her, and had been wanting to introduce us for a long time. I remember thinking "why hadn't I met this delightful person earlier? Ahhh, another life." Apparently, that very day, she broke up with her girlfriend of 5 years.
Fast forward a year or so, my ex and I had split, and I was participating in a Gay Pride march. At the parade's destination, I saw future Mrs. ikahime, and we were delighted to run into each other. Started spending time together, and after a date that involved 60s era stop-animation cinema, a huge amount of sushi, and a hand-crafted raspberry/rhubarb pie, we have been inseparable.

TODAY is our second anniversary!
posted by ikahime at 8:54 AM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Adjacent anatomy tables in medical school, so I met him immediately when I started and became friends. He had a male cadaver, I had a female one, so we had a good excuse to keep 'visiting' each other's tables to 'learn more'. We were both dating other people, but long distance, and medical school is a stressful environment - we both broke up with the other people for completely unrelated reasons within the space of a few months and then realized shortly thereafter that we had a more-than-friends connection.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:21 AM on September 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

In college, my (now) husband was roommates with my best friend's boyfriend (now her husband). Our friends thought we were Perfect! For! Each! Other! We resisted as long as we could, but in the end were unsuccessful.
posted by BrashTech at 9:42 AM on September 6, 2016

He asked me to dance.
posted by vignettist at 9:44 AM on September 6, 2016

My mother met my father while he was in jail. Her sister was dating his brother, who was also in jail with him. My mother went with her sister to visit her boyfriend, and met my father. In jail. Her sister married my father's brother too!
posted by crunchy_cereals at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2016 [5 favorites]

My friend asked me whether I wanted to come along skiing, as a group of them organized a chalet. I had never skied before and the holiday was in one month, but I was like, "Ok!" Although, as it turned out, being the only beginner in the group kinda sucks. I spent the first three days by myself as I was taking lessons. Luckily I have a thick skin and am socially very adventurous and brave, so it was fine. Also by the end of the week, I was decently skiing enough that I could follow the group skiing, as opposed to being by myself.

The group went apres ski every evening, and sat down for dinner with unlimited wine every night. I noticed him, kinda, but not really. He seemed nice but a little weird. On the fifth night, he flirted with me, and I found myself surprised to be flirting back, and that I really liked him.

Reader, we did indeed lived happily ever after .... but only after some major efforts on my part.

- I got his number from a friend
- We lived in separate cities then, so when I flew to his city two weeks later for work, I texted him to ask if he wanted to go for dinner. When he replied with "who else is coming?", I texted the other members of the ski group to save face and to invite them to dinner too. I thought to myself, he clearly doesn't like me.
- At dinner, he sat next to me and was not 'closed off', but in fact, super open (although, not flirting).
- Then I texted and emailed him a couple of times for random chatter but he never kept it up.
- 5 months passed
- I move to his city (for other reasons). Posted a status update on facebook to announce said fact. He never saw it.
- After 3 weeks of arguing with myself, I finally sent him an email ("The LAST ONE", I thought) to announce that I have moved, and that I am in town, and would he like to hang out some time (being purposely cool like that)
- He said yes very enthusiastically, we went out on one date, then another, then never separated after that.
- After two years, he proposed, and we're now married!

I'm mostly over it, but it still bothered me that I had to do all the 'chasing'. I like to remind him of this from time to time. It's not a man-woman thing, it's a personality thing -- I'm the go-getter and risk taker, he's the super-conservative risk avoider.
posted by moiraine at 10:11 AM on September 6, 2016

Let's see how I've met my various significant-ish players and my age at the time:

1) High School (teenager)
2) Neighbor (early 20s)
3) Ex-boyfriend's sister's ex-boyfriend (mid 20s)
4) Best friend's sister's boyfriend's best friend (mid 20s)
5) Okcupid (late 20s)
6) Work party (chef at another restaurant owned by the people that owned the restaurant I was a waitress at) (late 20s)
7) Co-worker (early 30s)
posted by greta simone at 10:41 AM on September 6, 2016

1) Junior high-grade 9 - best friends, he came back from summer vacation half a foot taller and we were inseparable while it lasted
2) At a rave in my teens - he offered me a joint, I turned him down but we made out before the end of the night and he got my number, called me the next day
3) Online message board in my early 20's - we admired each other's posts, I sent him a message and we met up shortly after, had a magical day-long date
4) Through a friend at a bar in my mid-20's - he asked her for my number the next day
5) Online through OKC and POF- 30's
posted by lafemma at 11:02 AM on September 6, 2016

1) Aged 16 at the Reading Festival by the campfire
2) Aged 18 at a sleazy party in the arse end of nowhere after consuming dodgy substances
3) Nearly everyone I dated in my 20s (and one person I dated in my 30s, whom I met when I was in my 20s)- in a dodgy nightclub that I went to every week. Five exes met in this place!
4) Aged 24 - On IRC
5) Late 30s - At a gig, whilst I was completely drunk and crying over my dead dog (which had been dead for six years).
6) Even later 30s - On Facebook - we were both commenting on a mutual friend's post, added each other, etc.

None of these worked out though and I think most people I know are either with someone they work with or someone from online dating...
posted by intensitymultiply at 11:44 AM on September 6, 2016

I met my now husband at a funeral in Brighton a over decade ago. A dear friend died young (leukaemia) and her funeral brought together various groups of her friends that probably wouldn't have otherwise met (despite sharing many common interests) and we started talking at the wake. He'd just split up with a long term girlfriend and I was just out of a pre-university thing but we became friends on Livejournal and kept touch via that.

Fast forward a couple years and I was living down in London, dating a terrible match for me via the guardian dating site and met him again in person at a friend's* fancy dress party (I was Death ala Sandman, he was Zoidberg), we started to see each other more often at various gatherings, I spent some time flirting and watching it go right over his head and then finally, almost seven years ago, after a Jonathan Coulton gig, I took matters into my own hands and kissed him. And that was that. :)

We got married almost four months ago.

*that friend and his partner also met at this funeral but started dating pretty soon afterwards, so have a bit of a head start on us. ;)
posted by halcyonday at 12:35 PM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Internet dating! Specifically OKC, which is (or was, in 2009) one of the sites that rates your matches with a percentage score. My future wife and I matched around 85% -- high enough to show up in the site's recommended contacts frequently, but on the low end of that set. So we kept seeing each other's photo and moving on to somebody with a higher number.
-After a few weeks of her profile showing up in my feed I figured "what the heck," hit the "message" button, and started a conversation.
-We hit it off talking about favorite movies, and a couple of weeks later arranged an actual date.
-We spent a couple of hours talking at dinner, and met up again for after-work coffee the next week (which ended up being a walk around downtown because the coffeehouse closed almost immediately after work hours).
-Since neither of us had family or non-work friends in the area we made plans to spend Christmas together, marathoning the Godfather movies. Knew we had something special after that.
-Eight months later we moved in together, and a year after that I proposed.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:42 PM on September 6, 2016

My mom met her now-husband on ~10 years ago. I meet people mostly online- I have some pretty niche special interests, and there are several websites devoted to them, and dating within that community. I also go to events with local community members, though the single people in my age range weren't that numerous.
posted by Jacen at 1:16 PM on September 6, 2016

Online dating. She'd been on a bunch of fun dates that hadn't gone anywhere and resolved to try it one last time. I'd only been on one other date. Nearly a decade later and we're married with 2 kids.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:24 PM on September 6, 2016

My current boyfriend messaged me one day on Facebook, in college. I was writing a lot of poetry at that time and sharing them on Facebook, and he said "I love your poetry. I'm graduating this year and figured we can meet for coffee or something before I leave." We had mutual friends but never met in person, or even talked to each other in any way! Hell, I didn't even know how he looked like (he had FB photos, I just never bothered to look at them). Of course, I thought nothing about this message, just thought it was a friendly "let's make a new friend" kind of thing.

So I went up to the lunch spot to meet him, and he's there with a mutual friend; that's how I figured out how he looks. We said hi, I'm so-and-so, and the mutual friend was REALLY confused - he thought we had already met before! Lol, nope, we get lunch. Afterwards, future BF walks me down to my part-time job.

About five minutes after I settle at my desk, I get another FB message from him: "It was great meeting you! Would you like to come over this weekend? Have you heard of Rock Band (the game)?"


That weekend we played Rock Band like nobody's business. Then a movie, then a long chat, and before I know it it's 2:30am and we've been cozying up on his couch in this blanket that just came out of nowhere and my eyes were about to slam shut, so I spent the night in his room... on a separate bed.

What, you thought things would go that fast?

Then it was morning and I had to go to class, so we said those sleepy "see you laters". Then I messed with his hair, he smiled, and we hugged a very long hug, the kind you never want to let go.

So that was when I knew he's the one. That was 8 years ago.

But real life got in the way; he moved to Hawaii for grad school, I stayed in the Bay Area. I visited him in Hawaii multiple times but little by little, he grew emotionally distant. The distance was too much for either of us to handle. He didn't even want to hug me or anything. In the meantime I got my first boyfriend, which lasted for maybe two years before we went FWB and then eventually platonic.

Then a couple of years ago, Mr. First Love visited his family for Christmas (they're in Sacramento) and asked if he could crash on my couch for a night while he's in the Bay Area. He ended up crashing in my bed ;)

Now, despite all that, we didn't become a thing until this June. We were vacationing in London, just the two of us, and on the last night there, he asked if I wanted a relationship.

Dawg, I waited EIGHT YEARS for this. Damn right I do!

He's still in Hawaii now, finishing up his dissertation. But at least I can refer to him as my boyfriend :)

I could have gotten more details in there, but that's the short of it.
posted by curagea at 1:38 PM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

We were the only two bloggers listed under ALASKA on globe of blogs dot com in the early 2000s and were internet friends for years before we met in person. Then I moved to his city and we started dating about 10 years ago.
posted by rhapsodie at 1:41 PM on September 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

I went to a local board game night hosted by a comic and gaming shop in town. I was sitting down with a few friends, and we were chatting. The owner comes up to the table and says to us: "You're all not playing games. He wants to play a game, so go on, play some games."

The beau ("he") was new in town, and trying to meet new people at local events. Came to this event because he wanted to play Euchre, a card game that reminded him of home. We were on the same team, and afterward, we started talking. I asked him out later to a show I'd been given an extra ticket for, and the rest, as they say, is history.
posted by PearlRose at 1:51 PM on September 6, 2016

7 years ago: me newly divorced, at a mutual friend's family birthday party. I thought he was cute, funny, interesting... and realized he was there with a date (later his wife, and later-later his ex-wife). Felt annoyed that "guys like him" (funny, nerdy, awkward) always get snatched up by "girls like her" (blonde, bubbly, outgoing, manicpixiedreamgirl) instead of "girls like me" (funny, nerdy, awkward). 2 years ago: him newly divorced, at another mutual friend's birthday party (secret set-up by mutual friend #1, who didn't know I'd originally fancied him and hadn't told me she was trying to make a meet-cute happen for us). I was dating someone else at the time, I didn't recognize/remember him, I chatted a bit with him and a bit with everyone else, and left early to hang out with the guy I was dating at the time. A couple of months later, I was working a charity show he was performing at. He kept coming up and chatting with me about records. Nice guy, I thought. A guy I was vaguely dating at the time was there at the show, and I left with him. A couple of months after that, I was working a series of charity shows he was performing at. I remembered him as the nice guy who wanted to chat about records. Night one, we chatted about records. Night two, we chatted about records. Night three, we chatted about records. Night four, he showed up with two (other) mutual friends - an extremely un-subtle couple who made a bee-line for me as soon as they were in the door, with huge smiles, calling out, "HI! YOU REMEMBER OUR FRIEND [NAME], RIGHT?" trailing the poor blushing fellow behind them. "Oh," I thought, "Ohhh." We chatted about records. We took turns blushing. At the end of the night I leaned into him and he slipped his arm around my waist. And we're getting married this winter.
posted by pammeke at 2:03 PM on September 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

We don't know. We have a lot of friends in common, from different sub-circles. We think the first time we saw each other might have been once when I was in a sort of band with a friend of hers and I stopped by to drop off a CD of songs and she (my wife) was there with her. We don't know if this was the first time we saw each other, and we don't know if we actually said hi that time.
A few years later, I was at a party. She walked in, and there was some sort of spark, before we'd even greeted each other, and we just sort knew we'd end up together. It wasn't really a decision or infatuation on either one's part, just a realization. Sort of like 'oh, so that's the person I'm gonna marry, cool'.
14 years and 3 weddings later (short version: 1 manhattan city hall, 1 big wedding ceremony in Chile, 1 civil union in Chile), we're still going strong.
posted by signal at 5:00 PM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

My parents met at a party she threw :) he was brought by a friend of a friend. She thought he was a crazy dancer. He kept asking for her phone number. She kept refusing. He eventually wore her down. They've been married 40 years and still hold hands everywhere :)
posted by raw sugar at 5:22 PM on September 6, 2016

Work. I started a post-doc in the medical school department in which he had just finished his PhD. He still came to the happy hours.
posted by gaspode at 5:33 PM on September 6, 2016

1. Online dating (many this way)
2. At a nightclub (was supposed to be a one night stand)
3. While playing in a band Interstate (he was in another band and drove our band to the venue)
4. At a boxing tournament (I was commentating one of the fights for TV, he was supporting a friend who was fighting, during a break we locked eyes and struck up a conversation
5. At a market (he had a stall, I gave him my number)
6. At a concert (he was playing guitar, I gave him my number)
7. Through an online chat group
posted by Chrysalis at 6:53 PM on September 6, 2016

My mom and her husband met in a widows/widowers support group.

My sister and her husband met in an assertiveness training class. His 1-year anniversary (paper) gift to her was a print out of the email he sent the first time he asked her out. Something about "practicing his new skills."
posted by bendy at 6:55 PM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My mom and dad worked at the same office. He sent her a drawing of a map with directions from her desk to his. She followed it, they started dating, and they got married a few years later.
posted by airmail at 8:14 PM on September 6, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Me: 34. Her: 37. Meeting: full of accidents & coincidences.

I was driving in our Wisconsin town one 1999 day in a blizzard. Took a corner a little too fast, and managed to wedge my car into a snowbank with nothing under the (FWD) drive wheels. A couple of people stopped to try pushing me out. No luck.

A little AWD Subaru nimbly pulled up and a woman got out, saying "Bummer!". Being a *real* Wisconsinite, C had cat litter, a shovel, and (uncommon in 1999) a mobile phone. The first was useless, the second seemed worth a try, and she let me use the third to call AAA aso I could eventually find out there was a 3-hour wait for towing, due to the blizzard. As I dug around my extremely well-embedded car, we got to talking about the Missouri plates I had, since I'd never bothered to switch registrations while in grad school.

Turned out that C's next door neighbor M was someone in my department, with whom I had a barely nodding acquaintance. However, I white-lied-by-implication that I knew M better, figuring that it might give me a way to connect with C later somehow. C decided that I could be trusted to return the shovel to M when I was done playing Sisyphus in the snow, so she left for the appointment she had.

I kinda liked her, but it wasn't love at first sight. In fact, there wasn't much sight. With the blizzard, C was wearing a big down coat with a hood, sunglasses, and gloves. All I knew about her appearance was that she was fairly tall, white, and probably had light brown hair. She did take off a glove to dig out her mobile phone, but since it was her right glove, I didn't get a clue whether she was married.

Well, prospect or not, I'd pledged to return the shovel to M, and I did. Using a ribbon, I attached an envelope with my business card (minimally personal contact info offer! and I have a job!), $5 for the mobile phone time on hold with AAA (my job enables me to throw around $5 bills with near-abandon!), and a note (I'm probably literate!). In the note, I thanked her for saving me and hoped she, her cats, and her family were surviving the winter OK. She'd mentioned cats (the litter), but no family, and I hoped my list would be a subtle enough invitation to reveal what the glove had hidden.

A couple of days later, I got an email that included, "My cats and I are doing fine ...". Yes! My serve was being returned with what seemed like a nice lob. We kept emailing, then talked on the phone, and arranged to meet at a small cozy wine bar. That seemed like a good idea until I got there and realized (a) it was dimly lit, and (b) I still didn't really know what she looked like. Luckily, I'd arrived just before her, so she managed to spot me alone at my table before I resorted to wandering around looking confused and creepy.

As we got to know each other, I found out that she'd lived in the town off and on for many years, and had worked at the public library branch that I used to visit a lot. So we'd probably been face-to-face making the smallest of small talk several times.

Two years later, our wedding decorations had a couple of oddities. The centerpeice of the gift table was a large, well-worn shovel adorned with a ribbon. And our cake had an plum-sized glob of frosting on one side, with a Matchbox car shoved into it at an angle.
posted by NumberSix at 10:42 PM on September 6, 2016 [13 favorites]

(Useful information: I live in Australia)

I got a job as a counsellor on a summer camp in NY the year after I finished uni. While working at said camp, I made a friend, H. H moved from a west coast school to a midwest school after that summer. My SO, D, went on exchange from Australia to a midwest school for 12 months, where he met H.

Fast forward 4 years and H moved to Australia for a year to work as an au pair. She was visiting Sydney one weekend when she asked me to hang out, her friend D was there and the rest is history.

Awesome follow up: H then moved to the UK to do her Masters, where she met an Australian on a dating app, and consequently now lives in Sydney!
posted by cholly at 12:38 AM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Facebook. Her older sister had been an old schoolmate of mine growing up (we had been in every class together from kindergarten through high school graduation) who had I reconnected with on Facebook. I got a friend request from my SO, and while I had actually never met her (we are 5 years apart in age, so my SO and I never were in the same schools at the same time growing up), I recognized the name and accepted the request without thinking too much about it. Several weeks later, she sent a private message asking if I wanted to meet up for some drinks*. That was 7 years ago next month.

*My SO's version involves her contacting me to bitch me out for blowing off a meet-up with her sister, her cousin and herself but I have the Facebook log to show that never happened (the bitching me out part; me blowing off the meet-up totally happened).
posted by KingEdRa at 3:54 AM on September 7, 2016

Best answer: I met my husband on the night train from Barcelona to Nice. I was traveling around Europe after high school. He was in the compartment next to mine and we spoke briefly in the hallway before going to sleep. In the middle of the night, one of the girls I was traveling with got up to go to the bathroom (leaving the door unlocked) and a man broke into our compartment and started going through luggage. I woke up, started screaming and pounding on the wall. My future husband got up and chased the thief through the entire train. We've been married for 14 years.
posted by Missense Mutation at 9:47 AM on September 7, 2016 [6 favorites]

I met my wife at a fiction workshop at the University of Washington's extension program. We both wrote and workshopped pieces about exes in the present tense and wrote each other off as taken. She invited me and three other classmates to a writing group, and we became friends.

Months later, she called me to ask me out on a hiking date. I politely declined. I had a previous engagement -- to play a tabletop war game with annoying dudes I could barely stand. Minutes after hanging up the phone, I realized my mistake, canceled my plans, and called her back. She was on the phone with a friend complaining about how guys were jerks and sent mixed signals, when call waiting (yes, this is the pre-cell-phone era) buzzed, and it was me accepting her date invitation.

The hike went well. My (borrowed roommate's) dog pooped in her car. Later we went to dinner and a movie (the insufferable "Carrington," one of the worst date movies in the history of dating). I kissed her afterwards. Twenty-some years later, we are still together. And still writing.
posted by touchstone033 at 2:06 PM on September 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

On the dance floor. Seriously. Walked into my favorite C&W dance club on a Friday night. She was visiting from out of town and the place had been suggested by a dance instructor.She was standing (though she didn't know it) where women stood to signal they were there to DANCE. So, we did. Went dancing Saturday night. By the time I put her on the plane Sunday morning, I knew that was it. A month later, traveled to meet her family and proposed. Four months later, married. Twenty-five (and counting) wonderful years. Jesus. I'm crying again.
posted by John Borrowman at 2:20 PM on September 7, 2016 [6 favorites]

ICQ chat line in 1999 before online sites were common. I was looking for someone girl or guy to go hiking with in bay area. Starting talking to my husband, then emailing, phone calls which led to our first date on Halloween, we had no plans that year and met downtown and walked to dinner and movie.

Funny thing is my back was giving me problems and we never hiked for years!
posted by oceanlady at 4:08 PM on September 7, 2016

Saw my future wife at a free-form dance event that happened regularly in my town but never danced with her. Later that summer, happened to see her camped out at a nude beach and introduced myself and spent the day getting acquainted. I ended up with her number and managed to arrange a meet up at another dance event in a couple of weeks. Time passes, and finally end up there together. We dance, she tries an unusual move supporting my weight, blows it and ends up on the floor with me on top. Much tears and running of mascara. Take her home to dry things up and one thing led to another and 20 years of marriage this week. The marriage part took 5 years to get to with more than one detour and but all's well that ends well.
posted by diode at 6:51 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I was up from Portland OR, in my tiny hometown for Christmas. Walking out of a movie (Return of the King) I saw some old friends and some people I didn't really know in a group, old friend mentioned that one of the people I didn't know had just moved to Portland, and didn't really know anyone. I gave her my number and our oldest just started kindergarten this morning and now I'm crying again.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:28 PM on September 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

An internet dating website. This was....12 years ago? We were both in our early 30s then. I know a few people who met long-term partners off that site.
posted by Pink Frost at 10:16 PM on September 7, 2016

She was a field/practicum student with a youth serving organization that sat on a committee I chaired. She came to along to one of the meetings and I know she was introduced to me, but in all honesty I don't even recall meeting her because I was so focused on the agenda and making sure we got through everything in the time we had. She apparently spent the meeting checking me out. Over the rest of her placement, she came to a few other meetings that I was at, she learned I was single, and before she left the placement, she phoned and asked me out for lunch.

We celebrated our fifteenth anniversary this past spring.
posted by nubs at 8:21 AM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had returned to Toronto from a months-long backpacking trip to Australia and didn't have a job or a place to live. One of my best friends from university offered me a spot on his couch until I got back on my feet, and my future wife happened to be renting a room in the same apartment. I was unemployed and she was a student, so we had lots of time to hang out, talk and go on a few totally not-dates. Neither of us were actually looking to date at the time (she'd just gotten dumped, I didn't feel like ideal boyfriend material given my circumstances), but I fell for her and eventually asked her out for real. She politely declined a couple of times, but we kept hanging out and after I'd gotten a job and moved out she finally said yes. That was just over sixteen years ago.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:59 AM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Okcupid. And we just got married!
posted by eastlakestandard at 12:31 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

We spent plenty of time in the university honours room together. I noticed she skyped some guy, and started teasing her about him. Turns out she had a crush on him as a childhood friend. We talked lots, and at some point, she asked what I was trying to do. I hadn't realised that I had now become a competitor. I went with the flow, and now we're engaged and looking for a house together.
posted by appleses at 8:31 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I met my girlfriend at a friend's (friend A) party to watch the 2014 Olympic opening ceremony. I wasn't super enthusiastic, don't think I had shaved that day and I know I showed up close to an hour late. I was there out of obligation and planned on ditching after an hour or so. She was one of my friend's good friends from college, my friend was my best friend from high school. We started talking, I thought she was neat, but I really wasn't sure if I was interested in her romantically or just thought she'd be a neat new friend. (We were also the only two non-smokers at the party and apparently my friend got everyone else out on the balcony to smoke on multiple occasions once she saw we were hitting it off.) I asked a different friend of mine (friend B) and his girlfriend if they would get drinks with me and her so I could suss out the situation and see how I felt. I didn't want to ask her out and chance ruining the friendship if things wouldn't work out romantically. I asked her out for real at the end of that night. Our first real date lasted until daylight savings kicked in (spring forward).

My best meet cute was meeting someone on a bus from Boston to New York and talking the entire ride and exchanging numbers afterward. But that is another story and she's married these days.
posted by Hactar at 9:28 AM on September 9, 2016

Response by poster: To all of you: Thank you so much!!!

I have had such a wonderful time poring over all your lovely stories. To date there have been 154 comments on this thread, which is about 153 more than I was expecting. Watching this post develop has been so exciting! My husband and I have read many of the stories together and "awwwwwed" accordingly.

I haven't yet decided how my two characters will meet. (I think I need to re-read the comments several dozen more times.)

HOWEVER - as the number of comments grew, the nerd in me got more and more excited over the sheer amount of data dropping into my lap, and as any good nerd would, I spent hours crunching all the numbers and compiled some really fascinating statistics to delight and inform all of nerdkind. (And also, to hopefully help anyone who is currently trying to meet their future SO.) So, without further ado, I give you the results of this unexpected and amazing poll:

Comments: 154
Total number of meet-up stories related: 236 (!!!!!)
(This does not include comments to the effect of, "and a bunch of people I know met online," because I didn't have a definitive number. This only includes comments where I could reliably count the separate stories.)

I divided the modes of meeting people into several categories, some of which I'll expand on below. Here's the basic overview to start.

Extra-curricular activities: 57
Online: 44
Friend of a friend: 38
School: 31
Work: 29
Party: 14
Proximity: 7
Bar/Nightclub: 7
Wedding: 3
Airplane: 2
Church: 2
Chasing a chicken: 1
(It was art)
Moose-related car wrecks: 1 (It's complicated)

Okay, now if you're still with me (nerds raise your hands,) here's a more detailed breakdown (with percentages and everything!)

Extra-curricular activities: 57

Extra-curricular activities is how I defined things such as knitting clubs, biking clubs, hiking clubs, kayaking clubs, etc. It's also how I defined things such as concerts/plays ("He was at the ticket booth," "She was sitting in my seat,") and workshops ("They both took an assertiveness workshop.") In general, the activities were such that they really did strike me like extra-curricular school activities (a group of people with a shared interest meeting on a regular-ish basis.) However, frankly, a small percentage of the meetups in this category just didn't fit anywhere else. ("Car got stuck in a snowbank and she had a shovel." "We met on a train from Barcelona to Nice." "They met when she went to visit his brother in jail." ) Because this category is something of a catch-all, it skews the numbers in its favor. The main take away from this category is not the specific activities, but the fact that people were out and about, doing things, mostly recreational things, that were not work/parties/bars. Moral of the story: If you want to meet people - get out there, get a life, and do stuff.

Online: 44

Moral of the story: If you want to meet people - stay home, wear pajamas, and order takeout.

Not all of the online meetups were on dating sites! Only 45% of those who met online met on a dating site. 38% met on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. (18% didn't state what site they used.) Here's a breakdown, by site:

The winner: OkCupid! 11 couples met on Ok Cupid. 3
Twitter: 3
Tinder: 2
PlentyOfFish: 2
Facebook: 2
MySpace: 1
LiveJournal: 1
Craigslist: 1
Miscellaneous: 5
Online gaming: 3
Blogs: 2
Didn't state: 8

Friend of a friend: 38

I used this category if a friend was the main instigator of the meetup. "I went to a bar with some friends and ran into this hot girl" would be filed under "Bar/Nightclub." "I went to a bar with some friends and they introduced me to this hot girl" would be filed under "Friend of a friend."

School: 31

Some of these were in highschool! However, most of the people who met in highschool did not actually get together until years and several marriages later.

Percentage that met in high school: 6% (7 couples.)
Percentage that met in college: 64.5% (20 couples.)
Also, 4 couples didn't state whether it was high school or college.

Work: 29

Party: 14

Proximity: 7

This category is for people who lived near one another. "He lived next door," "She lived down the alley," "He was my assigned room mate," etc.

Bar/Nightclub: 7

Wedding: 3 (Including my own meet-up story.)

Airplane: 2 (Sat next to each other.)

Church: 2

Chasing a chicken: 1 (It was art. Don't question art.)

Moose related car wrecks: 1 (It's complicated. There may have been two wrecks and two moose. Separately. Anyone know what the plural of moose is? I wish it was meese. I digress.)

AND, I saved the best statistic for last! You know how people always say, 'Stop looking for love and it will find you?'

Percentage of meetups that happened while people were actively looking for a partner: 17%
Percentage of meetups that happened while people were happily (or unhappily) living their lives: 74%

DISCLAIMER: The above statistic is approximate. Trying to infer from comments whether or not someone was "actively looking" is a tricky and ill-advised business. Obviously I have no way of knowing whether people were thinking/hoping/praying to find a partner, so I just went by the scenarios in which people met partners.

For example: People who met on a dating site, people who met on a blind date, and people who walked up to someone at a bar and asked them out, were actively looking.

People who just happened to meet someone at work, at school, at a party, at a friend's house, in the snow, in a foreign country, next door - aka, THE GREAT MAJORITY OF EVERYBODY who commented, were not actively looking at the moment that they met said SO.

Again, this is a super blurry and subjective statistic, so don't take it too seriously. More of an observation. ;)
(Also, 7% of comments were impossible to even guess at.)

Again, many many thanks to everyone who shared their stories, and to anyone else who adds their experiences after this comment. I'm amazed and thrilled at the response and I can't wait to re-read all of your stories again.
posted by quiet_musings at 6:17 PM on September 9, 2016 [16 favorites]

That is a cool bunch of data, thanks quiet_musings!

And I was thinking that I had perhaps left out the important detail of my story - that I wasn't looking; after a few bad dates I had very deliberately decided that life was busy enough with work and other things and maybe I should just not be seeking out a relationship. And then...
posted by nubs at 9:07 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

yea, that was an awesome breakdown, thanks!

Another thing I have noticed is that a lot of really great relationships start as friendships, where people know and like each other for some time before they get together ( Like, my boyfriend and I hung out all the time for about a year before we clicked) I wonder if you can tease that statistic out of these stories as well.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:06 AM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

OKCupid. Neither of us were looking for something long-term, we've been together for 5 years.
posted by Freyja at 10:52 AM on September 10, 2016

My parents met at a country dance in Spearfish, South Dakota in 1953. He was in the Air Force at Ellsworth AFB, about 60 miles away. She was a high school student in Miles City, Montana about 180 miles away. She wasn't wearing her glasses and kept stepping on his feet while they danced, so they sat and talked instead.
posted by Bruce H. at 5:39 AM on September 12, 2016

Best answer: Late to the thread, but happy to share: I met my amazing spouse sitting in the lobby of a building, because of comic books. (Background: I'm a bit older than she is, and she is super smart and cool.)

I walked into this particular lobby and noticed her right away, but she was working on something and looking through her bag. As I walked up to the seating area, she pulled a out a folder that happened to have some comic book art on it (unusual in an adult setting) and without even thinking about it, I just smiled and said something like "superheroes, huh? Didn't expect that," as I sat down.

She looked up a little sardonically but was sincere as she said, yes, of course. I replied, asking whether or not she was a comics reader, or just a fan of the artwork. She was a bit offended as she said 'a reader, of course,' and I said, as I nodded toward her folder--because Batman was on the folder--'oh, so you've read the second best superhero story ever written, then?'

NOTE: I do not recommend doing the reflexive nerd-cred test thing that we all do when we meet a fellow aficionado, when you are making casual conversation with strangers. It is not often received well, I just got really lucky this time. Really, really lucky, as it turns out, because the nerd-cred test question--while the wrong thing to say in that situation nearly all of the time--was the perfect thing to say to this particular person, because when I asked (the question hanging out there like a word balloon, with my mental self staring at it in horror, aghast that I actually said that OUT LOUD to this lovely woman), she paused thoughtfully for a second and replied with a question that told me immediately that I needed to get to know her better: "You mean after Watchmen, right?"

Be still my heart. We had a fun, lively, and all-too-short conversation about superhero comics, where they often go wrong, what makes the great ones great, it was the most totally and completely unexpected thing because: 1) this was before the whole comics-movies-are-mainstream explosion; and 2) this was exactly the kind of enthusiasm and interest that often kept me from getting dates in high school (and college), and now it was the very thing that sparked a conversation with the most interesting and attractive person I'd met in years.

It turns out that she had not read the second-best superhero story ever written, so of course I offered to loan her a copy to read, which I brought the next day. A few days later she stopped by my office, having read the whole thing and eager to talk about it. So we went to coffee.

That was just about six years ago, we have a baby on the way currently. That kid is gonna be such a nerd, you guys have no idea.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:20 AM on September 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

My story: Met the future husband at an academic tournament. He confronted me about my name. It was a long courtship.

My friend's story, which is way more romantic: In the early days of the internet she tracked down everyone on the internet that shared her unusual last name. She emailed each person and began correspondence with those folks interested in a very distant relative in Juneau, Alaska. Well, one gentleman, in particular out of Wellington, New Zealand became an online romance that culminated in a face-to-face in Juneau. He brought his wingman. In any case, they hit it off and she decided to follow him to New Zealand as his bride. Her wedding invitation was a small booklet with their story done as a fairy tale and with packaged graphics in Publisher, I think. In any case, decades later and one child, they live in Wellington, New Zealand.
posted by jadepearl at 9:28 PM on September 19, 2016

My dad was a police officer assigned to a small town. He saw this redhead driving too quickly, and...

I was set up on a blind date. A good friend of mine and a platonic girl friend of his decided to set me up with the platonic girl's friend. Platonic girl's friend brought a third girl friend to the party, and...

Double-platonic date including me, good friend, platonic girl friend, and third girl above. We're at the casino, and everyone heads to different table games. Later, the two girls and I seek out good friend. We find him at roulette, chatting up a girl who turns out to be a long-lost friend of the two girls, and they...

Platonic girl friend takes an electronics course that's 90% guys, and...

OK, that last one's not quite in the same category. Sometimes it is just as simple as "basic situation, get to talking with the person next to you, and before you know it...".
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:21 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Many years ago, a lady working as switchboard operator for the Oster company could reliably expect to be treated to milkshakes of varying quality levels while engineers worked on perfecting the shape of the blades in the commercial milk shake mixer. One day, a tall fella on the engineering team had the clever idea of using some kind of soapy mixture instead of ice cream, because you could still test the foaming action but the cost was lower. Unfortunately, he didn't think to warn the warn the switchboard lady. He took her out by way of apology, and that was that for my grandparents.
posted by Vibrissa at 3:07 PM on September 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

late to the thread too, but our story is kind of made for a certain kind of novel.

I was a young, insecure, awkward 20 year old who liked going to raves and nightclubs with a bunch of straight-edge kids. It was the early/mid 90s. My friend, Zoinks, was a fantastic dancer, an easy talker, and car-less. So we had this deal where he'd network and find out where parties were and I'd be the driver getting us to the thing. One night, we were at this nightclub and Zoinks comes over and asks me if we wouldn' t mind hanging out until closing. There was a girl from another school that he had a crush on, and she brought friends. We all went together after the clubs closed and got some pizza. Zoinks' crush, Halo, was lovely, sweet, kind, and not really into him, and the rest of her friends were friendly enough. There was a girl in that midst -- dark hair, beautiful cheeks, nice smile, all in black. She looked cool.

She used to joke how both she and Halo would get confused for each other, and how they both got compared to Winona Ryder. I thought that, in the 90s, any pretty girl girl with short hair would get compared to Winona Ryder, but I never crushed on Winona the way I crushed on this woman.

Nothing happened, we left the pizza shop, went back to our schools. Then that weekend, I was at a dorm party at Harvard that another friend had me invited me to, and then the girl with the beautiful cheeks happened to be there, and we recognized each other from Thursday, and talked but then she disappeared again. The party was pretty crowded and she had hit her people threshold. Her name was S.

I told Zoinks about it the next day and he got it in his head that if he could set us up, he'd get free rides to Brandeis to see Halo. So, he got on IRC with her and proposed a double date. And Halo, amazingly, took one for the team and said yes. We met at a pizza place for dinner, then went to the club again, because Zoinks is a man of simple pleasures. S and I spent most of the evening shouting at each other in a corner, with Halo occasionally coming in to check in on us. It was nice, but I was a shy, awkward kid who didn't know how to flirt. I went to an all-male high school. I never had a serious relationship. I don't think I even made body contact with S until the end of the night. The thump and beat faded and Paul Young's "Everytime You Go Away" came on, and S suggested that we should dance to this slow song.

So, we did, and it was sweet and I still remember the way we held each other, and how she smelled. We wound up going back to their dorm that night, and I fell for S. Really, terribly hard. As I said, I was an awkward, nervous, self-loathing eunuch of a 20 year old. She was sophisticated and witty and well read. She was a poet who was unafraid to do things that she loved, whereas I did things to please people. I thought myself a loser, but I thought that if I could get someone cool like S to date me, I'd be ok. Of course, S twigged to that really quick and wouldn't have any of it. We lasted four months (which included being apart for a month during Xmas) and then she dumped me.

At first it hurt in the way that being dumped for the first time is the most terrible thing in the world and the fuel for crimes against poetry. Then I realized my mistake, that I couldn't be happy with myself just by being with someone. I couldn't use someone else to fix what I hated about myself. I had to own those flaws and fix it on my own.

So, anyway, I didn't see S for a while. She was in another school and Halo would show up at parties but without her roommates or school friends. Halo and Zoinks did not last much beyond that one date. Then, nearly a year after we broke up, I was in Harvard Square again, walking out of a cafe, and I saw S coming out of a used clothing store. She said, "I was just wondering whatever happened to you. How are you?"

We spent a bit of time on that sidewalk, talking, catching up, and then realizing that we were over each other, and we should be friends. Like, just friends, nothing more. And that's what we were for the next few years. We dated other people, got dinner sometimes, went to friends' parties, saw movies together, and just talked and talked and talked. Then she called me one day to say she was moving to North Caronlina for her MFA and I said goodbye to her for the second time.

Years passed. We moved on with our lives. We'd sometimes email each other. One of us would take the time to Google the other and write these epic emails summarizing the year in review, and then one of us would write back, and then the correspondence would lapse for a year or two before one of us googled the other again.

Then, nine years after we met, another friend and I planned on doing a road trip to New Orleans and decided to call on a few friends to see if we could couchsurf with them for a night. S was in Alabama by now, getting her PhD. and she was going to be our last stop. The friend pulled out of the trip, and I decided I didn't want to go to New Orleans anyway. I'd been before. But I wanted to see my friends. So I chopped the New Orleans section and just redistributed my days across all of the friends and tell them that instead of a night, I'd do a whole day in their city. I was going to turn around after Alabama.

I saw S in the midst of a hot July day. It had been 5 years since she left town, and it took me 10 minutes to walk into her apartment, sit on her couch, look at her and realize. "oh, fuck, I'm still attracted to you." But I knew what to do about it at the time. I was in a really good, celibate phase of sorting my shit out. I learned not to foist my feelings on someone else. I just took in a breath and let the crush surge and recede. I stayed with her for a day and two nights, then I got back in my car and drove on.

More years passed. S moved to Philly. Meanwhile S and I found each other on Facebook and it was a perfect medium for low-commitment, continuous presence in each others lives. You didn't have to write a long email to acknowledge someone's funny anecdote. You could just like it and add a pithy comment. We fell in love with others. I lived with another woman for seven years. It is its own epic story. The relationships ended, as all relationships eventually do.

I found myself on the far side of my 30s, 40's on the horizon, living alone in a one bedroom in Somerville. I was still living in the US, but my visa was running out and I was contemplating having to self deport in 9 months, and end 20 years of living in America. I started writing to different friends to tie up my loose ends of my time with them. I wrote to S to apologize to her about how terrible I was when I was 20 and for putting her on a pedestal, and I thanked her for continuing to be my friend.

She wrote back that night saying that she felt bad that I felt compelled to apologize for that, because she had her own baggage that she was going through as a 19 year old. She had gotten spiky, skittish at the first sign of male attention, and she turned that loose on many men, including me. She was better now, but she also felt like she needed to apologize to me.

"You have always been nice," she said, "and I'm glad you visited me in Alabama,so I could see how you were the same person that I liked, only better. All of the rough edges worn away and the best parts of you matured, branch, root and crown."

We forgave each other. We forgave ourselves. It was a good way to reset the friendship.

Then, another couple of years passed. I found a way to extend my legal status in the US and get myself back on a path to a Green Card. I started thinking about dating again. S had broken up with someone she was dating for three years. It sounded rough. I gave her space. Just likes and comments. Then, a few months later, we had a really fun social media conversation and I just wrote her an email separately.

"Sometimes I wished we didn't live so far away from each other."

She wrote back twenty minute later.

"For what it's worth. I feel the same."

I was three weeks away from leaving for a 40th birthday vacation in Turkey, I proposed seeing her in six weeks. She countered with the idea of meeting halfway in New York next week. there's a play I want to see, would you like to join me? Ok, can I take you out to lunch before hand and dinner afterwards? Why, yes, you may.

I kissed her after the play. I told her at dinner that at the end, I wanted to be with her. We could figure out who moves where, when we move, etc. later. But for now, let's just try to be together, and let's give ourselves this chance.

It had been almost 20 years since we first met. Like we had to live our lives all over again for this second chance.

So we did long distance for 9 months, seeing each other every two weeks. She moved up here in May of 2015. I gave her an engagement ring on November 2015. We got married this past August. We just signed a purchase & sale on a condo.

So, yeah, that's us in our messy, complicated, real way. We still kiss when we walk past that corner with the cafe and used clothing store, because why wouldn't we?
posted by bl1nk at 11:32 PM on September 23, 2016 [7 favorites]

oh, and our story is eclipsed in its cinema by the story of how my maternal grandmother and grandfather met. They were teenagers in Manila during World War II. The Americans had surrounded the city and demanded that the Japanese surrender. The Japanese were all, "fuck you."." The Americans started shelling the city.

My grandmother and her sister were darting across a road trying to bring food back to their families. A shell exploded and shrapnel tore into my great aunt's leg. A man picked her up and helped my grandmother take her wounded sister to the hospital. That man became my grandfather.
posted by bl1nk at 11:46 PM on September 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

I first met my now-wife almost 37 years ago, through family. She took my bouncy-horse, so I hit her.

We met again 19 years later. It went much better.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 6:44 PM on September 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

My friend asked two pretty girls walking on the Venice Boardwalk if they wanted to watch the sunset with us.
They just kept walking.
A few days later one of them walked up to me, and asked if I wanted to watch the sunset...
posted by Mike Hunt at 8:00 AM on October 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

damn. that's a good wingman.
posted by andrewcooke at 9:56 AM on October 7, 2016

We met through OKcupid. I was living in a foreign country and he was traveling around the world on a much-needed vacation. He was only planning on staying in my city for a month or so. We had such a nice first date that he decided--without making a big deal about it--to stick around in my city for a while longer.

I get a little dizzy sometimes thinking about all of the ways we might have missed each other. Among other things, I'd only signed up for OKcupid a few days before he contacted me. If I'd signed up a month later, or if he'd gotten bored and decided to leave that city a week earlier, my life would look very different right now.
posted by colfax at 9:20 AM on October 8, 2016

Craigslist. He was looking for a cuddle partner or maybe just a friend. Turns out he was the single most honest, caring and warm-hearted person I've ever met (coincidentally, my polar opposite).

So I did the logical thing; I married him. Good thing, too--I was never in love until I met him, and I was married twice before.

Our first anniversary will be the end of this year.
posted by ostranenie at 1:00 AM on October 9, 2016

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