Meeting your future spouse should be simple and straightforward. You bump into your soulmate in some cheesily romantic situation, you instantly fall in love, you realize you’re perfect for each other, and then you tie the knot at the wedding of your dreams.
However, meeting the love of your life is rarely that simple. The way people meet their soulmates can be chaotic, hilarious, and cute, but not necessarily the easy-to-understand romantic Disney fantasies some people crave. That’s what Reddit user Thequeenoffandomhell showed us when they asked their fellow internet users to share their “anyways, we’re married now stories.”
Scroll down, have a read, and upvote your fave stories that might just make you start believing that Fate has a sense of humor. If you have any similar tales to tell, be sure to share them in the comments below, dear Pandas! It's one thing to meet the love of your life, but it's a whole different challenge staying in a committed and healthy long-term marriage. We wanted to learn more about this, so Bored Panda reached out to Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and her husband James Pawelski, authors of 'Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts.' Scroll down for their in-depth insights into married life.
#1I was flying short-haul domestic (1.5-hour flight). I was sat next to this beautiful woman and I found myself doing the opposite of what I’d normally do in that situation, I made small talk with her. We chatted for the entire flight, and we both seemed to not want it to end. But end the flight did, and we parted ways without even exchanging numbers. She was a visitor to the country and I expected never to see her again.
A few weeks later, I’m boarding an international flight, and there she is, on the plane, about 10 rows in front of me! After takeoff, I ask the lady next to her if she’d like to swap seats with me, as I had an empty seat next to mine - she accepted. We spent a 12-hour flight chatting again, this time a lot more deeply.
Anyways, one thing led to another and we got married less than three months later.
Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. She passed away less than a year after we were married. But that time we had together was perfect, every last second of it.#2When I was younger, my best friend made an off-hand comment of "If you were a girl, I'd want to date you." I think it was meant as a joke at the time.
One transition later, he was true to his word. Anyways, we're married now.#3
He came to the door to borrow my sister's textbook. no one would answer the door so I dragged myself out of bed and answered the door in nightgown and curlers (hey, it was the early 80's, ok?). he told me was there to see my sister. without a word I nodded, turned around, and screamed "SISSS-TURRR", turned back around, said"family intercom system" completely deadpan, and left him standing on the porch while I went back to bed. married me anyway, 38 years on the 21st.
Suzie and James stressed that maintaining strong connections is very important for our mental health, especially during this challenging time. "While it’s critical we all social distance, we must make sure not to emotionally distance with our friends and family. Positive psychology research indicates that one of the most important factors in human flourishing is building close relationships with others." Which means that building and maintaining lasting relationships is more important than ever.
We wanted to know what the biggest challenge that most newlyweds face is and how someone can be sure that they're ready for marriage. Suzie and James explained how a lot of people spend a lot of time and effort planning their wedding but don't spend enough of it thinking about the actual marriage. "A wedding is magical day no doubt, and of course something to celebrate, but what about planning for all the days to come in our marriage which is intended to last a life-time? Many newlyweds seem to think that “happily ever after” just happens. However, research shows it’s healthy habits that build long-term love," they said.
#4Right after our first kiss he said, “I’m not looking to get married.”
“Neither am I,” I replied.
So anyway, we’re married now.#5My great grandparents met because my great grandfather was delivering the newspaper to my great grandmother's house and her brother though he was trespassing and tried shooting at him, my great grandmother felt bad and bought him lunch. They were together for over 75 years and lived a very happy life#6My neighbor invited me to a cookout and he was like by the way, my wife's cousin is here. She kinda wants you two to date or whatever.
And date we did.
She's been by my side through my drug addiction as she stayed sober from alcohol. She called DCFS on me and had my daughter (from a previous marriage) taken from my custody and into my second mom's care when I was very strung out. If it weren't for that slap in the face by reality, I wouldn't have ever gotten sober. She not only saved me, but my daughter and I's relationship as well. I got clean, my daughter back, and now I'm in school to be a social worker.
I'm doing much better now and she and I got married on July 4th last year. We celebrated the birth of our second daughter (my second, her first, even though she's a wonderful step mom to my oldest daughter) on July 3rd this year, and our first wedding anniversary was about a month ago.
I love that woman so damn much! And both my girls!
"It’s interesting that it’s the only domain in our lives where we think that success will just happen without much effort of our own. For example, when it comes to our physical health, it would be foolish to think that merely buying a gym membership and working out once would strengthen our muscles and build flexibility (if only that were the case!. We all know that in order to increase our strength and tone our bodies we have to work at it regularly. So, too, when it comes to our relational health. However, popular culture seems to romanticize marriage making people think that once you get married you can can merely ride off into the sunset together. That’s obviously not the case. It takes work," the couple explained that relationships take hard work, just like everything that's worth going for in life.
"The good news is that there are skills and exercises we can do to strengthen our relationships. In our book Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love that Lasts, we talk about the notion of the 'relationship gym.' We invite folks to join us for a workout at the 'relationship gym' where they can practice scientifically backed exercises to help them strengthen their bonds."
Met a girl online about 20 years ago one summer after college, found out we live in nearby towns, so decided to get together. Go out on a few dates, drive by local pre-school: me: “hey, that’s where I went to pre school!” her: “that’s where I went to pre school!” That day we find a pre school class photo, there we are 2 feet from each other. A few months later, my dad finds some old footage of a Christmas play our preschool class put on. We’re standing right next to each other.
#8I had a cold, and went on a date to an Irish pub. I was eating bangers and mash and had the urge to cough. I tried to keep my mouth shut, but just wound up spraying his face with gravy and mashed potatoes through my pursed lips. I was still coughing, so I took a sip of my drink to sooth my throat. It was beer. The bubbles tickled my throat more. I also spit that all over his face. He stared at me in disgusted horror as gravy, mashed potatoes and beer dripped down his face onto his shirt. I laughed and laughed and laughed, making my apologies sound very insincere. Anyways, we're married now. Thank goodness our booth had high backs so only he suffered!#9When we first met, his first words to me were "I'm gonna wife you", and I scoffed.
Anyways, we're married now.
But what about people who might be in a committed relationship but aren't sure if they're ready to take the next step towards marriage? Can anyone even know that they're ready for marriage?
"I don’t think there is actually a moment when you’re necessarily 'ready' so to speak, but rather a willingness to continue working on yourself and your relationship. As human beings we are always growing, changing, and evolving. And so are our relationships," Suzie mused.
"Being open, curious and having a growth mindset about ourselves, and our partners, will help us be able to better navigate together in marriage. A marriage isn’t an end state but rather a beginning. It’s a process and a life-long journey. The more we seek to understand ourselves and our partners, the better equipped we will be to travel together on this beautiful, yet often challenging adventure."
#10We met in a psychiatric hospital.
Anyways, we're married now, 30 years this June...#11I was working at a video game shop, and he was hired to DJ the midnight release of a game I didn’t care for. He comes in, waits in the giant line of people finalizing their preorder before midnight. When he gets to the register, I ask him if he’s here for the premier, but he says he wouldn’t be caught dead playing that game, and proceeds to purchase a different, older game I later find out he already has. He asks me when I finish my shift, and to swing by the DJ table when I’m off. I do indeed swing by, and now we’ve been married going on 5 years with two cats and a recently purchased home. He proposed by sticking the ring inside the case of the game he bought that night.#12My sister met her husband arguing in a bus for a seat, she came saying how he was the ugliest and rudest man she ever met, and now they’ve been married for 5 years.
Finally, we were curious to find out how to we can all maintain attraction to our life partners after many years of being together. Suzie and James provided us with a whole bunch of helpful tips and science-based ways for couples to maintain attraction:
"They can focus on what they put into the relationship rather then what they get out of it. Truly happy couples realize that happily ever after doesn’t just happen but that it takes effort. These couples focus on action steps they can take to improve their relational happiness rather than relying on their partner to fulfill them.
They can share good good secrets with each other. They can practice sharing important things about themselves that they have never previously revealed to each other. It might be a childhood memory, a life-changing experience, or a vivid dream. Perhaps it’s a hope for the future or a fantasy. It can be lighthearted or serious. The important thing is that they authentically share with one another something meaningful. It’s imperative that couples are curious, open and welcoming of the secrets and nonjudgmental. By doing so, couples will feel safe and will strengthen their connection.
#13My dad threw a paper airplane at the back of my mom's head in college. She told him to grow up. Anyways, they've been married now for over 36 years.#14I tripped and rolled down a hill, embarrassing myself in front of my girlfriend and her roommate.
Anyways the roommate and I are married now#15Went on a date with a guy. We’re at the park after dinner watching the sunset. He was really funny and telling jokes. I got the giggles and accidentally let a fart trumpet out, proceeded to laugh so hard I peed my pants. Anyway, now we’ve been married 14 years.
They can 'prioritize positivity' rather than just wait around for happiness to happen. In other words, they can schedule activities into their day that evoke joy and fulfillment. In the beginning of a relationship, we naturally experience a high level of positive emotions. As a relationship develops, we can’t expect to naturally experience the same frequency of 'high-arousal' positive emotions like amusement and joy. Rather we must notice what tends to lead to these feelings and then schedule those activities into our daily lives. Think back to the beginning of the relationship and those things that you enjoyed doing together as a couple and make it a priority to schedule them into your day. Also try out something new that interest both of you. Research shows that seeking out and engaging in fun, exhilarating, and novel activities can increase mutual attraction and promote a healthy passion in intimate relationships.
They can create a 'Positive relationship portfolio.' We discuss this activity in our book on pg. 122. It entails gathering some of the key mementos, pictures, cards, letters, etc. that remind you specifically of your significant other and how special he/she is and how important your relationship is. Once you put together the positive relationship portfolio you then spend 15 minutes each day for a week savoring and basking in the positive emotions that these items evoke in you. This exercise helps us rekindle those positive emotions that we had during the honeymoon phase, remembering all the great things about our partner and how important he/she is.
#16Eight years ago, when I was desperately trying to make it as an actor, I answered an audition call for an unpaid role in a sitcom pilot that two friends had written together. It was in a basement flat in London, my mum warned me to be so careful. The door was opened by a charming guy with a crooked smile, and a video camera was set up facing the sofa. But the audition went well- not only did he NOT murder me, they offered me the role there and then, and we all went to the pub to celebrate and get to know each other! In our first conversation, crooked smile guy and I joked about wanting to naming our (respective) future kids after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Raphael is twelve weeks old today. He has his dad’s smile#17Our first date was a disaster of epic proportions. Ended with me yelling at her, and her paying the check while I was in the latrine just so she could get out of there quicker.
Anyways, we're married now, over 8 years strong. Two kids.
I can't see my life without this beautiful, crazy person, and I like to think she feels the same way.#18Met a guy on tinder, texted for 3 weeks, almost canceled our first date because it was raining and I was tired and someone had hit my car parked on the street, got to the date and he didn’t speak a word of English and had been using Google translate to text me that whole time.
Anyway, we are married now.
They can practice savoring their partner and their experiences together rather then taking one another for granted. Specifically, they can acknowledge the small magical moments and appreciate their partner on a daily basis rather just waiting for the big, momentous occasions to celebrate each other. Feeling acknowledged and appreciated by one’s partner is associated with more satisfying and sustainable relationships.
They can identify their strengths and those of their spouse. By focusing on what’s going right in our relationship, rather than wrong, positive psychology research suggests we can build a stronger bond. One way to do this is by identifying our strengths and those of our partners and focusing on nurturing them, rather than dwelling on small annoyances in our relationship. In brief, positive psychology researchers have identified 24 character strengths that have been valued across time and culture. Qualities like creativity, love of learning, zest, curiosity and kindness. The good news is we all have strengths and in different configurations. Our strengths, along with our personality, experiences, and upbringing, are in part what makes us unique. You can find out your top five strengths, commonly referred to as your 'signature strengths' by taking the free Via Survey which we link to on our website. Once you’ve identified your strengths begin having strengths conversations with your partner sharing what it feels like to have a specific strength. Share stories of you at your best when you used one of of your top strengths. This exercise helps us to truly get to know and understand our partner on a deeper level. And using our strengths on a daily basis is associated with greater individual and relational well-being.
#19You know that moment at church the pastor says "now stand up and say hi to someone you never met"? Anyways, we're married now.#20Years ago, in the early days of the 'net, I met this girl on Yahoo Personals. She's trying her best to get out of a bad life, and casually mentions that she used to be a dancer in various clubs around the area. On our second date, she's over at my house. I had this 5-year-old picture of my 21st birthday at a local strip club. She saw it and pointed out that she was front and center in the photo.
Happy ending time: She did get out of her bad life (at least, I hope she feels that way!). We have been together for sixteen years and married almost twelve. She completed her GED, then went to nursing school, and has been working a pretty decent job for the last 10+ years. She has also made other amazing personal strides that I cannot share, but let's just say she's turned into an amazing person and someone I'm proud to call my wife.#21
I had just started dating this guy, and he came over to hang out. My roommate was b***hing about her coworker Pam. So I said, "Who names their kid Pam anyway? F*** b***hes named Pam." My date says "My mom's name was Pam." His dead mom. Anyways, we're married now.
Finally, they can go on 'strengths dates' together. Once you’ve identified your strengths and have begun having strengths conversations with your spouse or significant other, you’re ready for the next step: going on a 'strengths date.' A strengths date entails choosing one of your top strengths (e.g. zest) and one of your partner’s (e.g. love of learning) and planning a date or outing where you both have an opportunity to use that strength. For example, one of James's top strength is love of learning and zest is one of Suzie’s. One way we exercised our strengths was by renting Segways and touring the historical part of our Philadelphia neighborhood. At the end of the date, James’s intellectual curiosity was fulfilled and Suzie’s sense of adventure satisfied. Remember to take turns planning the strengths date or you can plan them together. Research suggests when you acknowledge and appreciate your partner's strengths you are more likely to be happy in your relationship, have your psychological needs met and also be more sexually satisfied."
#22In second grade, I was voted class favorite (why was this ever a thing? Horrible idea for kids self esteem) along with a weird fella who I had trouble believing anyone even voted for because he was quite reserved and bland. In the fifth grade I remember the same guy getting called to the front of the class to write his answer on the board. He was awkward and dressed accordingly. The girl seated behind me very quietly commented “mmmm. His booty look like it be eatin’ his pants!” Only I heard this, but it was a humorously accurate observation. After fifth grade I never saw him/ heard from him again until we were 21. He showed up at my house to purchase a vehicle we had for sale after my dad passed exactly one month earlier. I only recognized him after my mom wrote his name on a receipt for purchasing the car. I reminded him of our time as class favorite and my mom made a show of breaking out the year books. Anyways, we’re happily married now!#23
20 years ago, an exchange student transferred to my school for the year, and although we didn't talk a lot, we had so much in common and it was really nice to be able to talk with someone who had super different views on life. we actually both played the same instrument (we had the same model guitar, surprisingly.) anyways, she went back to her home country after the year was over, and I never spoke with her again. However, she got me fascinated with her culture, so I researched a bit, and eventually a year later I was able to transfer to her country through a program. I got placed in a random school throughout the entire country. I joined the schools light music club, and as I'm walking in on the first day there, I open the door and guess who i see..the same girl playing the [hell] out of her guitar. I kid you not, as soon as we made eye contact, i just sat there with my jaw open in disbelief. I dropped my guitar to the floor (causing a chip that i can still see to this day, haha). anyways, fast forward to today and we're married. [wife asked me to add this, part] We ended up forming a band for the school's summer show, and after our performance backstage, with all the adrenaline running through our veins, we kissed/confessed our feelings. (it's not as romantic as you'd think, from an outside view it was probably seen as two awkward teens pecking, we both were sweaty and smelly, and i had face makeup all over me haha!) she makes fun of me saying that I would've never had the guts otherwise; but seriously, what are the chances?!?!?!
#24I moved to China to teach middle school. Was introduced to another teacher while we were still in the Beijing airport.
So anyway, we're married now and have adopted two kids from Korea.
Suzie explained that 'strengths dates' allow each person to use their natural qualities associated with greater well-being. "The strengths date idea is a much better way of approaching dates than how many couples traditionally do so where they take turns choosing the date. In those instances, one partner often begrudgingly goes along on a date (perhaps to a movie or musical concert) that they have no interest in attending. We’ve all been there, right?! Those type of dates are extrinsically motivated, rather than strengths dates that are intrinsically motivated because they tap the the unique qualities at the essence of each person," she said.
"We feel it’s incredibly important for everyone— individuals and couples—to practice their strengths regularly," the couple told us, pointing out that it's the foundation of positive psychology that they believe is crucial for thriving relationships.
#25Met him in high school while he was hitting on my identical twin sister. Anyways, we’re married now.#26In college, this girl like "fell on me". I was sitting beneath her bed watching a movie in her dorm room by ourselves as a "bro night". I thought she was super cute, but I didn't really think I had much of shot with her. We had also just become friends not too recently before that, and I didn't want to ruin this nice connection we had been developing. In any case, she kinda jumped on top of me. I had been a wrestler in high school, and she had mentioned before how she wanted to pin me. She definitely didn't pin me though. Even being out of practice in college, I still (gently) kicked her ass.
Later on that girl said she really missed a cuddle partner and wanted to spend the night in my arms. Which I assumed to be non-romantic cuddling. I declined worried that I'd made it awkward somehow. It took me a bit to put those pieces together. In any case we're (soon to be) married now.#27
My uncle met my aunt while sh***ing on the side of the road drunk while his friends laughed hysterically, she was walking somewhere that I don't remember, he than stared at her for a solid minute than passed out. She started laughing and they started dating 2 days later. Anyways now they're married.
"It seems that in the beginning of the relationship we notice one another’s strengths and see our partner’s differences as intriguing as evidenced perhaps by marathon conversations that last long into the evening. However, after time we often fall into a rut, stop asking questions and think we know all there is about our partner. What perhaps we once saw as intriguing differences we now see as annoying deficits! That’s dangerous to a relationship. It’s important to continue asking questions and seeing strengths in our partner to help build a stronger bond."
#28We met in elementary school.
I transferred schools before high school and we lost touch.
Found out we had enrolled at the same university, in the same program, once university classes started.
Anyways, we're married now.#29My boyfriend cheated on me with a girl his roommate introduced him to. The roommate felt bad when he found out that I had not in fact been broken up with first, and told me what had been going on.
... Anyways, we're married now! :D Eight years married, a second child arriving in six weeks.#30On our first date, he tried showing off by drifting down a gravel road and tore through a ranch fence.
Anyway, we're married now.
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