Every time you watch a rom-com or read YA fiction, the emphasis is always on the couples ‘Meet Cute’ i.e. the first time a future couple meets each other. According to most teen dramas, the meet-cute has to be a surreal romantic moment when the guy and the girl first meet each other. But real life isn’t a movie set and we don’t just bump into our forever soulmates while crossing the street. Many of us resort to match-making aunties, friends and apps for help; but, that doesn’t mean that our stories aren’t as beautiful as the ones showcased on the big screen.
From a chance meeting of strangers to a childhood crush turned into something more, here’s how these couples found a love for the ages—and how they’ve kept the magic going throughout the years. Following are the stories of 10 couples who’ve been together 10 or more years.
1. JEANIE & BRAD
“Brad and I were both in Orlando visiting friends before we met. We happened to be travelling back to Jacksonville at the same time. He was driving his truck, and I was the passenger in my college friend’s car. We had to get in the turning lane at the last minute to get on I-95, and Brad kindly left enough room for us to cut in front of him. I turned around and waved and smiled as a thank-you to him, and right away I noticed how attractive he was. He waved and smiled back.
“As we traveled north, we kept each other within close distance. At one point, he had written his cell phone number on a piece of paper and put it up in the window for me to see as we drove next to him. So, I called him a couple of days later, and we chatted—the basic get-to-know-you info over the phone. The following evening, Brad called me to say ‘Hi’ and talk to me more. We talked for about four hours. During that phone call, he asked me out and I accepted. I was 19 at the time and a college freshman. He was 21 and worked at a local business. We went on our first date soon after, and now we have been together for over 16 years and married for almost 11 years. As each year passes, our relationship gets better and stronger.”—Jeanie K.
2. DAWN & BILLY
“Billy and I met when I was 6 and he was 8, 40 years ago, at a BMX track his parents ran. My dad also ran a track, so we saw each other often as kids. When I was 10, I had a huge crush on him and used to go around taking pictures of him. He couldn’t stand me! We raced together for years, but I stopped when I was 16 and really didn’t see him much. Many years went by (I was 24), and we ran into each other at a nightclub, where he asked me to go out the next night. I said yes, figuring it was just to hang out and catch up.
“We went to a movie and played pool after; it was nice. We went out a couple of times after that, and the one time he dropped me off, he kissed me. I was like, ‘Hmm, I guess this is more than I thought!’ From that moment, we started dating seriously, moved in together a couple of years later, got engaged, married in March of 1999, and have been together since. We now have two children and, once they were old enough to ride bikes, we took them to the BMX track to start racing like we did as kids. We couldn’t just watch anymore, so I decided first to start racing again, and my husband followed suit because he wanted to be able to ride with me too. Now we help run the local BMX track, and we look forward to riding together as a family in our spare time.
“We’ve had our ups and downs as all marriages do, but we love each other like crazy, and the sport of BMX has really brought us together—both in the past and in the present. The secret to our happiness is the fact that we have learned to really communicate so that we are both on the same page. There are many things we love about our relationship, but the one thing we love the most is just that we love being together and enjoying our lives.” —Dawn R.
3. LISA & JOEY
“My husband and I have known each other for 15 years and will be married for five this summer. We met in high school—I was 16 and he was 18—and he was my brother’s friend. One day, he was at my house with a group of other boys, and we caught each other’s eye. I ran to my mom and said, “That boy is cute! Let’s find out his name!’ My mom went to introduce herself and found out his name was Joey. After that, we would see each other at school and would walk down certain hallways so we could pass each other on our way to class. We would smile and say ‘Hi.’ Soon enough, he instant-messaged me on AOL Instant Messenger and asked me on a date. We went to an Italian restaurant and barely ate anything because we were so nervous. The waitress even knew it was our first date by the way we were acting—so shy and quiet.
“We were each other’s first ‘real’ boyfriend and girlfriend. We broke up two years later when he went to college and I finished up high school, but we kept in touch. Down the road he came back in town when a friend of his was sick, and he visited me at work. We both felt that giddy spark, and our love grew as we got to know each other again… this time with new experiences and a more mature attitude. We both finished up college and got married in 2013. Now we love food, and we’re not shy!
“We truly are best friends and have such a deep-rooted love and respect for one another. We’re each other’s biggest supporters. He calms me down, and I lift him up. It’s a happy medium as those are our personalities: He is very laid back, while I can be a busy body and get anxious easily. We’ve been through ups and downs and have prospered. Our most emotional time was our infertility journey. We had a miscarriage and then a failed in vitro fertilization cycle within two years. It was very trying, but we found each other to lean on. Shortly after, we got pregnant with the greatest gift of all—our son, Joseph. Watching each other become parents and seeing this sweet baby that we brought into this world just opened our hearts to an unconditional love that’s unexplainable. We work hard and take pride in the life we’ve created for ourselves. We don’t take anything for granted, and we’re very proud of one another. We say ‘I love you’ every day, and we laugh and smile as often as we can.” —Lisa G.
4. “I remember telling my mom afterwards, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl.'”
“After the first date. We had gotten together for coffee twice since we had similar interests. Both times we talked for hours with amazing eye contact. I felt so comfortable with her, as if we’d known each other for years. The second time was so long, we ended up getting some Thai food at the end. After that, I knew I just had to ask her out on a date. She said yes. We went to a movie, a mexican restaurant, walked around at the south part of the San Francisco Bay, and ended up at a British pub. I remember telling my Mom afterwards, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl.’
“It’s a really good marriage. Most important is know yourself and be yourself completely with others. Then you’ll know when you find each other.” – Redditor Mark_Paulson
I was at my former job (Papa Johns) just finished delivering a order and had to stop for gas. So while I’m pumping my gas (Shell Station Pump #5) he pulls up to me gets my number takes me out on a date a week later and now we are married with a beautiful baby girl ! https://t.co/UF2aUXgyFC— LuhhCountry… (@Marianicolaaa) June 11, 2018
6. CATHERINE & ALEX
“Alex and I will celebrate our 12th year of marriage in November 2018; however, our love story began many years ago in junior high. My first memory of Alex is talking to him at the mall, and he’ll tell you that he remembers commenting on my shoes at a party. Even after 22 years, there are many small details we remember about our initial encounters with one another. Eventually, we dated at 14 and 15 years old, but broke up after a few months. We remained friends, but I went to a different high school and we didn’t run into each other that often. It wasn’t until our early 20s that we got back in touch and developed a close friendship.
“Whenever we happened to be single at the time, we would go to dinner and a movie, strictly as friends. After a while, I had people start asking me why Alex and I didn’t just date. My response was, ‘It’s not like that. We’re just friends.’ This was true, until … Alex asked me to be his official date to his brother’s wedding. It was there that I realized I enjoyed being in his company as something more than just his friend. From that day on, it all fell into place. Our own customized fairy tale, so to speak.
“In no way has it been easy. Best friends or not, there’s still a learning curve when you move in together and choose to commit 24/7 of your life to another adult. We’ve battled financial struggles, job demands, personality differences, and all the other typical hurdles relationships face. Honestly, there have been times that I’ve looked back and wondered how the hell we made it through. I’ve seen other couples fold over much less than we’ve encountered. I think Alex and I work because we had such a strong foundation of friendship.
“There are days when we tell each other how annoying the other is, and days when it seems like we woke up arguing and fall asleep arguing. There are times I want to spend the night in a hotel by myself, just to have quiet and not have to cohabitate with someone. I’ve realized, though, that these behaviors and thoughts are because we’re human, not because there are issues with our relationship or we dislike one another. Even on the worst days, I can’t imagine having to do life without my husband. Whenever we are thinking the same thing, Alex always says it’s because we’re one. Even though I roll my eyes and tell him that’s cheesy, I know it’s true.” —Catherine C.