The Ultimate Anti-Tinder: How 11 Couples Met IRL

Romantic-comedies have long been known for giving us unrealistic relationship expectations. Lately, with the creation of every sort of dating app you could ever dream of, it seems like things have only gotten worse. Sure, there’s an app to connect with people based on mutual music tastes…but what if I just want a chance encounter with someone at a live concert? And if you’d like to connect over wine preferences there’s also a website for that, but what about meeting someone when you both reach for the same bottle at a vineyard?

Are the days of meeting someone in person and making a chance connection actually gone for good? Should we all just accept that the only way to meet a potential significant other these days is from behind the façade of an online profile?

I went on a hunt to find the kind of love story beginnings that they make movies about…and boy did I find some good ones:

“We met when I was in 6th and he was in 8th grade – in a drama club production of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. We re-met a drama production of Grease as Vince and Marty when he was a senior and I was a sophomore…we traded cheesy pickup lines and have been together ever since.”

Casey & Jonny, dating 8 years

“Childhood friends since 5th grade! We started dating freshman year of high school and still going strong!”

Danny & Sammy, dating 6 years

I met my husband serving in Haiti. I didn’t want to move to Haiti at first for many reasons but one was because I knew the “dating pool” (or whatever you want to call it) would be limited. The Lord kept telling me to “trust him”, so I did. Eight months later this cute boy who had the heart to serve came on a trip with the organization I was working with. The rest is history.”

Kendra & Ryan, married 4 months

“Zach and I were in the same studio class and he always sat behind me and played with my hair.”

Heather & Zach, dating 6 months

“First show I was in after moving to Chicago. Started ~making eyes~ at one of the writers about halfway through rehearsals. We dated in secret until the show was over because we didn’t wanna make it weird but we were accidentally so good at keeping the secret that when the cat was out of the bag our friends didn’t believe us”

Gabbi & Matt, dating 1 year

“We met in college where he took a dance class to meet cool girls.”

– Tania & Aaron, married  

“We met at a bar for a good mutual friend’s birthday celebration! We finally engaged in sarcastic banter before the bar closed, he helped me smuggle a beer can out of the bar, and then we proceeded to talk all night back at our friend’s place and drunkenly sorted ourselves into Harry Potter houses.”

– Natalie & Nick, dating 4 months

“We met from working at McDonald’s together when I was in high school!”

Kevin & Brandon, married 4 months

“I was going out to a bar in town for Christmas with one of my buds when I saw him at the table with the rest of my buds I was meeting up with for the night. We talked all night about bands and movies. As we were leaving, he asked me out on a date for New Year’s Eve!”

– Olivia & Nick, dating 9 months

“I saw a mutual friend talking to him in an opera house cafeteria. I said to her, “Oooh who’s the cute new guy in your life?” And she said, “You dope that’s my boss, the guy I’ve been trying to set you up with for years!” She’d mentioned him but I kept telling her I wasn’t interested in meeting another musician!”

– Yvonne & Paul, married 15 years

“I met my boyfriend senior year of college. He lived in the duplex above mine with one of my friends and had the room right above my room. Every day he would come back from track practice and drop his shot put on the ground and I thought someone had died.”

– Annie & Marcus, dating a year and a half

Rachel Weinfeld

Editorial Contributor, Ball State University Major: Vocal Performance Her heart belongs to: Pixar movies, Frank Sinatra, peppermint mochas, and good humans You can find her: Trying to pull herself together in a coffee shop. Or singing. Always, always singing.

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