I'm quite notorious for my overt curiosity, and being a romance writer means I'm tempted to ask personal questions about relationships. Here's one of my favorite questions to ask couples: "How did you meet?" On a recent family vacation, I met my nephew's girlfriend of several years.While waiting in lines together at Disney World, I took advantage of the long queue for Snow White's Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom to pop my favorite question. She was happy to share how she met my nephew (#2 below) and even told me how her parents met (#1 below).
Because I've asked this question so many times, I've developed a list of the usual suspects. I also think some of these meet-up scenarios are better than others, but even bad ideas make for good stories.
Where do people meet? Here's my unscientific list based upon decades of nosiness:
1. At work. This applies to full-time jobs, part-time jobs, summer jobs, paper routes, and college jobs. Of course the most interesting of these stories are the taboo office romances. Those make for great novels, especially when a boss is involved.
2. At school/college. I'm really glad I ditched my high school boyfriend years ago, but more power to those folks who've made that work.
3. Blind date/fix-up from a third party. This is how my parents met. My mother's older sister set it up. My parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary, so I'm a believer on this one.
4. Online. Wow. I know several couples who've met this way and married. I'm intrigued. If I weren't happily married, I'd be tempted to fill out an online form and see what happens. I could call it research...
5. Church or volunteer activities. This seems like a winner to me. Similar interests and values. Not too many villains lurking in the church basement or serving at the community dinner.
6. Vacation. Oh, yeah. This is where it gets interesting. I like a sandy beach for a novel setting, but I don't run across too many actual couples who've met while vacationing in an exotic locale. I'll keep asking.
7. Bars. Sigh. I wonder if there are any published stats on the longevity of relationships that start on a bar stool? Maybe I'd be surprised. Maybe I should frequent bars and ask patrons my favorite question.
8. Sports/recreation. You can meet a runner at a marathon or a biker or swimmer at a triathlon. I usually run along in the old lady part of the pack, but I've met some nice old ladies while running long races.
9. Problem situations. This is a great one. Car breaks down and sexy mechanic helps you out. Brush with danger brings you into the arms of a hot police officer or firefighter. Hello, romance. I wish I could tell you I've heard lots of these stories, but I only know of a few.
10. Fill in the blank for me, please. What stories have you heard about how a couple met? I'd love to hear your input.
Here's my story. My husband and I met while working at a local amusement park that is the inspiration for my January 2016 Heartwarming release entitled Under the Boardwalk. We worked together for three whole summers without looking twice at each other. Until the day we were both getting off work at the same time and decided to get a burger. Maybe it was seeing each other out of uniform. I honestly don't know what happened, but all of a sudden, I saw the man for me. We've been married over 20 years. Love at first sight? Obviously not. But lasting for sure.
How about some great "how we met" stories? Please share. Thanks!