Love is a beautiful, mysterious thing, y'all. And while many people hope to have a ring on their finger before their twenties are over, the truth is that life rarely goes according to plan. Well, here's your friendly reminder that falling in love in your thirties and beyond is pretty dang great, too.
This week, redditor u/amithrownawayforgood asked, "People who met their partners after 30, how did it happen? Do you wish you had met earlier?" and, omg, these replies are sooooo wholesome.
Here are some of the sweetest, more adorable "how we met" stories they shared:
1. "We met eight years ago at an old car meet in Nevada. A bunch of the older ladies shoved us together whenever they could, hence I avoided him the rest of the trip."
"He lived in Texas, and I lived in California. A year later, he called to ask me a question and we talked for three hours. Same thing the next day, and the next. I invited him to come visit and, to my utter shock, he came. We got married about a year and a half later. Fifteen months ago, I gave birth to our first and only daughter one week after my 43rd birthday."
2. "We met on the Coachella message boards. I was 34 and he was 30. He was looking for a ride to Coachella and I had tickets, but no one to go with."
"We met once for about an hour before making the 14-hour drive together. We hung out the whole weekend, learning we had similar interests and music taste. We didn't actually get together until about three months later, when we met up to go to another music festival together. Festivals have been a regular part of our 10 years together."
3. "A new neighbor moved into the second floor studio and was chatting with me from his balcony while I worked on an art project in the yard. I thought nothing of it, until some houseguests insisted I come up and meet their friend."
"Weeks later, he told me he was flirting with me but I was oblivious (as usual). We had 20 wonderful years together, until he died suddenly."
4. "My husband and I met at a cafe in Paris when we were both 35. I asked him for a light, sat down at his table, and we talked until the cafe closed. Two days later, we saw each other there again and made plans for dinner that night. Five months later, we married."
5. "I met my wife in a bar when I was with my brother and a friend of his. I thought my brother's friend was a dick. My future wife approached us and proceeded to tell this dick what a dick he was."
"Turns out they worked together. I was immediately attracted to her judgment and the way she spoke. I nervously approached her and asked for her name. I was 30, we’ve been together ever since."
6. "I was waiting tables at a steak joint and was living at home with my dad after college. My parents had been divorced for a couple years and my dad was seeing a lady that my sisters and I hated."
"One night, I was waiting on a table of six ladies. Near the end of the meal, I asked if I could get them anything else. One lady said, 'Do you have any tall, dark, handsome men stashed away back there?' I tell her, 'No. Sorry, we sold those with the prime rib, haha.' She follows up with, 'Any short, fat, balding ones? I'm not particular.' Not sure why I did it, but I answered, 'Nope. But you could go out with my dad!' Before they left, she legit wrote her name and number down on a deposit slip and I passed it along to my dad. He asked her out for ice cream, saying something about how you can tell a lot about a person based on their ice cream choices. They were married 20 years before he died of cancer."
7. "She lived in the apartment above my friend's. I moved in with the friend, asked this girl out, and she turned me down."
"About a month later, she went to an Aziz Ansari show. He convinced her to give him her phone, and he promptly read her Facebook messages out loud. He asked the audience if she gave me a chance, they all booed her, and then she asked me out a couple days later. Aziz Ansari guilted her into going out with me."
8. "I sent her a message on OkCupid, but then she set her account to inactive without seeing my message. Two years later, she reactivated her account, looked at her old messages, saw mine at the top of the queue, and the rest is history."
9. "I met my girlfriend through Reddit, because of Animal Crossing."
"We're both 32, and she messaged me last year after seeing a post I made about giving my villagers Groucho Marx glasses. I offered to invite her to my island so she could catalog them, but we kept having bad timing. Soon we evolved to texting, then calling, then eventually visiting each other. I don't think I would have met her had it not been for Animal Crossing."
10. "We met on the train. I had the day off and was just riding random trains for fun. She was going to work to fill in for someone. We wouldn’t have met under any other circumstances. She approached me, gave me her card, and asked me out for coffee."
"We've been happily married for seven years. Do I wish we met earlier? No, early to mid-20s me was only concerned about clubbing and hanging out with friends. I would have probably blown her off. We both met at the right time in life."
11. "I met my wife in junior high. We were in the same friend group, but never dated. We lost contact after high school, and 25 years later we reacquainted with each other on social media."
"We were friends, then started dating, and eight years later we got married. We were both very different people when we were younger and agree that it wouldn't have worked out between us if we got together back then."
12. "We met through Bumble. I was close to giving up on finding anyone who would love me, but I'm pretty sure he was made for me. I always wish we had met earlier, though given how long it takes him to do anything it's not really a surprise it took this long. We are expecting our first child in August."
13. "We met in a bar when I was stood up by a friend."
"His friends went home and we were the only dancers on the dance floor on a Sunday night. We hit it off immediately. That was 13 years ago. I'm sooooo glad we didn't meet earlier. I was an idiot who only wanted to party and worry about myself. At 30 I was just starting to become a better person and be ready for a real relationship. Worked out perfectly."
14. "We met through Craigslist. I was lonely looking for someone to see movies with. She was looking for more. After a few weeks of chatting we met up and, omg, the sparks and chemistry! Our first date lasted nine hours. Here we are, still madly in love after 11 years, two kids, four states, four apartments, and two houses. Our tenth anniversary is in September."
15. "When we met through online dating, we learned that we'd both moved from the same city in another country the year before and had worked right across the street from each other. We overlapped there for five years, and did not meet despite going to a lot of the same places."
"I used to tease him that he would never have gone out with me back then anyway, because he would have thought I was too serious about work. So, in the literal sense, it probably wouldn't have worked with us if we met any younger.
Do I wish I had gotten started earlier in life in the marriage game? Actually, I don't, we met in my mid-30s and didn't get married until we were both over forty. But I didn't have any marriage-worthy relationships before him because, in an important way, I wasn't interested in getting married. Then I thought I might give it a go and I saw that more than half of my friends had met their spouses online at that point. I think I was on for only a few weeks before we met. He had been on for a few months and was actually going back to the site to cancel his account the day he got my email."
16. "My hubby and I met playing QuakeII online. We were aware of each other for a good two years prior and played daily together."
"I thought he was a 16-year-old boy, and he thought I was a man. We only used text chat, I had a silly nickname, and people didn't share much personal information back then. I had started going to LANs to play Q2, and I mentioned this in a game. He asked if my dad took me to the LANs and the conversation went off from there. It turns out we were both single and the same age. We've been together for 21 years and Valentine's Day will be our seventh wedding anniversary."
17. "I met my wife in college, but she dropped out and I lost track of her. We were into each other, but she had previously been involved with a friend of mine, and he was still hung up on her, so we didn't act on it."
Eleven years later, I got an email blast from that friend. Included in the CC line was my wife-to-be's email. I sent her a message and we started emailing back and forth A LOT. I was distracted and wasn't picking up on clues that she was interested, not even when we finally got on the phone and talked for THREE HOURS.
Once I didn't reply to her email quickly enough, so I wrote her a physical letter that I posted the first week of September. Here's where I mention that this was 2001, she was living in Washington, DC, and that my letter was the only piece of mail she got on the 11th of September that year. It was also the last piece of mail she got at that PO box for a long time, because it got anthraxed shortly thereafter.
Things ramped up from there. She came to my state to see U2. She got the tickets, and I flew her down with my miles, which required her to stay for three days. We both thought, independently, 'holy shit, we just signed up for a 72 hour first date.' Reader, I married her. In October, we'll have our 16th anniversary."
Did you meet your significant other after turning 30? Tell us all about it in the comments below! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go frantically look for some tissues.
Some entries have been edited for length and/or clarity. h/t r/askreddit.