Real Life Romance

In the wide genre of romance, there are all kinds of romantic pairings.


We’ve got the opposites who attract
The best friends. 
The soul mates
The good girl who falls in love with the bad boy
The nice guy who falls in love with the hardened woman

And that’s just scratching the surface.

Ryan and I were complete strangers. All I knew about him was that he made me giddy whenever he’d come to my workplace to deliver a new package. Now, nine years later, we’re married and it’s hard to think I lived nineteen years without him.

In some ways we’re opposite. I’m pretty outgoing, I have an easy time opening up to people, and I have no problem being in the spotlight (shocker, I know!). Ryan, however, is shy. He has a hard time opening up to people until he gets to know them and he most definitely does not like being in any sort of spotlight.

But in other ways, we’re similar. We have the same faith, the same sense of humor, and the same living habits. All of which made becoming man and wife quite easy. Some people say that first year of marriage is  the most difficult, but for Ryan and I, living with and adjusting to each other was as easy as one, two, three.

Let’s Talk: Tell me about your real-life romance (even you lurkers out there)! I love hearing these stories! Did you fall in love with your best friend? Your enemy? The bad boy? The nice guy? If you have yet to give your heart away, what prototype do you envision for yourself?


36 thoughts on “Real Life Romance

  1. Steven E. Belanger

    Great post, Katie.

    I met my better half at a writers group! We're opposites, too. I an avid writer, and she basically stopped writing plays as soon as we met (she's a costume designer). I'm very outgoing (compared to her) and she's very shy. But she's also very sure of some of the things that I never thought I'd be sure about–like love and relationships!

  2. jesswords10

    Having been a movieholic for years, I loved looking at all these photos of your couple type examples, and like Jill, totally want a rom-com marathon. I'd add some Jane Austen films in the mix too.

    My honey and I are not married, but we'll be together 5 years this next month. We met in college and both thought each other were cute/fun, but were in other relationships. Three years later, we happened to be at the same pub and started chatting. The bum had forgotten my name! LOL. But he did remember me, and through the help of his more courageous friend, set up a date the next night where we went out for coffee and to see a jazz band and we talked about everything you probably shouldn't talk about on a first date. I knew I loved him when we ended the night dancing. Now, if I can just get him to clean a little more. 🙂

  3. Erynn

    Leo and I were "the best friends." We took a long drive around our home town over Christmas break one night–we started the drive as friends and ended it engaged.

    You can read a slightly longer version of a really long story here:

  4. Katie Ganshert

    These stories are awesome! All of them have made me smile, and remember those feelings when my hubby and I first started dating.

    It's crazy how so many of you just knew. I have to tell you, that wasn't the case with Ryan and I. It took a while before I realized he might be my future husband.

    Anyway – Karen, your story TOTALLY could be a book or movie! So glad you found my blog.

  5. Dawn Alexander

    Loving all these stories! I met my husband at a church we were both visiting. He would tell you I picked him, but he is way too big for that 🙂 I simply made myself noticeable by marching across a room, introducing myself and asking to sit next to him (It is possible I am a bit out-going:)) He asked to me lunch after church, and then asked FOUR different times if I was going to be at services that evening. Of course, I was!
    He had his Dad record the Cowboys game (a major sign of interest here in Texas) and took me out for ice cream after the evening service.

    He was cute and funny, but I will tell you what made me decide I could marry him on the spot. We were eating the ice cream on a park bench and he turned to me and said, "So, do you like to read? I just finished this really cool book." Then went on to tell me about THE NOTEBOOK by Nicholas Sparks!

    One of our daughters is named Allie, by the way 🙂

  6. Jessica Nelson

    I should mention that my interest in hubs first piqued when I heard him preach. Then I saw his calves and it was love at first sight. *grin*

  7. Jessica Nelson

    This is so romantic!
    Honestly, my husband was a bad boy type who is also my opposite in many, many ways. This has made marriage for me both exciting and painful.
    But in so many ways he balances me and I balance him. We've been married ten years and because of similarities in how we discipline, manage money, etc, we rarely fight. I'm SO thankful for that!

  8. Eileen Astels Watson

    Oh my, you're making me dig into the pit of my memory database here. Hubby is definitely more FUN than I am, but I wouldn't say more outgoing. Neither of us are very outgoing. I keep thinking of his cowboy boots for some reason when I first met him. I always thought them intriguing for whatever reason and honestly, I think that's what initiated my interest in him. Guess I never saw a guy in cowboy boots before him. LOL

  9. Shannon M.

    So much young love! By these standards I was ancient (practically decrepit) when I met my soulmate at 35.

    My "oldest" (longest known) friend married his good buddy. I was a bridesmaid – and engaged to someone else. And he was a groomsman and the thief that stole my heart (yes, I wouldn't let an author write such a cheesy line). We were married 13 months later.

  10. Stephanie

    Me and my hubby and similar in so many ways, but complete opposites in just as many ways. He's really kind of a weird guy…he was an art major in high school…but he also was the captain of the football team. Go figure!! But we seem to work…we'll celebrate 13 years on the 19th!

  11. Jennifer Shirk

    My hubby and I met on a blind date–I was painfully shy and still in college and he was definitely outgoing and more wordly. He's my best friend and the funniest guy I know.
    But he tells me I'm his best audience. 🙂
    Fun post!

  12. Karen Adair

    How was I not following your blog already? What a fun idea having everyone share! I've been told that my story would make a really good…well, story…but here's the long and short of it. I met my husband at a church dance that I fought with my Mom about going to. She wanted me to go. I did not. I had just broken up with someone and had since sworn off men. Well, good thing my mother persisted, because after just one dance it was almost love at first sight. For both of us. Little did I know that he too hadn't expected much from the dance that night. We each got a pleasant surprise. More than one,actually. We quickly discovered that both our grandparents grew up in the same dinky town but somehow our paths had never crossed. Once we made sure we weren't related we had an awesome first date! We went to a place with minature golf, arcade games, etc. and I proceeded to beat him at every single game. He took it all in stride, ultimately suggesting a game of air hockey. I told him I stunk at it to which he responded, "Great! Maybe now I can finally beat you at something." I thought his honesty was so adorable, and as well that he hadn't been simply letting me win at the games. We dated for 2 1/2 months before he finally proposed. I say finally, because we hit it off so well that our friends starting taking up a collection after only a few weeks, hoping we'd get the hint and get married. 21 years later we're still going strong. 🙂 So a word of advice? Don't miss an opportunity you might never get again!

  13. Coleen Patrick

    Hi Katie!
    Fun post 🙂
    I met my husband in college, we hung out with a similar group of friends and then after a few months I suddenly had a huge crush on him. It was like someone flipped a switch 🙂

  14. Katie Ganshert

    Ah! I LOVE these stories! They have so brightened my day. I love hearing how people meet and fall in love. 🙂

  15. Beth K. Vogt

    I'm coming back to read the stories–but here's mine:
    I'd broken off a bad relationship (an engagement, actually.) Met my to-be-husband at a karate studio. He knocked me down (literally.) We tell people he swept me off my feet. I wasn't looking for a relationship at all.
    But he was such a gentleman–I didn't think anyone like him existed anymore. And he shared about his faith–and challenged me about mine.
    And then I told him I would never marry anyone in the military or a doctor–and he said he was in the Air Force and going to medical school.
    And guess what?
    He was ve-ery persuasive because I married him less than a year later.

  16. Wendy Paine Miller

    Cathy, How cool! YL rocks!


    There's a story there, of course. I was living in Hilton Head the summer after my sophomore yr. of college. Steve came down to visit (though we hadn't officially met but attended the same college). We hit it off conversationally. Clicked. He responded to my deep questions and we laughed. I knew I'd found something pretty special.

    There's more, but I'll save it and tell you at conference.
    ~ Wendy

  17. Catherine West

    Ah, what fun!! Let's see…I was 15 when I met my husband. I met Jesus the same summer. I'd just come home from a horrid boarding school in England and I was as much a mess as a 15 year old can be. My best friend talked me into going on a summer camp trip to New York State with Young Life. My hubby was on the same trip and we officially met as he helped me not kill myself coming down a very steep mountain. We were friends for the first few months after that while I settled into a new school at home and kept my eye on a few other guys, but eventually he told me to stop being stupid and just go out with him instead. I did. 25 years of marriage later, I'd marry him all over again.

  18. Jill Kemerer

    Katie, I really want to have a rom-com marathon now!

    My husband and I were classmates for years, but I wouldn't say we were friends. We would chit-chat but we didn't hang out. Then, during our senior year in high school, we just kind of noticed each other in a way we hadn't before.

    In many ways we're opposites, but in other ways we're so similar! It's hard to describe!

  19. Jeanette Levellie

    Thanks for the book–I can't WAIT to read it!!!

    After a failed romance my first year in college, I was happy as a single. I met Kevin via a mutual friend. When he asked me to pray for a wife for Kev, I eagerly agreed. That was thirty-six years, one wedding, two kids, three grandkids and three books ago.

    He is my best friend, my soul mate, and my hero. But he also drives me bonkers at least twenty times a day!

  20. Patti

    We were friends first then we became best friends before we became a married couple.

  21. Katie Ganshert

    Wow – so many were friends first. And you know what's sad? I've never written a romance where the couple is friends first! Looks like that's in order!

  22. Loree Huebner

    My hubby and I were friends before anything else came along.

  23. Kelly Lyman

    I always heard you find love when you aren't looking for it, and for me that was true. I ended up marrying my older brothers best friend. We were very different- I was outgoing and loved to go out, he was more quiet and was a homebody. Now it is the other way around!

  24. Jennifer K. Hale

    You and I are similar (as we well know) and are married to similar men. 🙂

    Brian and I met when I moved home from college to attend a local university. His sense of humor attracted me immediately. We started dating, and I married my best friend. He's the funny-guy. He doesn't like the spotlight, but when he's comfortable, his humorous side comes out. He keeps me grounded with his realistic wit. We're a perfect match. 🙂

  25. Heather Sunseri

    Love caught me totally by surprise in the in-field of the KY Derby.

  26. Keli Gwyn

    Gwynly and I have many things in common, but there are some major differences, too. Keeps like interesting. Like Erica and her hubby, Gwynly and I were married in December. We'll celebrate 24 years together this Christmas season.

  27. Erica Vetsch

    Love real life romance!

    I married my total opposite, but we're alike where it matters. Our faith, our life-philosophy, our goals and outlooks.

    I love that my husband is everything I'm not. He's awesome that way.

    We'll be married 22 years this December, and the time has flown by.

  28. Kristen Johnson

    I was set up with my now husband by mutual friends. I was seventeen and he had just turned nineteen, and when I came home from that first date, I told everyone that I was going to marry him. (This coming from the girl who planned to get married MAYBE ten years from then.)

    We didn't know each other previously, so I guess you could say we would fall in the "soulmate" category, and I do feel like that is true. We've been married 10 years now, and I love him more every day!

  29. Julie Jarnagin

    I love so many of those movies! I'd say I fell in love with my opposite. He's the picture of an extrovert. I'm definitely an introvert. He's athletic and is passionate about hunting and the outdoors. I just want to curl up with a good book. He's a risk taker, and I don't like to rock the boat. I could go on and on, but we balance each other. Together we make each other better.

  30. Jessica R. Patch

    All these pictures make me swoon! 🙂

    I remember not wanting to date my husband. Not that I didn't like him, he was hilarious (still is), I just didn't want to date him. lol

    On Valentine's he roped me into going out AS FRIENDS. But when I walked down to his car (from the dorm) he had a dozen roses, cards, and candy.

    I gave him that seriously? look and said, "I thought this was just friends."

    He gave a big grin, setting off his dimples and said casually as he opened the door to the car, "What? I do this for all my friends. You think you're special or something?"

    That was all she wrote! 🙂

  31. Kristy K

    Just seeing a picture from the Notebook makes my heart swoon. 🙂

    My first day of 8th grade, I came home and told my parents, "I'm going to marry the boy who sits next to me in English class."

    And I did :).

  32. Katie Ganshert

    I LOVE these stories! I can't believe how many of you married your BFFs!

    Tab – I remember that story in your book! I loved it then and I love it just as much now. 🙂

  33. CJ

    After kissing a lot of frogs, I finally realized my prince was my childhood best friend, and he lived next door to me.

  34. Laura Marcella

    Awww, that's such a sweet story! You were admiring each other from afar. Love that!

    I fell in love with my best friend! We first knew each other in kindergarten and became good friends in 2nd grade because we both had puppy love crushes on each other. He gave me a rock, which I still have! 🙂 By the time we were 14 we were inseparable, BFFs, puppy love became real love, and we started dating when we were 17. We've been married 3 years now!

  35. Tabitha Bird

    I love a real life romance. Mine has been alive and well for 13yrs. We meet we I was 16 and he was 17. (so now you can work out how old I am)
    Early in our relationship he gave me a ceramic clown. Confused I looked at him and said, "What's with the clown?"
    (I know I wasn't very appreciative)
    He stood their shifting from foot to foot. I guess I embarrassed him. Finally he said, "The clown made me smile and I thought you could use a smile too."
    He was right. I did need a smile. Very badly.
    That man became my firs real smile. I've had many since. But he was the first.

  36. Laura Pauling

    You had pictures of some of my fav movies up there! Now I'm going to have to watch them! 🙂

    I was close friends with my hub before we started d ating. In fact, he used to talk to me about his girlfriend. I think she knew something was up before he did!


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