I met my partner in an 11th century Durham Castle called Norman Castle. I was studying a Master’s degree in Philosophy, and he was studying a postgraduate degree too, in neuroscience. I sat down in the tastefully-decorated common room, in a chair next to a large oak table, with a chess set, a great piano, and a fireplace right next to us. It was beautiful. I looked at him, and he looked at me. I asked him on a date — something I would never usually do due to my anxiety, but I was so enraptured with him. We went on a few cute and romantic dates and ended up in a relationship. We look back on our first meeting with fondness. Here are five other romantic (and sometimes hilarious) meetings between people (celebrities and us “normies” alike) who just knew they were meant to be together.
Jim and Evie
Jim and Evie met at a Glastonbury festival, where Jim was volunteering as a litter-pick. After finishing his litter-picking for the day, he bought a box of wine and strapped it to a friend’s old backpack. They promptly placed it on his front, so he looked just like a cow with udders. Oh dear. Trekking around Glastonbury with his strange friend, Jim met Evie on a whim.
Strangely, she wasn’t put off by Jim’s friend’s odd appearance. Jim asked her if she had ever been breastfed wine. I would have run for the hills. Evie decided not to — and they’ve been together ever since. She feels she’s made the right decision. They ended up exchanging numbers and discovered they had a shared love for lemon drizzle cake (I’m with Evie on that one…although not the udder situation). Evie didn’t think their meeting would really go anywhere, as she was moving to Exeter to start her career as a doctor. They had a long-distance relationship for a while, and then went off to travel the world together, ending up in far-flung destinations.
I really love this one, as I met my partner right at the end of the academic year in Durham, when we were both studying postgraduate degrees. We both agreed that it was awful timing. I assumed that nothing would come of it; both of us leaving to go home — him to Chipping Sodbury — and me to Suffolk in just a few months. But it did.
Alan and Arlene Alda
Alan and Arlene first met in 1956 at a party. Alan is an actor; a six-time Emmy award winner and Arlene is a professional photographer. Alan has stared as Hawkeye Pierce in the war television series M*A*S*H, while Arlene has had her photos featured in Vogue. They had a mutual friend in the host, who had placed a rum cake on top of a refrigerator. It fell onto the floor. Alan and Arlene, eager to help their embarrassed friend, sat down next to the cake with spoons and dug in. They didn’t want to waste a good rum cake.
Alan later remarked at how Tinder and other dating app sites have got it all wrong with their so-called magic formulas, saying, “toss a cake on the floor and see who goes for it!” He’s recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and his wife of 63 years is supporting him. During the worldwide pandemic, they’ve been quarantining themselves at their home on Long Island, where they’ve begun holding Zoom calls with friends and family. “I’m a little bit ahead of most of my friends digitally. For years I’ve been fixing their computers, and I call my service Celebrity Tech Support. The slogan is ‘Why let a nobody touch your stuff?’ ” Those who eat cake together stay together, folks, it’s scientifically proven (it’s not).
Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford
The actress and the Mumford and Sons singer reconnected after many years, having previously been childhood pen-pals. They became friends after staying at a church camp together and kept in touch for a few years through old-fashioned pen and paper. However, they lost contact.
They met again at a party in 2011 and married after just a year. Now, they have two children together. They support each other through tough times; Marcus witnessed the Grenfell tower being consumed by flames from the window of his London flat. Carey supported him, and they both started lobbying for MPs to accept responsibility for the disaster. They still write each other little love notes.
Jenny and Adam
Jenny and Adam met (properly) at an M.E. charity event. They had seen each other around, as they lived very close to each other, but had never properly spoken. Adam wanted to get to know Jenny, and his twin brother was doing the photography for the event, so he went along. Jenny explained how her chronic illness affected her, and Adam wasn’t put off. “It sounded scary, but I didn’t care. I just knew I really liked her.” She had struggled to make much headway in recovery. Adam didn’t care. “I think I always knew she’d get better and, even if she didn’t, I would have cared for her anyway.”
This one really touched my heart, because I’ve been diagnosed with M.E. too. At my worst, I begged my partner to leave me, telling him that he would be better off without me. I wanted to die. I was so exhausted constantly, but I’ve made something of a recovery, too. Finding love when you suffer from a chronic illness is really tough — Jenny said she thought she would never find anyone. She had assumed her illness would dominate her life. I felt the same when I was first diagnosed with CFS/M.E. It’s tough, but I’ve got a little better, and my partner has really helped support me on my rubbish days.
Peter and Franck
Peter and Franck met at a Eurovision after-party in Copenhagen, where Franck promptly serenaded Peter with a French accent. They went for a bike ride together as the sun set, chatting non-stop for three hours, and finding out that they both adored gardening. Thus, they got married in August 2016, carrying flowers that they had picked from their allotment. They also both wore their gardening clothes, as a homage to the love of flowers that brought them together. It’s so cute. Also, they have a dog together, now, who lives with them in Brighton. They put their relationship down to a rare spiritual connection; they really just get each other. Ah, true love.
Previously published on medium
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