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2 Meet-cute stories that will make you rethink first impressions

Publisher, editor-in-chief and author at Chicken Soup for the Soul.

There's a movie term, "meet-cute," that refers to couples falling in love after meeting under silly, humorous or even hostile circumstances. Meet-cutes are the basis for many romantic comedies. I include them in our books about dating, romance and love whenever possible, often featuring them as the first story.

One of my favorite meet-cutes, a story called "Challenged" by Toni-Michelle Nell, opened our book about true love. Toni-Michelle was 26 and had just bought her first home. When she stopped by her friend's house right after the closing she met a man named Martin. His clothing was horribly coordinated, basically all one color, and he stammered and stuttered when she politely tried to engage him in conversation. Toni-Michelle assumed the man was developmentally challenged. A few days later she visited her friend to borrow a drill and Martin was there again. Toni-Michelle was horrified when her friend suggested that Martin drive her home and put up the blinds in her new house.

There was no way out of it. Martin, horribly attired once again, drove her home and proceeded to install her blinds for her. His speech problem was even worse than the first time they met, but Toni-Michelle noticed that he spoke better when his back was turned to her. When he asked her out, she surprised herself by accepting. Four months later, they were married! Martin eventually explained that he had fallen for her instantly and had been tongue-tied because she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. And the clothing? It turns out Martin is colorblind.

Toni-Michelle concludes her story by saying, "I guess it goes to show you that you cannot always go by first impressions. If I had, I would have missed out on being married to the most wonderful man on the planet for the past eight years."

Another meet-cute that I love is the first story in our book Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game. In "Love, Off the Record" Amy Gray Light tells us how nasty her now-husband was the first time she spoke to him, having been told to interview him about his latest architectural design by her magazine editor. He was surly and uncooperative, upset that the editor had assigned the story to a junior writer. Years after they were married, she learned that her husband had called the editor-in-chief to complain and had been told that this was a setup and that he absolutely had to meet her and take her out to lunch. They've been married 23 years now.

So this upcoming Valentine's season, keep your heart and mind open, because you never know; that disastrous first encounter could be the beginning of a great romance!

Sometimes a meet-cute is a "Miracle Meeting" like in this story from Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles.

Image: hafecheese via Flickr
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