Inspirational Stories

25+ Inspirational Stories That Will Make You Smile

When life brings you down, the best way to recharge is to remember that there’s good in this world. These inspirational stories will tug at your heartstrings and give you the dose of hope you need to move forward.

The Power Of One Year: How 16 People Turned Their Lives Around In Twelve Months Or Less

When the going gets tough, it’s all too easy to forget how little time it can take for everything to turn around. These inspirational stories will remind you that it’s worth holding onto hope. Because as bad as things are right this second, they’re bound to turn around. 

1. “Eight months ago I quit drinking and smoking weed. I wouldn’t say I was addicted back then but I was really unhealthy and all of my money was going towards booze and drugs. Now I feel amazing – I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I’m making a serious dent in paying off my student loans. I still go out with my friends but I don’t miss getting blackout. I feel like a totally different person now.”

— Andrea, 24

2. “At the end of 2013, I’d just gotten dumped and I was a total mess. I spent New Year’s Eve bawling my eyes out in my best friend’s basement. Less than a month later, I met the love of my life. On New Year’s Eve of 2014, he took me out for dinner and proposed to me. It was the happiest day of my life – I know it’s cheesy but it made me realize that everything happened the way it did for a reason. If my ex hadn’t dumped me the year before I never would have gotten together with my fiancée.”

— Alicia, 32

3. “At the end of 2012 I was working the same office job I’d been working for thirteen years and living a dull, suburban lifestyle with my husband of 20 years. Neither of us were happy and we both knew it… so at the beginning of 2013 we finally decided to get divorced. I went freelance with my work and moved to LA, which is where I’ve always wanted to live. In the span of one year, my life went from a monotonous nightmare to an exciting adventure. I never thought I’d be able to start over at 43 but it’s one of the best decisions I ever made!”

— Sherry, 46

4. “A year ago I believed I was incapable of having children. Now there’s a beautiful, healthy baby girl sleeping in the room next to me.”

— Lauren, 28

5. “A year ago I was unemployed and living with my parents, when my Dad announced he was getting stationed upstate and they were going to have to move. So I had eight months to figure out what I was going to do. I got a job at a climbing gym to start saving up for my own place and while I was working there I fell hard for one of the instructors. He asked me to move in with him after only five months and I said yes! Now we live in an amazing apartment and just adopted a kitten together. I’ve never had a relationship move this fast but I’ve also never been happier. A year ago today, I couldn’t have dreamed up the life I have now!”

— Jenny, 25

6. “It took me until I was twenty-two to finally come out as gay. I’d never dated anyone up to that point but by the end of the year I had my first serious boyfriend. Even though it was a tough year to get through, I was so happy I finally did it. Turning twenty-three, I felt like myself for the first time in my life.”

— Peter, 27

7. “I’ve always had really bad anxiety but I never really wanted to acknowledge it. In my last year of college, I hit an all-time low. I was getting high literally all of the time to avoid having panic attacks but even that only worked up to a point. I decided I finally needed to get help, so I went to a psychiatrist. I started taking anti-anxiety meds and doing cognitive behavioral therapy. A year later, I feel like a totally different person. I’m even holding down a full-time job now! There’s now way I would have been able to manage that even six months ago.”

— Lily, 23

8. “It may not seem like the biggest change but in the past year I’ve made a point so spend at least an hour each day outside. I feel so much calmer and happier than I did at this point last year – and I’m sleeping a lot better too! Our bodies really aren’t meant to stay cooped up indoors all day.”

— Dan, 34

9. “This past year, my Mom got diagnosed with heart disease. Though it’s a terrifying time for the family, it has really forced us to put our differences aside to help her out. There was always tension between myself and my siblings because they’re very religious and I am not. But we have a new appreciation for each other after this past year. No matter what happens next, I know we’ll get through it as a family.”

— Joanne, 31

10. “Two years ago I was working the WORST office job imaginable. My boss was a total maniac who made us work twelve-hour days without overtime pay. I knew I needed to get out so I took a HUGE risk and decided to quit to pursue my dream of opening a bakery. It took a while to get things sorted out but almost exactly a year later, my best friend and I opened the doors of our own café. There’ve been a lot of ups and downs but I can proudly say that the business has been afloat for almost eight months now. Even on the bad days, I’ve never been happier with my choice.”

— Jessica, 27

11. “In the past year, I’ve lost almost sixty pounds. I’ve never felt physically or mentally better! I’m running my first half marathon this fall, which I never thought I’d be able to do.”

— Dean, 30

12. “Last summer my boyfriend and I broke up so I decided to go travelling while I was unattached! I ended up moving to South Korea to teach English and LOVING it. I have a whole community here the way I never did back home. I just renewed my contract for another year and honestly I don’t see myself leaving for at least the next five. I make great money, I get a free apartment and I travel all over when I have time off. I only wish I’d worked up the courage to do something like this sooner!”

— Jayden, 24

13. “A year ago my best friend was undergoing extensive radiation and chemo therapy for skin cancer. Things were looking really bad and we weren’t sure if he was going to make it. A year later, he’s in remission! Not only that but he’s also back at work full-time and dating an awesome girl he met while undergoing treatment. I’ve never been happier to see things turn around for someone so quickly.”

— Krisann, 20

14. “For the past seven months I’ve been keeping a ‘gratitude journal.’ At the end of every week I pencil in ten things I’m grateful for and three things I’m looking forward to for the next week. It’s a small change but it’s made a big difference in my outlook – I never realized how much I truly have to be happy about!”

— Lisa, 25

15. “I graduated college with no idea what to do next. I took the first job I could find waitressing to supplement my income from what I really wanted to be doing, which was modeling. Less than six months later, I landed a full-time gig as a plus-sized model. Now I get to inspire women from around the world to celebrate their bodies! I’ve never felt happier or more confident. I actually can’t believe how little time it took for me to land my dream job!”

— Erin, 25

16. “Last year was the most monotonous year of my life. So this year, I decided to finally take the summer-long trip to Africa that I’ve been dreaming about for almost a decade. I booked my flights this past weekend and I can’t believe it’s all actually happening! The anticipation is indescribably sweet.”

— Melissa, 36

23 Men And Women On Reddit Share Their Most Inspirational Love Stories (That Actually Happened)

We all want to believe in capital “f” Fate. To hold onto the dream that our romantic ideal is within reach. And guess what? For some people, it is. Some people really do fall in love in a storybook fashion. Some people really do find The One. Just read these inspirational stories about love and see for yourself.

1. “I fell madly in love with the new girl in my junior year stats class. She had a boyfriend and we were best friends for three years. We would hang out all the time, we got arrested together (kinda), her family thought I was her boyfriend. She dumped him but still wouldn’t go on a date with me. Then one night, while watching Spider-Man (the Tobey McGuire one) I kissed her. She made me wait in this weird relationship limbo where we weren’t dating but we were together for three months. But now we’ve been together over a year and I couldn’t be happier.”

2. “I met P in a class at university. We began as casual friends, and he started saving a seat for me in the back every day. I was dating someone else at the time, but I’ll get to that in a minute. We ended talking a lot, but while I really enjoyed being around him, I was faithful to the person I was dating and we never hung out outside of class. Then one weekend everything changed.

I’ll spare you all the crummy details, suffice to say my former SO got drunk, started displaying some great big scary red flag behavior patterns, and it ended with me running as fast in the opposite direction as I could. That was the end of that relationship. The following Monday, I dragged myself to class, still numb. P sat down next to me, took one look at my face, and asked what happened. I told him the short version and tried to laugh it off. Even years later, P is the only one who has never tried to blame me for what happened, or say “I should have known.” P and I became closer friends after that.

I knew he liked me (by body language and the way his eyes smiled when he looked at me) but he never said anything about it or pressured me because he knew I was still hurting emotionally. It was weeks before I was comfortable enough to hang out with him after class to study. He was so patient, continuing to invite me to his church’s events or to go sledding with him and his roommates (also very kind, caring church-people, some of which I am close friends with now) to make sure I knew I had the opportunity to do so even if I wasn’t ready.

P and I became more than friends gradually out of mutual flirtation. We are almost complete opposites temperamentally, socially, and politically, and yet we get along better than I do with friends I share most of my beliefs with. One night we were hanging out watching Austin Powers (so romantic, I know) and he asked me to be his girlfriend.

We’ve been together for a few years now, and I love him more every day. He is my best friend, my knight in shining armor, my superhero and also my sidekick. He alone has been there for me no matter what happens and has supported me in whatever I do, even if he doesn’t agree. When we argue, he always puts my happiness and our relationship before being ‘right’ or ‘winning.’ Neither of us is perfect, but I love his flaws as much as I love his strengths. I am a better person for having known him. Even years later his eyes still smile whenever he sees me.”

3. “I’m Australian. I was traveling through a Canada. I ended up in Montreal. I met a beautiful Quebec girl. I couldn’t speak French and she couldn’t speak English. We drank red wine and chatted via google translate, made love and ended up head over heels about each other. After 1 week – I asked her to move to Australia with me. She did. We lived together in Australia for a year learning each others languages and then her visa ran out – I returned to Canada with her. We had a sad break up when we realized the tyranny of distance… I flew to Mexico and surfed for a month to heal the heartache.

My only classic romance.”

4. “She was popular in high school and had various boyfriends. Me? I was a loser who had almost no friends and hadn’t even had a kiss despite being in my senior year of high school. The two of us had never even spoken a word to each other despite going to the same small school our whole lives.

Well, one day I took a different route to class. As the halls emptied of kids I kept walking the long way around to my last class. I happened to bump into her walking down the same hall way. As luck would have it our last class of the day was literally right next door to each other. For whatever reason I decided to keep taking the long way around and walking next to her through a few hallways until we reached our classes. It eventually got to the point where we would chat with each other. We would sometimes even just stand outside the closed class room door chatting before finally going in. If one of us was running late for our afternoon chat the other would wait or hang around in the hall until they showed up.

We eventually exchanged number and began to text all the time. A few weeks of this and the next thing I know I’m waiting in the hallway for her with a bunch of flowers. I asked her to prom, she said yes and that night after prom we had a movie night at my house. I finally got my first kiss. A week later I lost my virginity to her right before graduation. (I thought I was going to make it all the way through high school without ever having sex. I almost made it lol). We just celebrated our two years recently. We have now been dating for 2 years and are both in college.

Life works in weird ways. If that one day I had decided not to take the long way to class I never would have started walking with her and I never would have dated her.”

5. “I think it was fate.

I went home to SoCal for Thanksgiving weekend. That Saturday after Thanksgiving, my two friends and I went out to a downtown cafe/bar. It was pretty early, around 9 pm, but people gradually started to fill the space. The atmosphere of the place was very festive and happy. With Thanksgiving just a few days before and the Holidays ahead, I think people were in the holiday spirit. Also, a lot of people (e.g. college students like myself) returned home for the holidays, so folks were catching up with friends and stuff. It was a great, loving, and fun atmosphere.

I started off drinking a coke & rum on the rocks, and I don’t remember what my two friends ordered. All I can recall about that night with them is that they wanted to flirt and get hit-on by guys. I wasn’t in the mood to participate and I didn’t care to talk to guys (I was feeling kind of jaded that night), so I was kind of like the third wheel. There were guys that did came up to talk with me, but I just wasn’t interested.

Around 11 or 11:30 pm, it was starting to get packed. My friends and I found a cozy spot by the bar. I managed to find a place to sit, while my friends chatted with a bunch of guys. By now, I’m two drinks down and working on my third one. My alcohol tolerance level is low, so I was starting to feel buzzed, on my way to tipsy-land.

I leaned against the bar with my elbows on the edge of the table, and my drink in my left hand. I was scanning the noisy room and thinking how there were SO many people here. Now, remember, I was feeling kind of jaded that night…so I was thinking to myself, ‘Just smile…and be yourself..they will love you for who you are.’ And this has always been my mantra in life, but that night in particular, I kept repeating it in my head.

So I’m scanning the room full of people and I suddenly lock eyes with someone in the back of the room. He’s smiling at me and I can feel a really big smile forming on my face. It was so big that it even sobered me up a little. It was a sweet moment. I could hear my heart beating and for some reason, I was trying really hard to read his mind. As he’s walking through the crowd, he doesn’t stop smiling at me, and he’s intently staring at me. For a good 10 seconds, the noise surrounding me was silenced by the gaze that we shared. At that moment, I knew he was something special.

He continued walking through the crowd but I couldn’t see where he was going. Eventually, he disappeared into the crowd. I kept sipping on my coke & rum, and eavesdropping on a conversation that one of my friends was having with a random guy. They were talking dirty to each other, so I decided to eavesdrop in another conversation.

About ten minutes later, the guy that was smiling at me walked up to me and said, ‘Hi my name is ____. What is your name?’

Fast forward 15 minutes…my friends promptly decide to leave this cafe/bar to go to a different bar down the street. I hesitantly hop off the stool (because I wanted to keep talking to him), he asks for my number, I tell him my number and I’m practically yelling because it was so loud, told him good night and left the cafe/bar…

Fast forward the next day…I wake up with a nasty hangover..but I also wake up thinking about _____. At that same moment as I’m thinking of him, I get a text message from him saying, ‘Happy Thanksgiving Sunday! Lets see if you know who this is. =)'”

6. “We met in high school, at the tender age of 16. My family had moved from FL, and his (we’ll call him A) from NH, to NC the same summer. We took the same intro to Japanese class, because we both came from small towns and wanted to try something entirely new. It started out typical – I was dating a jerk (call him J), and A was too shy to talk to me. After the first year, students who had the best grades, and the funds, were invited to do a study abroad trip for 2 weeks in Japan, and we were both lucky enough to have that experience. I had broken up with J about 2 weeks before the trip after finding out he’d been cheating on me… just enough time to lick my wounds and start to heal the heartache. So we went on this trip, and I couldn’t take my eyes off A. He was quiet and polite, respectful to everyone, and had the most gorgeous hands (eh, it’s my thing – turns out he played piano). I decided I had to get to know him. I started hip-checking him at every opportunity, and asking questions – a million of them. He was patient and kind, where many others probably would have been annoyed. We hit it off really well, and when we got back from Japan, we were inseparable. That was 10 years ago, and we married 4 years ago. We’ve grown up and built this beautiful life together. He is still the best man I’ve ever met.”

7. “We had homeroom together in high school but that is just how we were introduced. I barely looked back at her and stuck to my own geeky business and played yu-gi-oh with my buddy for 2 years before getting to know her. By the end of the second year, two of the groups I would float between started sitting at the same table instead of separate ones, one of which she was in.

Junior year was more interesting. We spent more time both in homeroom and at lunch together but both of us being the quiet and shy type didn’t do much. End of junior year we were flirting so hard and didn’t know it; everyone swore we should be dating. I also passed up the chance of asking her to junior prom (crossed my mind but I was too chicken).

Senior year we finally made more moves (actually she did). That was the last year before I disqualified for being an Eagle Scout so I had to finish my big project, fast. She was there every day volunteering and helping me get Eagle on time. And on my birthday, she holds a quick surprise party during lunch where she gives me a huge box filled with gifts from all my other friends in on it. At the bottom of the box was a hand-made plushie of my favorite pokemon with a note asking me to the Senior Ball. Of course I said yes and we went together (still not dating and refused she was that into me). End of the year begins wrapping up and I finally have some sense knocked in to me by a mutual friend (this was not easy). A week before the year ends I stop her in the halls as we walked to good ol’ homeroom and asked her out in the cheesiest way. I spun her around with the hall empty except for us and presented her with the EVE pin from the WALL-E pins I had on my backpack all year and asked, “Will you be the EVE to my WALL-E? Will you go out with me?”

We have been dating for 2 years as of this coming Friday and have suffered though the pains of a long-distance relationship while attending our respective universities. I love her to bits and I can’t wait to see her again.”

8. “I met him at a party in my front yard in college in Los Angeles when we were both 18. I thought he was cute, cocky, we flirted but I had a boyfriend. And then after that one I had another boyfriend. But this guy, he waited around, he kept in touch but not too much and when he saw an opportunity (brief period of singlehood) he took me out to a really nice sushi dinner and showed me a great time. We fell hard and spent the whole summer together, we were 20. He told me one day, “this is our life! This is the beginning of our life”. And I knew he was right.

When I called to tell my parents I told them that I had met the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He moved to New York at the end of the summer and a year later I followed and we lived together for two years.

We just broke up last month because it had all gone to shit. My fault mostly but we were just too young and I was too immature to treat him and myself the way we deserved. I still think he’s the love of my life and my soul mate and I don’t know how to move past it. Our relationship since we broke up and I moved out has healed a lot. I still think that we belong together, but only time will tell.

We always said it was fate that we found each other. It was fate that we are not together now, so we can grow as people. I only hope that fate brings us together again. And try not to call and text in the meantime. He still says I love you at the end of a phone call.”

9. “Flashback about 7 years ago. I was 14 years old, and a huge weeaboo. Listened to a lot of J-pop. I don’t wanna talk about it. Moving on.

I was so obsessed with shitty Japanese boybands, and was such a special snow flake with superior international musicthat I really wanted to make some Japanese penpal friends online that I could talk about this kinda stuff with without getting the weirded-out vibe that I got from my schoolmates.

So naturally, I join ( and start making a bunch of penpals and online friends. A few weeks after making my account, I get a message from a Japanese boy the same age as me. Let’s call him Jun. He’s kinda weird, but hey! He’s cute and teaches me all sorts of Japanese slang, so why not! We flirt a bit on MSN, but that was pretty much as far as it went.

Around this time, my freshman year of high school, I started dating my very first ‘irl’ boyfriend. Typical 14/15 year old relationship. Lasted only a month, so I was a bit preoccupied with school and kissing on some guy to pay attention to my penpals. After we broke up, I logged back onto my MSN and deleted all the “LOL MY BF IS THE BESTEST!!LUV U BUNNY XOXOXOXO” status updates, and started messaging some of the friends I had been ignoring. Start talking to Jun, but still nothing special.

Months pass by, and Jun and I sorta message each other and flirt a bit (which resulted in my parents discovering a very embarrassing sexual MSN chat room between two 15 year old virgins. Don’t fall asleep without logging out kids.)

A year passes. Over this time, we managed to send each other TONS of snail mail (boxes full of snacks/comics/random shit.) I think I’m being cute, so I send him tons of my personalized things (monogrammed keychains, my school ID cards,my favorite fake jewelry,etc.) After that, we got kind of busy with school, and he was still kinda weird and cringey, so I ignore him mostly. We still messaged on and off though, mostly when I was bored.

Jun and I pretty much stopped talking for a while, and I was having fun just LDR-ing it up with all sorts of Japanese guys. I rarely got attention from boys at school, so I was loving it. This pretty much continued until I graduated high school. I would sometime’s think of Jun, but only of how much of a weirdo he was.

Flash forward to June 2011. I think long and hard, and make the decision that I would rather attend a real Japanese university. So before this could happen, I’d have to attend some pretty rigorous language courses in Japan. And before THAT could happen, I had to save up my own money…which meant a year and a half of working full time retail. So I started a job, along with a serious LDR with my now ex-bf. Cut to November, Jun finally makes a Facebook, and sends me a request. I hadn’t talked to him in at least a year! Of course, I accept. We catch up a bit, but again, nothing serious.

Finally, I saved up my money, bought a ticket to Japan, and lived my weeaboo 14 year old self’s dream. I went to Japan! My at the time BF let me live with him at his place to save money, so we were still technically together. However, he was older than me (by 6 years) and therefor already had a secure job. Anybody who knows anything about Japanese office hours knows how incredibly long they are. Long story short, I got lonely.

I started hanging out with all my old pen-pal friends to make up for the loneliness. The relationship sucked, but I felt a little better. About a month and a half later I get a message on Facebook.

‘Hey…are you still in Tokyo? Let’s meet!’

From…you guessed it…Jun. I say what the hell, why not. We agree to meet in a busy part of town. It was a mixture of good/bad. I was late by 30 minutes. We couldn’t eat at the restaurant he wanted to take me too because I wasn’t wearing socks and the restaurant required you to take off your shoes (I’m self conscious about my feet!). The karaoke bar we went to had a faulty machine. We almost missed the last train home…it was quite an awkward ‘first date’. But we did do a lot of talking, and learned a lot about each other.

The day after said date, he confessed and told me that he couldn’t believe how beautiful I was. I didn’t want to lead him on any further, so I also confessed to him that I was already seeing somebody. He wasn’t that hurt, because we met as friends. He just simply said he would still be there for me no matter what…which is quite nice to hear.

A few months later, boyfriend tells me that I need to get out of his place quick. It turns out his mother gave his little brother a free pass to move in with him and split the rent. I learn his mother is ultra conservative, and would flip out if she knew we were living together (Fun Fact: to this day I still haven’t met her, nor the brother). She had also fully paid for the down payment for the apartment (which can be expensive in Tokyo.) He pretty much forced me out, but reassured me, “This doesn’t mean we are breaking up! I still love you!”

I was in so much denial about being kicked out by my own BF, that I was putting off looking for a place to stay. One day I got the message, “Hey…we are coming back from my home town in about an hour…you need to pack your bags and leave before then.” I called Jun, who knew about the situation from the countless times I had called him crying about it. At this point, he was my emotional rock. He booked me a hotel room for the night, and we each carried my luggage high tailed it out of that apartment before the hour was up. I sobbed like a baby that night, but Jun stayed with me. “I’m not Japanese, who’s going to want to rent a room to me?” I said. Jun said don’t worry, he would skip his morning and afternoon classes, and that we would find a place together. I felt so much relief. I thanked him for everything he had done for me. And we hugged.

For a very long time.

And kissed.

For an even longer time.

And…you can see where this went…

So there I was, having sex with this guy…technically cheating in a way (I didn’t break up with my ex until a week later) but feeling so loved by one person who did his absolute best to keep me happy…something I could honestly say I had never felt before. The next day we found a nice cheap room, and all problems were gone.

The funny thing about our relationship is…there was never really a moment where either of us asked the other to be in a relationship. We just started going everywhere together and acting like a couple should act. It really hit me one day when he said to me that his mom told him, “I want to meet your new girlfriend so bad!”

Nowadays, we still joke around about how long ago we knew each other. I’ll say something like, “Yeah, I remember we used to webcam, and in the background there was ____.” and he will get all nostalgic about his old childhood home that he grew up in. He also teases me and says, “Who was that bunny guy? I was so jealous of that lucky bastard when we were 14!” He’s kind of corny sometimes, but I’d be a damn liar if I said that I don’t sometimes find myself amazed at how attractive he is to me. He’s a keeper. It’ll be one year in a few weeks.”

10. “I moved into the apartment across the hall from his. He helped me move my couch. At first, I wasn’t interested in him…he was just some guy who lived in the building. One night, a couple months later, he called to say he had a movie on Netflix and a pizza on the way, and wanted to know if I wanted to hang out that evening. I went, and it became the first of many times. I started to see him as the sweet, funny, intelligent man he is and the attraction grew.

We dated for eight years, and got married six months ago.”

11. “We met on our first day of work. I wasn’t into him until he left his notes at work one night. I was a manager so I had to drive him up there and unlock the doors. After I drove him back to his car he pulled out two coronas and we sat outside drinking and talking for hours. I’ve been falling for him more and more everyday since. I recently found out that he left his notes up there on purpose.”

12. “We met in high school in Virginia while my Dad was stationed there. My freshman year, his junior. He played Magic cards on lunch, I would come and watch him until he quit. We also participated in Drama and acted in plays together. I moved after my sophomore year from Virginia to Los Angeles because my Dad got re-stationed. We stayed close friends and for the most part kept the same circle of friends (minus creeper E, he’s just weird). Fast forward to 10 years in the future, I’m a single mom living in Utah and he’s still being an amazing friend in Virginia.

We decided it was time for him to come see my amazing state! And that’s when the magic started happening. We went hiking and ate around town. My son fell in love with him, and so did I, but I didn’t realize it until almost the last day of his visit. I had been dating a tool prior to his visit and he got to witness the glorious ending of that waste of time. On Sunday (his visit was Thursday- Tuesday) we had gone to dinner with my extended family and when we arrived home I had broken the sole of my boot and needed his help out of the shoe. When he pulled the boot off I fell and when he picked me up we had a moment of “I wanna kiss the crap out of your face, but I like you too much to make this weird”. ANNNNNDDDDD… I hugged him.

We went to our respective rooms for bed, I was up for another few hours going over in my head what had happened and what feelings I may have had for this man. We spent Monday night going back to the Lego store, eating In&Out, and watching movies. He let me organize the Legos in the weird way I do and that made me damn happy!

He left the next morning, I still hadn’t spoken up. I wanted him as a friend so much so that I wasn’t going to risk it just on a hunch. Then I finally got the ovaries to ask him. and YEP! It was mutual. I’m going out to meet his family and such in October and he’s coming to Utah to live with my son and me in January.”

13. “I had gotten online to delete my POF profile. On the ‘Are you sure you want to delete your account?’ page, I saw his picture. My god, he was cute! Tall, skinny, green eyes, great smile.

I clicked on his profile and saw that he was a big baseball fan, as am I (go Cardinals!), and since I had just moved to the city a year before, I thought the name of his town was just one of the suburbs of the city. I sent him a message saying ‘Hey! You like baseball, we should be friends!’

I told myself I would give him 24 hours and if he didn’t message me back, I would go ahead and delete my profile. This was at 9 p.m. At 2 a.m I get woken up by my phone telling me I have a new email. I still wish I wasn’t such light sleeper, but c’est la vie.

Turns out his town was 5 hours away. We weren’t even supposed to show up in each other’s searches. We had limited to like a 20 mile radius.

We talked on the phone and texted for about 3 weeks before we ever met. He waited until I agreed to be his girlfriend to kiss me for the first time. And when he did, my heart jumped into my throat. I really liked him. We did the LDR thing for about 6 months until he found a job here,

He moved in with me in August 2010. 4 years later, we’re happily married with a beautiful 6 month baby boy. It’s been a hell of a roller coaster but I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.”

14. “I was waiting tables part-time as a 2nd job (wanted fun money). Had the day off but late afternoon someone offered me the shift. Said no at first but since it was just cocktail around the bar I changed my mind. The big push on that Thursday night was for patrons to do karaoke, so I was just working the crowd for drinks and divining up for cocktail. Met a girl who was there with two college friends; she was visiting from out of town. She had a really great smile. Did the usual greetings and noticed they sat near the bar. I still worked the crowd but made a lot of passes to make sure they were ok on drinks, and still pushing the karaoke. The night continues with a lot of flirtation, laughs and cheesy jokes. For some insane unknown reason, I had no thought of asking for a number. Towards the end if the night, her friend gives me a napkin with the number, she was too shy to do it herself). They left at closing and I made sure to say bye. I called her a week later, talked a lot on the phone and she came back in town to visit a month or so later. She moved to town about a year later.

That was 14 years ago, now with 10 years of marriage and two kids into the mix.”

15. “I met him as a child. He was a few years older than me and I just thought he was super cool. I followed him everywhere. He was your typical kid, he would tell me I was annoying and to go away. When I finally did go away, he hated it and sought me out. For the next bunch of years, we were best friends. The day I turned 13, he made me his girlfriend officially. He wrote me a note that asked me, “will you be my girlfriend? Check yes or no.” With hand drawn boxes. We were that cute, nauseating couple. It was perfection. He was my whole world, my rock, my heart, everything. He graduated high school and joined the Army while he waited for me. I was his rock during deployments, during all the up’ sand down’s.

When I turned 20 he proposed. He wrote me a note that asked me, “will you be my wife? Check yes or no.” Again, with little hand drawn boxes. He was on bended knee and the note was in the ring box. Oh gosh, it melted my heart. He melted my heart. All those years and it still felt like the first day. He left for another deployment shortly after. He came home for mid deployment leave and I wound up pregnant. We decided the wedding would be after he came home during his post deployment leave. That leave would be around 30 days. Perfect! He went back overseas. I got a knock on my door saying he was coming home…but it would be in a box. My whole world flipped upside down. Our wedding was only a few months away. This was a terrible nightmare. A few weeks later, I miscarried from all the stress and depression. I lost my best friend, my life, my love, and my hero.

Even though it will always hurt, even so many years later, it was still a wonderful love. The story goes on and always will.”

16. “Went to a friend’s birthday party that I didn’t really want to go to (I had terrible social anxiety at the time). Ended up talking to him all night. He offered me a ride home which I accepted, and let him stay the night. Woke up the next morning to him stroking my face and asking if I were an angel. He took me to dinner and a movie that night, and asked me out then and there. I held out for 3 weeks before deciding he was worth it . Moved in together after 6 months. Our 3 year anniversary will be in September this year. I keep thinking, if I hadn’t gone to that party, I would never have met him. So glad I stepped out of my comfort zone that night.”

17. “She was a close friend for years but nothing romantic had ever really happened. I hadn’t seen her in a while and caught up with her at a friend’s birthday. I’m not sure what it was, but something was different about her and I just couldn’t help but smile the whole time I was around her. Skip ahead a month or so and we ended up going out with a few friends and at about 2am everyone came back to mine to crash. I stayed up talking to her for the entire night and we eventually kissed. She left the country to study and I waited for the better part of a year for her to get back. For a very happy period of my life I got to call her my girlfriend.

This was a few years ago and unfortunately, since last year, we don’t speak to each other any more because of how it ended. Not exactly a happy ending but that’s my love story.”

18. “I was drunkenly pushed into a spa and landed on his head, knocking him out cold. I was probably more concerned about my vodka cruiser getting spa water in it than his head at the time. For some reason he apologized to me for the incident (possibly concussed) which set off a chain of events that he probably has regretted every day for the last 10 years he has been stuck with me. Ain’t love grand.”

19. “I had just lost my job, broke up with my ex and was in debt up to my eyeballs. For about 3 months I was convinced I would never find anyone to love and cherish. Then one night my friend (kind of a weird really close friendship/fuck buddy deal) insisted that I get out of my apartment and come with him to his best friend’s boat. His best friend and I hit it off perfectly, and we started working on his boat together. There were many days where him and I were covered in grease and paint with beers in our hands, working on getting the boat ready for the season. After about three weeks of palling around together, he asked if I was willing to consider more…. After explaining how much of a basket case I am, he shut me up by leaning in and kissing me(the whole nine yards- dipping me and everything). It took a month to realize I love him more than I could ever imagine. He proposed to me Saturday night, surrounded by our friends and family at sunset… Of course on the boat, where it all started. I couldn’t be happier and more excited about the future. I’m going to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.”

20. “I had come out of a relationship that lasted for a few months but was very intense and emotional. There was drama in my family because of our age difference and some religious issues.

My mom was trying to set me up with the daughter of a friend, I was in no mood but agreed to meet her for a drink. Turned out she had just ended a relationship too and we were both in an emotional mess. She only agreed to meet with me to get her mom off her back. We both only talked about how lonesome we felt after someone had walked out on us both. What we really needed was a moment to let it all out, and since we both understood what it felt like we took turns listening to the other person and literally crying in each others arms.

When the night was over I felt so much relief because I was able to share what I was feeling with someone who knew what I was feeling, but I was also there to console her, to offer her some kind of healing.

What we did goes against common sense, but we don’t regret it. We slept together. We had opened up more in one night to each other than we had to anyone else in a very long time. We made the decision we did like each other and decided to start dating and see where it takes us.

The next morning, we both got text messages around the same time from our moms asking how our date went. I suggested we should both text back it went so well we eloped. That Devilish smile I got back said it all. Her sense of humor is just like mine, and I knew the instant I saw that smile I wanted her forever. Of course our moms called back a few seconds later, and we both lead them on thinking we’d flown off to Vegas to get hitched.

Both of our moms were hysterical we could do that after meeting once. She and I laughed away for a while before we let them in on the joke that it was payback for them pushing us to go on dates, that we weren’t actually married and only having breakfast together.

Our mothers have conferred between them, and after our prank our moms have decided we belong together. We’re official now, but my sister says we’re really partners in crime. I have a thousand different stories of the antics we’ve shared.”

21. “Sat next to each other in homeroom for 3 years…finally decided to try dating…three days before prom she’s blindsided crossing a four lane highway and has to be air lifted to hospital. Lays in a coma for almost a month with her prom corsage on her IV. Miraculously starts to come around…has to near to walk and talk again. Doesn’t remember us ever dating. We marry a two years later after full recovery, work our way through college, and now have three kids. Married 24 years.”

22. “We went to secondary school (high school) together but never spoke to one another (perhaps the odd word). It turns out that we both chose the same University to attend and we began to talk more through Facebook and msn. Our friendship slowly but surely flourished as I began to realize how amazing this lady was whom I had barely noticed just a year ago.

The next part of the story makes me mad as to my own actions. I went through a “phase” of ignoring her which at the time I did not fully realise (I was very busy and having a lot of personal issues at the time) She kept trying to make/keep contact with me and I kept knocking her back. This fell at a bad time as she was going onto a placement year for her degree. My life stabilised and I finally comprehended the opportunity I had missed, to ask this lady on a date.

Our contact resumed as I now attempted to claw back and undo the damage I had done. It was at this point I found out that she had a boyfriend. What puzzled me about this was that she did not tell me this at all (not even hint at it) we were good friends so this was a source of confusion for me (I found out from her sister if you were wondering.)

That text still haunts me as it was at that moment the realization set in that I have missed the biggest opportunity of my life to date. I thought she had forgotten about me, whilst my mind could never forget her.

Due to the distance issue between us I had to now keep an appearance through social media and texting/msn. We had so many brilliant conversations over the course of that year. I would plan my evenings so as to free up time in order to talk to her. I wanted to be there for her to make up for my previous mistake. Through this time our friendship grew ever stronger and this wonderful woman knew me better than I knew myself.

She finally returned from her gap year and I was able to see her face to face again. We met up a lot and shared some lovely evenings talking and going for walks. It was at this point that the nervousness and fear of rejection was completely overshadowed by my admiration for this person and I just asked her out on a date.

She was in the awkward position of still being in a relationship (I was certain it had ended due to the amount of time and communication we spent together) so she said those terrifying words “I have to think about it.”

The next few days I just soldiered on with my life and tried to focus on other tasks to not allow my brain to come to terms with what happened. I received a text asking me over to “talk” a few days later which I was relieved to receive. Those few days allowed very rapid maturity on my part and I came to the conclusion that I just wanted her to be happy. If that was with someone else then I would accept that and move on somehow, as I could never dream of interfering with what she truly wanted.

We met and had a very long, slightly awkward hug (The kind where you hug someone without your hips touching) We sat down and she got straight to business. She revealed she had the exact same feelings for me and she only accepted the offer from the other guy as she thought I was not interested in her. She even told me she used to plan her evenings so as to be able to talk to me whilst she was away. She was only a week or two away from asking me out, so that was the happiest day of my life. I initially felt bad for the other guy but it later turned out he was a complete asshole who used to belittle her and make her cry.

We have been dating for 4 years now and every day is a new adventure with the woman I love and cherish, and will never let slip away like I almost did before.”

23. “Senior year of high school – we were both seniors. We’d been in the same grade since kindergarten, and my class was barely 300 people so by that time everybody pretty much knew each other. Up until then, though, she and I had pretty much just coexisted. We weren’t particularly good friends or anything like that. But in the fall of that year we went on a group weekend retreat for a peer counseling program. I was a trainer – I had been a member for several years at this point – and she was one of the new inductees. One of our jobs as trainers was to set up an obstacle course for the trainees which they would navigate blindfolded with the help of a partner. One of the parts of the course was a trust fall off of a stage (maybe about 3 feet high). I was in charge of catching people along with one other person. Don’t worry, we had a copious amount of mats at the bottom to ensure no accidents would happen. When it was her turn to fall she informed us – not having any idea which trainers we were since she was still blindfolded – that she was not good with trust falls but would do her best.

Her best turned out to be flailing immediately and nearly breaking my nose with her elbow. There was a decent amount of blood, but the nearest sink was back in the main building which was a bit of a walk, so I went there straight away. I wasn’t hurt badly at all, and I was laughing the whole way. She, though, had no idea she’d even hit me at all because I somehow still managed to catch her well enough not to drop her. She found out what happened once her blindfold came off and as soon as she did rushed back to apologize. By then I had cleaned up and informed her I was fine.

That night she ate with me and we were together for most of the rest of the retreat. Afterwards we hung out quite frequently. Fast forward to early February of the next year and she had come over my house because she wanted to get some music from me on a flash drive (The Dear Hunter was the band, if you’re wondering). I promise you, my intentions that night were not to kiss her, but that’s what wound up happening. It was a great Spring and Summer with her after that, but unfortunately we didn’t make it to Thanksgiving once college began. Long distance just wasn’t for us. To this day it remains my best and favorite story, though.”

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.