Some people meet and it's love at first sight. For others, they have help by being set up with a prospective partner.
No matter how it happened for these couples, their stories equal years of wedded bliss. How lucky they are to have met and married their true loves, their soul mates, their life partners.
The Dispatch asked readers for stories of how they met their spouses. Following is a sampling of the stories we received:
Six dates, 47 years of marriage
I was a truck driver and she was a waitress. Whenever I came into the cafe, she would jokingly ask if I would marry her. I declined until one Saturday night I met her at a dance hall (she had a date with her). I asked her to dance and she asked me if I was gonna marry her. I said, "Sure. How about Friday?" (Payday). She abandoned her date and we dated for six days. I picked her up on Friday and we drove to Iowa and got married. That was 47 years ago! - Jerry and Nyla Skogland, Baxter.
Has her mom to thank
I don't remember the first time I met my future husband, probably because I was only 3 years old. I just knew him as one of the Terwilliger boys. It wasn't until I was 16 and he was 18 that we had our first real meetingand our first date.
It was Dec. 11, 1970, and my friend Jenny and I had made plans to attend a dance at Pillager High School, where we were both juniors. Getting to this dance seemed very important and, to this day, I remember getting ready and knowing I just had to be there.
I hadn't thought about how I would get there. I didn't have a driver's license yet so driving myself was out. This was the same date as my mom's birthday and my parents had plans to go out for the evening. I begged them to drive me in and said if they got me to the dance I was sure I could find a way home. They didn't think I really needed to go to the dance so I had some type of teenage tantrum and said yes, I would go and they could take me or I would walk! I didn't have tantrums very often so my mom understood that this really was important to me. She drove me the 14 miles to Pillager and I was at the dance.
John Terwilliger, an older "man" of 18 and already graduated from Pillager High, asked to dance with me. Toward the end of the dance I asked if he could give me a ride home. He lived north of Pillager so it wouldn't be far out of his way. Actually, he seemed happy to be the one asked to take me home.
I didn't think much about him the rest of the week but the next Saturday he showed up at my place and asked if I would like to go to a movie. I said OK. He kept coming over every weekend after that. He didn't call first as it was long distance. He just showed up! He always treated me with respect, we fell in love and I came to realize this is the kind of man to marry! That was 36 years ago and I was right, he was the kind of man to marry.
What would have happened if I hadn't gone to that dance? Thanks, Mom. - Cindy Terwilliger, Lake Shore.
Looking forward to the next 50 years
My husband and I met almost four years ago on Sept. 14, 2003. A friend of mine from the cities told me she worked with this guy and I should meet him, so I asked her for his phone number and she told me she would call him and have him call me. So after about 10 minutes, he called. We talked for a few weeks just over the phone then we made a date to meet. He came up the following weekend. I was at a friend's house when he came to town. I was so nervous I wanted to vomit but he knocked on the door and he also had a friend with him and his friend reassured me that I wasn't the only one nervous. So we went on a date that night and have been together since. We were married March 4, 2006, so we have now made it a year and we can't wait to see what the next 50 years (at least) have to offer us. - Mindy Strong, Brainerd.
Love at first sight?
It was December 1965. I was perfectly stunning in my light blue bathrobe and curlers when the doorbell rang. And there he was - six feet of cute, cuddly manhood - asking to see my roommate, Pat. As it turned out, Gary and I began dating and Pat hooked up with his friend, Lee. We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. Love at first sight...sort of. - Gary and Sharon Harris, Brainerd.
Should have known him longer?
My husband, just out of the military, and I, a divorced mother of two children, worked in adjoining areas. I thought he and a co-worker were romantically linked and he thought I was romantically linked with a guy I lunched with. Neither was true. We actually met at the Employees Club Feb. 25, 1976, when he and his roommate were celebrating his roommate's birthday. Later at work he said, "I think we should go out." I was not interested in men in my life at the time and said, "Oh, really?"
Well, we did go out and were married three months later on June 4, 1976, at Fort Snelling Chapel. To this day I still sometimes say with a twinkle in my eye and a smile, most of the time when we don't agree, "I knew I should have known you longer." This year we celebrate our 31st anniversary of the day we met and our wedding. - Glen and Lela Anhorn, Brainerd.
19-year lunch date
My now husband Dave and I met through his sister-in-law, Rose, who worked with me at the university in Duluth. My husband's brother (her husband) would come to take Rose to lunch on days that were stressful and hectic at work. These lunches always seemed so special that one day I asked Rose if her husband had a brother. She said as a matter of fact he did. She set up a meeting for us which of course included lunch.
For the next 11 months Dave made weekend drives from Brainerd to Duluth to see me. On Thanksgiving Day 1987, Dave told me had a lot to be thankful for and asked me to marry him.
On May 21, my lunch will have extended 19 years to the most special and romantic man I've ever known. - Luanne Hallgren, Brainerd.
God picked her soul mate
I never thought when I went to Chicago in November of 1941 I would meet my true love.
I met this confirmed 26-year-old bachelor when he was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. We met at the Aragon Ballroom on the north side of Chicago on Jan. 22, 1942. A whirlwind courtship followed. I was introduced to his parents and his two brothers.
At that time I was employed as a fountain manager at DeMets on LaSalle Street. He would pick me up after work so we could spend time together.
We went dancing at the Aragon on Feb. 10 and he asked me if I would share my life with him as his wife. Of course I said yes! We made plans to elope to St. Louis, Mo., and were married seven days later on Feb. 17, 1942.
Our marriage was built on a good line of communication, love and respect for each other. Leonard was a wonderful husband and father to our seven children. At the time of his release from life in December 1986, we were married 44 years.
I know God had his hand in choosing this beautiful soul mate for me. What a lucky gal; my blueprint was fulfilled.
I was so blessed. - Lorraine Grabow, Pequot Lakes.
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