In an era of, Tinder and dating-by-algorithm, it’s nice to know that unexpected, heart-stopping, romance-by-chance is still possible. Even better, it can happen when you’re dipping your toe in the dating pool for a second time.  Here’re three such stories.

A Tale of Three Steves

Sharon was 39, newly divorced from Steve #1, and the mother of two small boys when she went to a single’s dance on Long Island to meet her date, Steve #2.  She was there only a few minutes, when Steve #3 asked her to dance. While not quite ready to ditch Steve #2, she agreed to dinner the next night. Three days later they were living together.

The courtship was whirlwind, but the engagement lasted a bit longer — 11 years. As Sharon’s 50th birthday approached, Steve #3, planned an elaborate, black-tie surprise party for her.  There were 100 guests, live music, and a comedy roast moderated by a very funny older gentleman.

The biggest surprise was that the funny old guy turned out to be a cantor, who — half way into the evening — announced he was there to unite the couple in marriage.

It’s been 32 years since their first dance and 21 years since the surprise wedding. While some women have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet their prince. Sharon just had to work her way through a few Steves to find the right one.

It’s Never Too Late

Anne, in her late 60s, lived in Tucson and had been out of the dating scene for 17 years. Mike, in his 70s, lived in Chicago, and dated casually. While they never met, they worked for the same financial services company, knew many of the same people and occasionally spoke over the phone on professional issues.

One day, Mike was talking to someone from Anne’s office and found out she had recently retired.  So, he sent her an email of congratulations. Returning a few weeks later from a trip, Anne answered the email, and a long-distance friendship began.

First, Mike invited Anne to Chicago for a weekend. Then she invited him to Tucson. Traveling back and forth for two years, they learned they had much in common. They were both Catholic. Both had brief marriages that were annulled.  They had even attended the same conferences in the past without meeting.

Nine months ago, they married, and Anne moved from the desert clime of Arizona to the frozen north of Chicago.  Proving that love conquers all, she did it in JANUARY!

What are the Odds?

Cheryl, a single mom, shouldn’t have been at the downtown Chicago restaurant that night. Robert, a single dad, shouldn’t have been there either.

It was 1987, before cell phones, so Cheryl missed the call telling her that her date was running late and wanted to reschedule.  As she was sitting around waiting for him, she caught the attention of Robert, who lived in the suburbs and never came into the city — except that night, because he was meeting an out-of-town friend. He asked if the pretty lady would like to join them for dinner.

She declined, but they exchanged business cards. When eventually, her date did arrive, Robert sent wine to their table.

Curious, Cheryl called a girl friend the next morning to ask if she knew a “Robert Rapp.”

The girlfriend not only knew him but predicted Cheryl would marry him. So, when Robert called later in the day to ask her out, she said, “Dating is so boring. You seem like a nice guy. I’m nice. Why don’t we just get married?”

Eighteen months later they did just that. The moral of the story is: being in the wrong place at the wrong time can sometimes be exactly right.

Know any good romance-by-chance stories?  I’d love to hear them.  Please comment here.

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