Meeting women to date (and marry!) is notoriously difficult for women seeking other females. Not only is same-sex love and marriage between two women so rarely represented in media—there are still no equivalent rom-com meet cutes for women meeting women today—but the dating pool for queer women is just smaller (roughly 5 percent of American females identify as LGBTQ). And just because someone shares your sexuality (as any woman who has been set up with another based on the fact that they’re interested in the same sex would know) that doesn’t mean you want to share your life, or even a date, with them.
A friend of mine once ran a calculation (in jest) to prove that she and her wife statistically were meant to be, based on the exquisitely small percentage of potentially single, queer, Jewish women within her age group, alongside a smattering of other arbitrary qualities she liked. Of course, love isn’t about numbers or statistics or data, but her point was clear: It’s kind of amazing the couple met and eventually fell in love with each other, in spite of what might seem like a small chance of ever finding a perfect match.
Whether you’re a believer in soul mates or struggling on the dating scene, from dating apps to artisanal cheese shops, fall in love with these eight women’s adorable stories of how they met their wives.
“It was love at first sight. I know it sounds corny—but it is true! In fact, my wife informed me that we were meant to spend our lives together within a couple of weeks of our first encounter. It took us about 25 years of life to tie the knot. I met my wife at my first job in the 1980s. We were both in high school, working for her parents in the family catering business. We were inseparable. In fact, her dad told me on day two that my main job was to keep Alexa out of trouble...It was a different time, though. I wasn't ready to come out at that point. We both went away to school but kept in touch. In 2005, we had both moved back home to Indiana, and I saw her in the catering tent at a wedding—she was running the family business, and I began as the sales manager a couple of weeks later. First love. First employer. Full circle. Today, we own the catering business and have a keto food company.” —Samantha Aulick, 47, and Alexa Lemley, 44, Columbus, Indiana
A Little Cheesy
“I started working at Cowgirl Creamery and Abby was returning as a cheesemonger after an internship at a farm in Utah. All of her old coworkers were all talking about her coming back, so I was like, ‘Who is this girl?” and stalked her a little online. Her coworkers also told her about me, and she admitted to stalking me too, so the attraction was there before we met. There was a lot of really tense energy during our first shift together, and we were kind of afraid of each other. Over the course of a couple days, we started getting more comfortable and that led to hanging out after work. Finally we got together, on 11/1/2011, and we actually worked really, really well together. We really complement each other with our strengths. We got married in 2014 in our backyard. I was raised Muslim and Abby was raised Mormon, and while we don't actively practice our faiths, we were able to incorporate what we both got out of them in our wedding. Our friends also helped with catering, and that was the first time we had raclette, from a wheel of one of our favorite cheeses.” —Zara, 31, and Abby, 32, Salt Lake City, co-owners of Raclette Machine.
“My wife and I attended the same high school. We met through mutual friends. She was at my sixteenth birthday party. How many people can say that? I came out during high school and ironically had a crush on her, but she was straight. She had a boyfriend, so I got over my crush. She was a class above me, and she graduated and went to an acting academy in NYC. I thought I wouldn't even hang out with her again. She's immensely talented—I thought I would see her winning awards some day. However, the summer after I graduated, she came back. We come from a smaller town, and being gay is something that she never even considered. After spending time in the city, she realized she had feelings for me. We hung out a lot that summer staying up until 3 a.m. talking about nothing and everything. One night we were watching Napoleon Dynamite, and we were asking each other questions, and I bravely asked ‘What would you say if I told you I liked you?’ Her response was in my favor and we've been together ever since: 13 years together, and six years married! I don't get to tell our story often, but I love to tell it.” —Heather, 32, and Christine, 32, New Haven, Connecticut
“We met on Tinder on New Year’s Day. My now-wife Robin was driving home from Dallas after going to the Rose Bowl to see Michigan lose. I was at a party in Dallas, where I lived, eating black-eyed peas after my NYE date turned out to be straight. We texted like crazy for a week before Robin insisted that we talk on the phone despite my strong distaste for talking on the phone. One week later, Robin took me on a Cinderella-style dream date in Dallas. Our second date was to a country-western wedding complete with line dancing. And our third was a week-long Olivia cruise followed by five days in Isla Mujeres. We figured if we still liked each after that much time together in that close proximity, we just might be onto something. And we were. Resisting the incredibly, incredibly strong urge to U-Haul, I took my time moving to Robin’s house, waiting even longer to surreptitiously redecorate. Six months after meeting, despite swearing that four seasons had to pass before marriage could even be discussed, Robin proposed as the sun set behind the glorious porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. I could not have been more surprised.” —Jenny Block and Robin Brown, Houston
“When I first saw Christina on Bumble I thought it was too good to be true! Her smile and eyes drew me in and I just had to talk to her. I immediately swiped right and kept checking to see if we would match. I remember that we talked about books, and I loved that. On our first date, I was so infatuated. She was confident, beautiful, intelligent, and artistic. I felt like I was in a dream because she had all of the qualities I had been looking for, but never found. At the end of the date, we were waiting by our cars, shivering because it was mid-January in Michigan. After nervously saying our end-of-the-night goodbyes, she gave me this adorable look that I’ll never forget that seemed to say, ‘You really aren’t gonna kiss me after all that?’ Then she pulled me in by my coat and kissed me. I was so nervous because I liked her so much, and I just remember having massive butterflies! Our six-hour-long first date felt like two hours. We had such a great time that we planned our second date for just a few nights later. Our third date was in the same week, and ever since, we’ve been inseparable.” —Christina and Amanda, Farmington Hills, Michigan
"Believe it or not, I met my soul mate, dream girl, lover, best friend, love of my life, on a dating site. We both are powerhouse working women and moms that don’t have precious time to waste. We immediately connected, got to know each other, and fell in love. Nicole swept me off my feet on our first date. She whisked me off to the symphony and a beautifully romantic dinner. It was the start of our fairy tale. It was the best thing I ever did, as this love is the foundation of life. Now we are one big happy blended family with our six amazing sons. Happily ever after.” —Cat Cora and Nicole Cora Ehrlich, Los Angeles
“We met during a not-so-happy homecoming several years ago—little did I realize that a tough trip home would turn into my happily ever after. At the time, my New York rent had skyrocketed, and I was no longer able to afford my Lower East Side apartment. I had just returned to New York after a failed whirlwind shot at love in Copenhagen. To make a hard situation even harder, my mom in Kansas City (where I had grown up) let me know her partner, Gene, wasn't well. I decided to move home to be with my mom. One summer evening, while having a couple of drinks with my friends, I jokingly lamented over who I would date in Kansas. Patty and Nicole looked at each other, and in unison, said, ‘Jen.’ Jen had also been friends with Patty and Nicole for 20 years, and though we had met once at Patty and Nicole's wedding reception, I was in a relationship at the time. Jen claims I blew her off. I felt like she was being a stalker, and I was simply being loyal to my then-girlfriend. I told my friends absolutely not, I didn’t want to be stuck in Kansas and what was I going to do with a sports-loving, beer-drinking, Midwestern lesbian? But Jen was chivalrous, romantic, patient, kind, thoughtful, and felt like home. And she just kept showing up. Exactly in the way I had always hoped my one-day wife would. Shortly after we made our relationship official, Jen was transferred to Chicago, where we now live and where Jen proposed. The best part about meeting my wife? I get to confidently assure the love hopefuls I work with that the happily-ever-after is out there for each one of us. She might show up in a different place, package, or at a different time than you originally envisioned, so keep your mind, heart, and eyes wide open for her arrival!” —LGBTQ matchmaker Kara Laricks, 45, and Jen, 54
“I met my first wife, Linda, when we lived literally around the corner from one another in a condo complex. Her realtor was a friend of mine, and told me she had just moved in. I knocked on her door, and she never answered. I left notes, and she did not respond. Then I spotted her leaving at 10 p.m. every evening with a backpack, and her car was not there in the morning. I finally heard her TV tuned to an Angels game and her yelling at the batters. I knocked and she finally answered, in sweats, wearing an Angels cap. I saw my notes pinned to her lamp. We were together 23 years before she died of pulmonary fibrosis.
While Linda was on hospice, she became close friends with her hospice nurse, Casper. Linda was a nurse, and she and Casper were two peas in a pod. They talked long hours, and shared chocolate sodas and M&M's, and Casper helped her get ready to die. They were really close by the end. Before Linda died she started telling me, our kids, our friends, our minister, and Casper that she needed to come back for me and marry me. We both told her to stop. There was nothing between us except taking care of Linda. She was my heart. Linda made me promise to talk to Casper after she was gone. She said she could not die thinking I would be alone with our kids.
It turned out Linda was right. Casper and I had coffee, then dinner, then more dinner. She was at my house several times when I worked late because the kids called her for emergencies that really were not emergencies, but they needed her. We had three years together, and could finally be legally married just before she died. It was quite a wedding, because she had Lewy Body Dementia. We had six happy months, then Lewy showed up, but it took three years for a diagnosis.
When she was dying I did not have as much help because there were folks who did not support my remarriage. One person who came constantly, despite working an hour away by train and working really long hours, was the funeral director who met with me and Linda, and came when she died. Stacie was part of a small crew, and fit in. She came the night she died, and helped through that arrangements. We have been married five years this May.” —Jill, Riverside, California