Here’s a look into where our 2023 couples’ love stories started.
In Zola’s First Look Report, we surveyed 4,000 engaged couples to find out who they are, what their priorities are for their 2023 weddings, and what makes these weddings different than ever before. We found that 2023 couples met at a variety of places and life stages. If you’re single, you may wonder where to find someone. Here’s a look into where our 2023 couples’ love stories started.
While your match made in heaven isn’t going to literally fall out of the sky, you can find him or her in one of the following places, like these couples did.
Twenty-eight percent of couples say that they met in an educational setting. Think about it, you spend most of your time on campus in your late teens and early 20s, and that’s the time when most people find their other half. Some even end up marrying their high school sweethearts.
If you’re attending a workshop or some other event at a school, for maybe your child or a niece or nephew, then you could bump into that school principal or teacher that takes your breath away. One survey participant said, “I was visiting my parent’s island where they were born and raised. [My now fiance] was a teacher at one of the schools I was visiting, and I fell in love with him and just wanted to get to know him even more. He says [that] the same goes for him, he had to get to know me and from then on we just knew we would be together.”
Technology is the new wave by dating via an app. Twenty-seven percent of couples say that they met through an online dating service or app. “I matched with a guy on Hinge; he set up a date with me and then canceled at the last minute, but told me that his roommate was recently single, so he set up the date to be with him. It was double-blind for me since I didn't know that Hinge guy at all. Turns out, we went to school two hours away, have many mutual friends, but never crossed paths,” says one engaged individual. There are so many apps to try, and you may get frustrated, but don’t give up. Keep swiping up, down, right, and left, until you find someone that catches your eye.
The friend network still works! Nineteen percent of surveyed people met their partner through a friend, so it may be time to let your friends know that you are ready to mingle. Have your friend introduce you to their single friends.
It may feel weird to date and work in the same place, but for some it works. Eleven percent say that they met their significant other at work. One couple in the survey says that they met while he was a cashier at Target and she was his customer. Another engaged couple shared, “We met as members of a philharmonic chorus and won our first Grammy in 2021” (talk about an award winning connection)! A word of caution, make sure that you know the rules of the workplace, as you may have to inform your human resources department if you start dating your co-worker or even your boss.
Sometimes love can appear when you least expect it and when you aren’t even looking for it. Here are some more popular places that engaged couples met.
You may be thinking that meeting someone at a bar is so cliche, and that it can only mean that you’re looking for a one night stand. Not always! Your other half could just be out with friends and you lock eyes as you are with your friends, and the rest is history! Besides, if you have a drink, that will ease your nerves, so you can get the convo started.
You never know what could happen when you accept or send that friend request. Many people have reconnected with an old flame or met a new one via Facebook, whether it’s by sliding into the inbox or exchanging comments on a thread. Facebook also has the dating feature, so the option of dating online is still there.
Family members love to help their loved ones find love. It might not be so bad, as they just may know what you need. “His grandfather and I worked together at the YMCA. He tried to get us to exchange numbers, without meeting, for a month before we agreed to. We met for our first date two days later,” says one survey participant. Another one added, “We were family friends our entire lives and ultimately (and strategically) [were] seated together at a wedding.” You may not want your family messing with your love life, but sometimes they strike gold.
If you are active at church (or another place of worship) and spend a lot of time there, then this may be the spot that you find your other half. From the singles ministries to teaching Sunday school, you never know if you just might pass the communion wafers to your new boo.
Getting fit may not be a bad idea when there’s the potential that you can run into your future spouse. You may find yourself on the same treadmill every day beside the same person and then strike up a conversation and realize that you actually have some things in common. Working on a common goal to get healthy or stay healthy may be the bond you form with someone that works or works out at the gym. While it wasn’t at a gym, one couple met performing an athletic activity together. “He fought my ex-boyfriend at a paintball park when we were teenagers, and won.”
Before you question us, hear us out. If you like to go out to eat by yourself, you may notice (or be noticed by) another person dining out solo and decide to join each other for an appetizer. Or, if you are eating at the bar, maybe you hit it off with the bartender or someone sitting nearby. It’s also possible that the waiter or waitress is the one that you’ve been waiting to meet for your whole life. Coffee shops are also an option to potentially meet your significant other.
There are so many ways to meet that special person who will ultimately become your spouse.
Keep an open mind, like these couples did.
One couple met by responding to an ad. “He responded to my friend's ad looking for a subletter.” That one piece of furniture that you’re wanting to buy or sell on Craigslist could lead you to the one that grabs a piece of your heart.
A teenage love can start anywhere, and it did for this couple. “I was 14 and he was 15, both in attendance at a family member’s birthday.” But, as an adult, you may be attending your godchild’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and meet your future partner on the other side of the building attending a family member’s party. It can happen!
What better way to meet someone than at a place where your interests intersect? Imagine a 16th century European style art and entertainment festival that blends history and fantasy through outdoor theater with throwback costumes? You may just find your Romeo or Juliet.
With UberPool, riders heading in the same direction choose to share a ride. So, if you’re heading downtown and the Uber driver picks up another rider, you may just hit it off. Who knows, it could be fate.
Regardless of where these couples met, they are feeling more excited than ever. Forty percent say that they are more excited and in love than ever.
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