The Stories Of How These Couples Met IRL Will Melt Your Heart This Valentine’s Day

It may seem like everyone you know is finding The One through various dating apps these days. Which is great, because the swiping game can be exactly what some people are looking for. But what if it's not what you're looking for? Maybe meeting someone IRL is more your style. You're in luck! Even among all the on-screen romances out there, there are stilly plenty of couples whose stories started with a chance encounter.

To warm the most cynical of hearts, encourage anyone looking for romance, and give everyone a little Valentine's Day inspiration, Bustle teamed up with Sephora to ask three couples about the surprising, serendipitous, and very sweet ways they met. The stories will give you all the V-Day feels and maybe even an idea or two for how to spend the holiday yourself. Spoiler: Each tale comes with a heart-melting IRL meet-cute, a beautiful fragrance pairing (to give? get? wear during your own 2/14 plans?), and of course, a very happy ending.

For Josh and Bry, all it took was some magic. And what better place for that than the epicenter — Walt Disney World? Bry worked as a dancer at the park (he regularly posts plenty of amazing throwbacks) while Josh was visiting for a meet-and-greet with some of the cast. They had one of those "saw each other but didn't actually meet" meetings. Then, shortly after, Josh landed a job as a dancer, too. That's when they officially got to know each other and became friends.

Their relationship was strictly platonic for several years, though, until one night when something "just clicked," according to Bry. "Josh helps me be more honest and straightforward. He encourages me to be myself and loves me unconditionally."

The duo has now been together for more than six years, and they got married this past October. "I love how sweet and sensitive Bry is," says Josh, adding, "I love how much he loves our dogs."

Inspired by the sunny destination where they met, Josh and Bry plan to celebrate Valentine's Day this year by escaping their chilly hometown of New York City and heading for warmer weather.

For anyone craving hotter temperatures this Valentine's Day, Sephora's Atelier Cologne Pacific Lime fragrance will give you a tropical vibe wherever you go. Its bursts of juicy lime and cooling eucalyptus, sweetened with creamy coconut, provide the aroma of a sunny vacation with every spritz.

Some people believe in love at first sight. But what about love at first, second, and third sight? Ok, maybe the first two instances weren't love just yet, but Tahis and Chris were actually born in the same hospital and briefly spent time in the same nursery room when they were newborns. Then they met for real when they were 11. As you can imagine, middle school is pretty rough terrain for any potential love story, which is why it took the pair some time to grow into their romantic relationship.

The two drifted apart in high school and didn’t reconnect until years later, when Tahis was in the Army and Chris was in medical school. “I sent Chris a message on Facebook,” says Tahis. “I said something like, ‘I think I’ve always had a crush on you.’ We exchanged numbers and talked loosely here and there [for a year]. We’ve been together ever since!”

Fast forward 11 years: Tahis and Chris are married with two kids, supporting each other every day. "One of my favorite qualities about Tahis is her selflessness," says Chris. "She puts others' needs before her own." As for Tahis? "Chris remains cool under pressure," is "family driven" and "has the patience that I work hard to develop." Although Chris usually has to work on Valentine's Day — so the couple doesn't have any specific traditions — they're hoping to change that this year.

If you and your partner have a love story as multifaceted as this one, consider gifting (or wearing!) Sephora's Tory Burch fragrance this Valentine's Day. The floral blend of peony and tuberose is energized by crisp citrus notes of grapefruit and neroli, and it's all anchored by an earthy vetiver base. The result? A bright and complex scent that's perfect for long histories with a fairytale ending.

It’s not uncommon to experience a whirlwind romance during vacation, but it rarely amounts to anything more than a fling. A big exception to that, of course, is Emily and Troy's story. The pair met at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico while they were both vacationing with separate friend groups. Love in paradise — it seemed perfect. But there was one problem: Troy lived in Australia; Emily was from New York City. The two exchanged emails before returning to reality.

But here's the thing. They kept in touch for a year. Then, Troy visited Emily in New York. Then, he took the plunge and moved to New York so they could give the relationship the shot it deserved. "We've been together for five years and have lived together for most of that time, and we still have the best time just hanging out together at home," says Emily. "He makes me laugh every single day!"

"[Emily] is always excited about life and makes everything more fun...even the small things, like going out for breakfast," says Troy. Or, in the case of their Valentine's Day plans, a low-key dinner. After all the travel during their initial courtship, it's no surprise the pair will be celebrating the holiday close to home.

Whether you're traveling this Valentine's Day or just have serious wanderlust, the floral notes in Sephora's Chloé Nomade fragrance inspire confidence and exploration — perfect for anyone (or any duo) ready to take on their next adventure.

This post is sponsored by Sephora.

Design: Diana Weisman/BDG