Eigentlich ist Instagram ja eine Plattform, die in erster Linie über ihre Bilder funktioniert. Von Kunst oder DIY über Food und Travel bis hin zu Fashion und Lifestyle hat dort jeder Account seine ganz eigene Fotogeschichte. Manchmal gibt es aber auch Profile, die etwas mehr zu erzählen haben und nicht nur die obligatorischen Hashtags unter jeden Post setzen. So zum Beispiel auch The Way We Met – ein Feed, der von einer jungen Frau namens Brooklyn Sherman aus den USA ins Leben gerufen wurde.
“A year ago, 11 perfect strangers met in the middle of Yosemite backcountry for the adventure of a lifetime. We had all signed up for the same organized trip, which we now refer to as “The Epic.” It consisted of 23 hours of traversing and rappelling down a trailless canyon in pitch darkness with only the light from our headlamps and faith to guide us through. Adam and I were two of those strangers. The back of my pants were torn up from sliding down steep rocks and my hands were covered in sweat, dirt, and snot but that didn’t stop Adam from grabbing them to lead the way. When we made it back to camp, Adam and I celebrated our survival by eating pie and watching the sun come up. We were too hyped up on adrenaline to go to sleep. At the end of the trip, I asked the group for their phone numbers so we could all stay in touch. When I arrived back in San Francisco, I texted Adam to say thank you. He responded and four days later we met up for beers, tacos, and to reminisce about the crazy adventure we had just experienced. Exactly 365 days after our daring escapade, Adam and I headed back to Yosemite and summited to the top of Half Dome where we watched the sunrise right above that same canyon. This time with my pants intact and of course, a sliver of pie in our pack. It was Epic.”
Worum es geht? Um Fotos und Kennenlern-Geschichten von Paaren, die sie per Mail zugeschickt bekommt und dann auf Instagram und dem dazugehörigen Blog online stellt. Im Prinzip kann jeder mitmachen, es gibt nur eine einzige Bedingung: dass die erste Begegnung offline stattgefunden hat. Der Grund? Auch wenn Brooklyn nichts gegen virtuelle Dating-Portale hat, möchte sie mit ihrem Projekt Menschen Mut machen, sich auch im echten Leben wieder mehr zu öffnen, auch wenn man sich damit verletzlich macht – gleichzeitig aber auch authentisch. Sich mit seinem Gegenüber zu befassen, ohne dabei 500 andere und vermeintlich bessere Optionen geboten zu bekommen, so wie es online mittlerweile häufig der Fall ist. Sich auf jemanden einzulassen, ohne sich ständig neu auf die Suche zu begeben oder selbst ersetzbar zu sein.
Über 10.000 Mails von Paaren hat Brooklyn bisher erhalten und auf ihrem Blog von über 400 Liebesgeschichten aus der ganzen Welt erzählt. Mittlerweile geht es dort längst nicht mehr nur ums Kennenlernen, sondern auch um die weitere Entwicklung der Beziehungen – von Glücksmomenten wie Hochzeit oder dem ersten gemeinsamen Kind, aber auch Tiefschlägen wie Krankheiten oder finanziellen Problemen. Mittlerweile folgen ihrem Account rund 357.000 Menschen.
“My best friend in high school was on the girls’ basketball team. After practice one day, she invited me to lunch with the team and that’s when I got a major crush on the point guard! The freckles on her cheeks tugged at my heartstrings and I had to get to know her. In the car on the way to the restaurant, she was talking to everyone but me. Anxious to get her attention, I finally blurted out, “Why is your chest shimmering?” She turned bright red and the car went silent until she responded “Ugh, my sister used all my lotion, so I had to try her body shimmer crap.” That was 7 years ago, and I can still make her blush.”
Eine ganz wunderbare Hommage an die Liebe – von einer jungen Frau, die übrigens selbst noch auf der Suche nach jemandem ist, mit dem sie ihr Leben teilen kann ♥
“We worked at the same company. She was in the key punch department (they don’t have those anymore) and I was in the blueprint department, so our paths would cross. I took her out to lunch at the cafeteria, and wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t have any money on me so she had to pay! The rest is history. I’ve been paying ever since, gladly. We’ve been married for over 58 years.”
“I was in New York to visit my friend Brad for a guys’ weekend. Brad was at work when my flight got in, so he left keys for me with his neighbor (and close friend) Deeva. I called Deeva in the cab on the way from Laguardia, and she told me to wait for her at a coffee shop to hand off the keys. When I arrived at the coffee shop, Deeva, overwhelmed by the picture of masculine perfection before her, parked herself in the chair across from me. Neither of us stood up for 3 hours. I was floored by my own good fortune and the radiant beauty of my would-be key-courier. Needless to say, I never did make it to Brad’s apartment that weekend.”
“I never imagined that serving coffee was how I’d find true love. We were both working at different Starbucks when I first met him. I was grabbing coffee with friends at his store and introduced myself. Sparks were definitely flying but the relationship didn’t unfold until a couple months later when I was transferred to work at his Starbucks location. Coffee is the way to many people’s hearts, and I definitely took a double shot.”
“Back in 2009, I was an NBA fanatic; I had the NBA logo on my car and everything. The All Star game came to my state that year and I saw an ad for the opportunity to volunteer. I called my best friend and said, “We have to sign up! We’ll be two of the only girls there. I’m going to find my husband.” Well, long story short, I did. I married my husband, fellow volunteer and also basketball fanatic, on 03.08.14. It’s our own little story of love and basketball.”
“Shaun and I ran in similar circles for years. Sometimes he came to the club where I worked and we often attended the same parties and events. We even exchanged numbers once but nothing came of it. Years later, by crazy coincidence, he ended up on my neighbor’s deck for a get-together. My neighbor is also a close friend of mine who convinced me to move into a two family home on the other side of her. While sitting on her porch, he randomly looked at Facebook on his phone and noticed I was one of their mutual friends in common. He went up to her and asked her how she knew me. Her response was, “Crystal? She’s a good friend of mine, and you’re actually steps away from her patio door.” What are the chances of that! The rest is history. We are now married with two boys. It was fate.”
“He saw me driving on the freeway and for the next 20 miles we couldn’t stop laughing and waving at each other. He bravely wrote his number down and held it up against his window. Let’s just say, texting him was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. A few days later we went on our first date and from the moment on, life just seemed to fall together. We are getting married on October 3rd of this year” * Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home.
“I was living in a shared flat in London and looking for a flatmate to rent one of the rooms to. It was the tiniest shoebox you’ve ever seen. Dino responded to my ad online, and shortly after came to check the place out. When I saw him walking down the hallway, I thought to myself that he was way too tall for such a minuscule room. As soon as we met, our connection was instantaneous. We knew we wanted to live together, but this particular flat just wasn’t going to work out. A few weeks later, he asked me out on a date and eventually we got our own place. We’ve now been married for two months and so far, it’s been the greatest adventure of my life.”
“I was setup with my boyfriend by a friend. She ranted and raved about how we needed to meet and how we would hit it off. I wasn’t convinced and didn’t want to be setup. She was persistent though and made me agree to just one date. So I met him for ice cream. I remember he made me feel so special and I was instantly hooked. After only a short time dating, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Going through the worst while starting a new relationship is definitely not ideal. However, he never left my side and 8 months later proposed. He is the love of my life. It takes a great man to know that a bumpy road lies ahead, but to willingly jump in the drivers seat anyways.”
“I met my husband in Middle School, but we started dating our Senior Year of High School. Ten months into our relationship, we were pregnant with our first son. The adversities of being young, struggling parents were overwhelming at times but we prevailed and proved the statistics wrong. Eleven years later, we are happily married with 3 beautiful kids. The past two years have been almost unbearable; I lost my dad to addiction, my grandma passed away after battling cancer, and most recently, our house was struck by lightning and caught fire. There have been days where I’ve felt like this rain cloud keeps hanging over my head, but then I stop and take a moment to remember all of my blessings in life. I look to the wonderful man standing next to me who has never left my side. He is not only the most supportive partner, but continues to be the most uplifting and positive person through all of life’s trials and tribulations. I would give him the world if I could. He’s my best friend and I’m so lucky to be married to him.”
“I was sitting in class at a small co-ed boarding school in Northern Michigan where there were 4 girls to every 1 guy. When there was talk of a new student, all of us girls would get so excited! I remember the first time I saw Eric, I thought he was so cute. We dated on and off through high school and tied the knot in September of ’89. Last month we celebrated 26 years of marriage. God has blessed us in so many ways. We have 2 beautiful daughters and a wonderful life. However, Eric is battling a terrible cancer. He was diagnosed in 2013 with multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer in your bone marrow. It’s a chronic cancer with no cure. Our faith has helped us to cope with our new normal. This past summer was spent moving to another city while he underwent a stem cell transplant. Today he is 90 days post transplant and we will find out if he is in remission. I’m so proud to be this man’s wife and honored to care for him. He is my best friend and I want another 26 years with him.”
“We met at the airport on Christmas in December 2013. I flew to Ireland to spend Christmas with my now ex-boyfriend. Things had been rocky between us, but I made a last minute decision to book a non-direct flight from Boston to Philadelphia to Dublin. I noticed Ronan immediately as we lined up to board, but I forced myself to focus on my crumbling relationship. Ronan apparently noticed me too and spent our connecting flight to Philadelphia plotting how to talk to me. Windy weather in Dublin delayed the flight to our final destination. Since Ronan arrived at the gate before me, his big opening line when I walked by was, “Excuse me, weren’t you on the flight from Boston?” to which I simply replied with a stunned, “Yes.” He then informed me of our delay and we made small talk as I wrestled with what to do. Eventually, I sat four seats away from him and mentioned I was visiting my boyfriend overseas, but that didn’t stop us from talking for hours. Ronan had just moved to Boston from Ireland, but was heading home for the holidays. After landing in Dublin, Ronan waited for me to get off the plane. He walked me to immigration, waited for me to endure the long Non-EU line, and then was waiting for me in baggage claim before we parted with an awkward goodbye. Months later, I broke up with my boyfriend. I had never stopped thinking about the ‘cute airport guy’. By this time, I’d been selected to represent Boston in Ireland’s Rose of Tralee International Festival. I reached out “professionally” to see if Ronan could make any connections in the city. After mentioning I was single at a networking event, he didn’t waste any time. He escorted me to my car after the event and kissed me in the parking lot with an, “I’ve been waiting to do that since Christmas.”
“After 40 years of marriage we are still as crazy in love now as we were as teenagers. We’ve been together since we were 14 and 15 years old. We met at church. He was the pastors kid but I had to make the first move to talk to him because he was too shy. We were together from that point forward but didn’t tie the knot until we were 21. This past weekend for our anniversary we traveled to Banff, Canmore and Jasper to spend a week exploring, watching the northern lights, and celebrating 40 years of love together. The key to making marriage last? Find someone who will always keep you laughing.” (📷: @paisleyphotography)
“Tamara and I are High School Sweethearts and have been together for seven years. When Tamara was 21 years old, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It was a day that I’ll never forget. She was diagnosed on Februay 17th, my birthday. To hear the doctor confirm the diagnosis was heartbreaking and soul-crushing. There was nothing I could do, and that was the worst part. Tamara was so brave and I did my best to stay positive the entire time. Although we’ve had ups and downs like every relationship does, this was by far the toughest thing we’ve ever had to go through. But it brought us closer together and really showed our husband-and-wife qualities. It was during Tamara’s second chemo session when it hit me out of nowhere like an epiphany that it would be really great to propose to her on her last chemo session. I felt like it would mark the end of everything we had gone through together with the cancer and turn the page to a new part of our lives. So on June 5th, 2015, on her final 96-hour chemotherapy session, I proposed to Tamara right in her hospital room. We decorated the room Hollywood-themed on the day of her last treatment. Tamara wanted a Hawaiin theme at first, but I pushed for a Hollywood one on purpose so she would be all dressed up for the proposal. After her chemo was finished, Tamara’s friend and sister convinced her to step outside the room for a few minutes to talk. As they distracted her, I had a group of about 30 people, including hospital staff, transform the room into a romantic setting filled with 100 candles, 100 bouquets of roses, and 60 balloons. When she re-entered the room, she was shocked. I started to speak but was so nervous. I was choking on my words and fighting back the tears. But in the end, I pulled it off. She was so surprised and the moment was perfect. We are so excited for our future together.” *In March 2015, Tamara’s hair began falling out because of her treatments, so she invited some of her girlfriends over to buzz off the rest. Lucas then showed up with his head newly shaved as well. When asked about it, Lucas replied, “I wanted to show her that I was with her all the way.” (📸: @giomorales)
“Being a mom is a special gift, but it doesn’t define me as a whole. I’m also a woman, an artist, and a wife.” Him: We met at the flea market “Artists and Fleas” in Brooklyn. I managed to get her number, but when I asked her out she said, “No I can’t go out for drinks.” I thought she was turning me down but she was just saying no to drinks because she was only 20! Her: I was 2 months away from turning 21. Him: But all she said was “I can’t have drinks.” So I thought I should back off. Then she explained. On Parenting: Her: I knew with my son I wanted to give him respect and let him go out and be the person he’s meant to be. I wanted there to be rules, like doing well in school, but not too many boundaries. I thought I’d be the disciplinarian and Pierre the lenient one, but it’s the other way around. Her: When we got married I was 22. I was so young. But literally a year later I had baby fever. We were moving to Sweden and life there is different. If we would have stayed in the states we probably would’ve waited to have kids. In Sweden guys have an easier time with work excuses revolving around kids. There’s no stigma attached. Him: Dads get more credit in the work place in Sweden. It’s like, “Oh I have to go pick up my kids.” That’s not really acceptable in the US. Her: In Sweden you’ll walk down the street and see several really cool guys pushing strollers together Him: And you have state mandated parental leave. You get 18 months to share amongst both parents. If the dad doesn’t take any time off, you lose 3 months. It’s built into the system that way because it’s supposed to be divided up equally. Her: You get a salary too- 80 percent from the government and some employers will even give you the other 20 percent, so you still have your full salary. Even if you’re unemployed you’ll get stipends. It’s incredible. It’s hard to think about having more kids now that we’re back in the states. It’s a struggle here unless you’re rich. Her: In Sweden, there’s no cultural phenomenon of “men’s work and women’s work” or “women being housewives.” That’s pretty American. Being the idealist modern women I am, that was great. Shared responsibility! #loveonasunday
“When you love to travel, the world can seem like an enormous place. But when the person who ends up being the love of your life is only a mutual connection away, the world suddenly becomes rather small. Or perhaps it’s just written in the stars for two people to be together. I met Josh on a blind date after we were set up by his sister Natalia and his best friend Jeff, both whom I became friends with after moving to Hawaii for school. Josh, had lived in Hawaii prior to me moving there, but relocated to Utah to attend a business school program. Here is where it gets tricky. I was an air force child, so I grew up pretty much all over the place. However, at the time my parents just so happened to live in Utah. It’s almost as if Josh and I swapped places. Our mutual friends seemed to think we’d be a match made in heaven. So while I was in Utah visiting family on a university break, Josh and I met up for dinner. He claims it was love at first sight. I thought it was coincidence when not too long after our date, Josh moved back to Hawaii and transferred schools. He told me it was because he had been wanting to surf again and get out of the cold, but later admitted I was a big part of the reason. He was afraid he would scare me away. As we became closer friends, Josh started kicking things into high gear. He would ask me out on nice dates, leave me little notes, and bring me flowers. Then one night while sitting on the beach and looking out at the stars, he kissed me. I realized I was falling in love with my best friend. After that, we were attached at the hip. Spending way too much time together adventuring, surfing, and being beach bums. There’s a lot of details that took place before our happily ever after, but the important part is we got there. Josh proposed to me on a “Super Saturday” (beach, surfing, great friends, great food). In the afternoon, we met up with friends and rode horses along the coast. Josh suggested we take a ride up to the top of the mountain together to get a better view. As we rode up, our friends wrote, “marry me?” in the sand. Josh pulled me off the horse, got down on one knee, and made me the happiest girl alive.” (📸:@hbgoodie)
“This is the story about how a woman from Australia fell in love with a man from Zimbabwe: I agreed to go dancing in the park with some friends the night I met Fini. I must say dancing underneath the moonlight was a pretty magical way to meet. Before even learning each other’s names, we were embracing, smiling, and laughing as we awkwardly attempted to dance together and make small talk over the loud music. It turned out Fini was about to start his student placement at the same hospital I was working for at the time. We began a friendship which lasted for about 2 weeks and then it was on. However, like all relationships, ours hasn’t been all smiles and laughter. Being that we both come from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds, we knew we were bound to face some challenges. I lost “friends” who held ignorant prejudices against us and disapproved of our relationship. And at one point, Fini faced deportation due to visa complications. But with every obstacle, we grew closer. We knew that the love we shared was worth fighting for. And so fight we did. I even killed a chicken during dowry negotiations and became a vegetarian to prove my love to Fini’s elders. Now 7 years and 2 children later, we’re still completely in love. What the world needs to know, especially right now, is that no one is born hating another person. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can also be taught to love. Whenever I travel to Zimbabwe, I feel so blessed that I get the opportunity to know my husband a little bit better. The more I understand his roots, the more I appreciate him. I wish everyone could see that it’s our differences that make life so interesting and unique. Our son Austin was born with autism and through greater understanding, we have learned how to celebrate all the good that neurodiversity has to offer. Fini and I always choose love and understanding over fear. And together we have witnessed many miracles.”
“Four and a half years ago, there I was sitting at my sister’s kitchen table looking on as she clicked through a photo album from a wedding she had attended a few weeks earlier. As she was clicking through, I noticed a photo of a partially dressed man with long curls and immediately asked who he was. She responded, “Oh that’s Mark. He plays in my husband’s Australian Football League.” So naturally, I spent the next few weeks tagging along with my sister to their games and silently stalking him. Then one night while I was out, a mate of Mark’s – who was well aware of my infatuation – gave me Mark’s number. After a few weeks of texting back and forth with Mark, we arranged to meet at a bar. I felt sick with nerves as I walked up to him but I can honestly say from the second we started chatting, nobody has ever made me laugh so hard. Fast forward 3 years later and Mark dropped down to one knee on our favorite island with just us and our Australian Cattle Dog, Navi. I had a hangover from hell and bright aqua fingernails from a party the night before. Mark was wearing D Bangers (the Australian equivalent of a speedo) and a fishing shirt 😂. The proposal suited our silly relationship perfectly and was the best moment of my life. I think I cried every day for a week leading up to our wedding because the weather was so terrible. However, Mark, being the calming influence that he is in my life, kept reminding me not to sweat the small stuff. He helped put into perspective what our wedding day was really about- the celebration of us spending our lives together. There’s no doubt in my mind we will grow old and wrinkly together. And long after our looks have faded, one thing will still remain the same – his ability to have me in fits of laughter every single day.” (📸: @nicola_lemmon