The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Your 'How We Met' Story Can Predict Your Relationship

Just how cute is your meet-cute?

By Kristin Wong May 9, 2012 4:54PM

Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca SussmanAre there rules for how you should meet your significant other? Does one's "how we met" moment predict a relationship? And do "meet-cute" stories set the course for romance?

Those are the questions Faith Salie and Mario Correa sought to answer. They're the hosts of WNYC's RelationShow, a program about couples and relationships.

"Is it better if you meet someone through friends, as opposed to 'I-just-spotted-you-across-the-street.com?'" Correa asked on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.

Salie wanted to disprove the idea of the meet-cute, which "says you have to meet your mate in some preposterously cute way."

To help answer their questions, Salie and Correa talked to a handful of couples and found out how they met.

One of those couples, Becky and Jeremy, met through a mutual friend. Becky said, at the time, she felt compelled to write Jeremy a love letter. She recalled that the letter read:

"Will you marry me? I don't know you, but I want to marry you."

Jeremy remembers that when he got it, he showed it to his fraternity brothers, bragging:

"Look, I'm getting love letters from people I don't even know!"

22 years and two kids later, Becky and Jeremy are still going strong.

In addition to interviewing couples, Salie and Correa also talked to renowned relationship expert John Gottman.  Gottman says it's not about the story at all. 

No surprise—love can flourish whether you meet your significant other through friends or by chance. But how the couple tells the story is important.
"You can really tell when people have a very positive 'story of us,'" Gottman says. "They're sitting close, they're smiling [and] there's a relish in telling the story."

Gottman says the fact that Becky and Jeremy are enjoying each other's sense of humor while telling their story is a good sign.

On the other hand, if the relationship isn't going well, Gottman says the couple will remember their story negatively, and it can be like "pulling teeth" to get them to talk about how they met.

Gottman studies the same couples over the course of years, listens to the changes in how they tell their stories, and from there, he can precisely determine where the relationship is headed.

In 1992, Gottman and researchers at the Gottman Institute listened to various couple's "how we met" stories and had the couples participate in laboratory-based discussions. Researchers then predicted which marriages would end in divorce. Checking back in with the couples three years later, the researchers found that their analysis predicted divorce with 94 percent accuracy.

So what's your "how we met" story? Remember, stay positive.

For more info on the RelationShow, visit www.wnyc.org/shows/relationshow/.

Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Sussman


love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

  • Sign placement/"10 Most Outrageous Wedding Photos"/Photo: Brooke Aliceon Photography

    10 outrageous wedding photos

    The typical wedding: A white dress, tiered cake, floral centerpieces and a cute flower girl -- you know the drill. Every once in a while, though, a couple trades in tradition for a quirky, never-seen-that-before idea. Here are a few of the most out-there wedding photos that made us do a double take.

  • Hot wedding trends for fall

    9 hot wedding trends for fall

    There's a lot to love about weddings this fall, like cocktails served in copper Moscow mule mugs, industrial-inspired lighting and pheasant feather details. See what's new!

  • Monique Pean Mineraux diamond and rose gold ring, $3,400; barneys.com

    Why single ladies are rocking a wedding ring

    Do you have to be engaged to sport a ring with bling?

  • ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images //  ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images (​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images)

    Majority of Americans are single

    124.6 million haven't gotten hitched.

  • least expensive places to get married

    These are the 25 least expensive places to get married in America

    Even though the national average wedding is $29,858, that’s just an average. If you live in a smaller state like Idaho where the average wedding costs $16,159, you may find yourself saving a little more than half of the national spend! Check out some of the other least expensive cities to get married in below:

  • M Swiet Productions, Getty Images // M Swiet Productions, Getty Images (M Swiet Productions, Getty Images)

    Americans have nostalgia for summer romance

    Summer is winding down, but the ubiquitous summer romance lives on.

  • 8 signs it's time to break up

    8 signs it’s definitely time to break up

    For those times when nothing big and horrible happened--but nothing is feeling right either.

  • Actor/"Why we love an older man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love an older man

    He’s confident, distinguished and anywhere from 4 to 20 years older than you. Age is just a number, but there’s something about older men that we love. Here are eight reasons why being in a relationship with an older man is tops.

  • Actor/"Why we love a younger man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love a younger man

    While a younger man may have less life experience, that doesn’t mean he’s not emotionally mature. Here are the eight reasons why being in a relationship with a younger man is tops.

  • Other woman (Courtesy YourTango)

    5 reasons the other woman slept with your man

    Have you ever wondered what the 'other woman' was thinking?

  • Apple picking

    6 fun fall date ideas

    So fall is coming and you need some romantic inspiration now that long walks on the beach are out of the question. Well look no further! From apple picking to pumpkin carving, these are some great fall date ideas from girls just like you!

  • Go to a theme park

    8 cute celeb date ideas

    Getting bored of the same dinner and movie date night? Take an adorable cue from your favorite celebs and try something new! From dancing to boxing you can't go wrong with these awesome date ideas.

buzzing now on msn living
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
the heart beat