In 2015, Detroit native and self-proclaimed hopeless romantic Brooklyn Sherman launched The Way We Met 鈥 a Web site and Instagram feed dedicated to sharing true love stories. In just over one year, she has received over 10,000 submissions and has racked up almost 400,000 followers.

Brooklyn Sherman, founder of The Way We Met. (Photo credit: Victoria Gold Photography)

Sherman was inspired to launch the account after a terrible breakup from her boyfriend of six years. 鈥淚t was like the love from The Notebook,鈥 she says of the relationship that first broke her heart. Her friends knew that she had survived a major split and turned to her for advice when their own relationships went south. She took her expertise to a blog and ultimately developed her interest in love into The Way We Met.

鈥淚 want to post stories that make readers rethink what they already know,鈥 Sherman says. One of her favorite parts about her work is the opportunity to learn about new cultures and the challenges that couples face after their first meeting.

Sherman also takes pride in inspiring her readers to make in-person connections. While there are many success stories from online dating, she believes that, when it comes to finding relationships, people tend to be disengaged from those around them. Positive comments from her online community remind Sherman that her work has an impact as long as she is helping people open their minds about love. 鈥淚t sounds cliche, but love really is the most important thing,鈥 she says.

Scroll down for 20 love stories 鈥 and the lessons they鈥檝e taught us 鈥 from The Way We Met.

1. It never hurts to say hello to your fellow Uber Pool riders. Renee and Blake lived just two blocks away from each other, but it took a chance meeting in the back of an Uber to bring them together.

2. True love sees the beauty in an ugly sweater. Scarlet was working part-time selling ugly Christmas sweaters and tree ornaments at a mall kiosk. Rico 鈥 who worked at the neighboring phone repair kiosk 鈥 caught her eye, and after a few days of silent flirting, Scarlet threw on an ugly sweater, walked up to him and asked, 鈥淒o you think I can pull this off?鈥 He obviously said yes, and they鈥檝e been together through the good, the bad and the ugly ever since.

"I was best friends with George for 10 years before we started dating. We met in High School and developed a really special friendship over the years. I always felt more comfortable telling George things than anyone else I knew. He became my most trusted companion and we hung out all the time. People who didn't know us always thought we were dating. When we went our separate ways for college, we didn't talk as much anymore but our friendship remained just as strong. George was always there for me after every bad relationship ended to help me pick up the pieces. I would often say to people, "I think friends can be soul mates, I really think George is mine." It was odd how we would say the same thing at the same time and always knew what the other person was thinking. I always knew how much George meant to me, but it wasn't until after my Mom got remarried that I started to look at him in a different light. The day of my Mom's wedding I came down the stairs and he looked up at me with a big smile and said, "You look beautiful baby," and then kissed me on the cheek. I don't know why but something about that moment has always stuck out so strongly to me. The rest of the evening I kept staring at him and thinking about how handsome he is, what a gentleman he is, and how much I care about him. We danced with each other all night and I realized how perfectly we fit together. It felt like home. After that, it took a couple weeks of nervous deliberation but we finally decided we wanted to be together. It's crazy to think that my soul mate has been with me this whole time, I just wasn't ready to accept it yet."

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3. Friendship can be the best foundation. George and Brianna were best friends for a decade before they redefined their relationship. After 10 years of supporting each other through breakups, they started seeing their friendship in a different light at Brianna鈥檚 mom鈥檚 wedding. 鈥淚t鈥檚 crazy to think that my soulmate has been with me this whole time,鈥 Brianna says. 鈥淚 just wasn鈥檛 ready to accept it yet.鈥

4. Pay attention to the road. Even highways can be romantic. In case you needed ANOTHER reason to keep your eyes off your phone and focused on the road 鈥 these lovebirds met 25 years ago on the 5 Freeway in California. He was driving at 60 MPH down the highway with his dog in the passenger seat when he yelled out to a beautiful blonde in a yellow SUV. 鈥淎re you married or do you have a boyfriend?鈥 he shouted. When she yelled back that she was single, he asked for her phone number and memorized the digits she shouted back until he could get off the road and write them down. They鈥檝e been married for more than 20 years.

5. Sometimes 140 characters is all you need to make an impression. We all know there are hundreds of apps specifically designed for dating out there, but Ruby and Kevin met on Twitter! They sent these adorable photos to each other before they even met in-person. Today, they鈥檙e happily married.

6. A good love story can start with your grandparents. Jake and Jess grew up having their grandparents 鈥 who were best friends in high school 鈥 force them to take pictures together. 鈥淚 remember I would push my brother out of the way just so I could stand next to her for the photo,鈥 Jake says. They started dating as teenagers. Though they spent a few years seeing other people, they fell back in love when Jess made a surprise visit to Nashville. Ten years after a teenage Jake bought a ring for his high school sweetheart, the two finally announced their engagement. We鈥檙e sure their families were very happy to hear the news!

"It was just another day. Same routine. I was forced out of bed by my annoying alarm clock after pressing snooze a million times. I brushed my teeth, showered, and fixed my hair. I made my egg whites and toast and was out the door. Work was the same. Things don't change much in lab environments. But I didn't take a lunch break that day. I worked through it instead, which allowed me to leave work earlier than usual. I always went to the gym at 6 PM so I usually saw the same crowd. But on this day, I got to the YMCA at 3:30 PM. I walked downstairs to the weight room and was excited that it wasn't as packed per usual. That's when I saw her. She was standing next to the mirror doing some kind of exercise. I can't explain it, but I was instantly drawn to her. There was just something different about her. I finished my workout and looked for her afterwards, but she had already left. I went home that day with a lot of regret. I kept thinking to myself, "I should have spoken to her" and "what if I never see her again?" The next day I skipped lunch and left work early again. I went to the gym at 3:30 PM, but she wasn't there. I was very disappointed. The next day, I did the same thing as the previous two. Twenty minutes into my workout routine, she walked in! We locked eyes and smiled. I called my best friend who encouraged me to ask her out, but I didn't want to be that creepy guy at the gym. I knew I had to make an exception. The next morning I jumped out of bed before my alarm went off. Just the possibility of seeing her again made me excited. I packed a lunch, went to work, and was at the gym at 3:30 on the dot. She was too. We exchanged our awkward stare and smile routine and then I pretended to work out for 20 minutes while contemplating how to approach her. 鈥淗ey, how are you?鈥 No, that's stupid. 鈥淗ey girl, what's going on鈥? Okay, that's not me. 鈥淗ello.鈥 Really, Hello..??? Finally, I marched up to her and said, "Hey my name is Hamza, what's yours?" (Really?? Okay, I guess I'm going with it.) It was all a blur after that, but I left with a name and phone number. I spent hours planning our first date until I came up with a night that I thought was worthy of Rojeen."

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7. Change up your routine. Hamza first saw Rojeen on a night when he happened to arrive at the gym two and a half hours earlier than usual. He was drawn to her immediately, and he stuck with his new workout schedule for a few more days until he finally saw her again. He didn鈥檛 miss the opportunity to ask for her number this time! Don鈥檛 forget to switch up your workouts and your schedule 鈥 you never know who you鈥檒l meet.

8. Your family may not approve. If you thought that meeting your S.O.鈥檚 parents went badly, think again! Kimothy and Dwight met on a hike, and their relationship continued to be an uphill climb thanks to Kimothy鈥檚 disapproving mother. Due to Dwight鈥檚 religion, Kimothy鈥檚 mom insisted that the two break up, and when her daughter refused, she kicked her out of the house and cleared out her bank account. Three and a half years later, Kimothy鈥檚 mother did not attend their wedding. 鈥淐hoosing to walk away from biological family was the hardest decision I鈥檝e ever had to make,鈥 Kimothy says. 鈥淏ut family isn鈥檛 always blood. Sometimes you have to create your own family who will love you and treat you the way you deserve.鈥

9. There鈥檚 power in numbers 鈥 and in never giving up. When Laura ended a bad relationship in 2011, she decided that instead of stalking her ex on social media, she would write a book about going on 100 dates with 100 new people. After enduring 99 bad dates 鈥 including a guy who walked out of the restaurant when he found out her political affiliation 鈥 Laura met her now-husband Dave on the one-hundredth date. 鈥淚 wrote my own love story and it has the perfect ending,鈥 Laura says.

10. Accidentally injuring someone may give you a great excuse to talk to them. As a beginner surfer, Alexis jumped off her board in the middle of a wave, while her board went the opposite direction and hit her now-S.O. in the head. 鈥淪ometimes people don鈥檛 know what love is until they鈥檙e hit over the head with it,鈥 she says.

"Three years ago, it was just another day as I stopped at Publix on my way home from work to pick up some groceries. After checking out, I walked out of the store and unlocked my white Jeep Cherokee. As I was walking towards my car, I noticed the rear door on the passenger's side was open, and there was a guy standing behind it. At first, I thought he was trying to steal my car or rob me. But when I got a little closer, I noticed he was actually unloading his groceries into it. I was scared as I hesitantly approached him and said, "Um hi." He said, "Hi," and looked at me as if I was the one out of place and continued to unload his groceries. Then I said, "Um, this is my car." He laughed at me like I was crazy and replied, "No, it's not, it's mine." I hit the lock button on my car keys to show him that it was definitely my car. His face turned white as he looked around completely disoriented. He apologized and explained that he had the exact same white Jeep Cherokee. He clicked the lock button on his own keys, and realized that his car was parked right next to mine. We both felt so awkward that we just started laughing. To make light of the situation I said, "You can leave your groceries though, I'll be happy to take them." He responded, "Only if you're going to make me dinner with them." A few weeks later, I made him dinner at my place and the rest is history. People don't always believe us when we tell them our story, but we can't make this stuff up. It was just meant to be."

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11. Matching cars today, matching sweatsuits tomorrow. Tiffany was bringing her groceries out to unload in her car when she noticed a guy standing behind her white Jeep Cherokee, putting his own grocery bags into the trunk. After exchanging a few awkward words, she and the man realized they had the exact same car parked in neighboring spots. Tiffany laughed the situation off and said, 鈥淵ou can leave your groceries, though. I鈥檒l be happy to take them.鈥 He responded, 鈥淥nly if you鈥檙e going to make me dinner with them.鈥 A few weeks and a homemade meal later, the two were a couple!

"The first time I saw Michael was from across the dance floor at Atlanta's Heretic Bar. Without even thinking, I marched right up to him and said, "You're the hottest guy in here." And just like that, turned and walked away. Before the night was over, we exchanged numbers, and by the end of 2006, we were a couple. Finding love in Atlanta is pretty rare for gay couples, so we had no idea that a night of dancing would turn into a lifetime together. Two days later, I called him and we talked on the phone for hours. We discovered that we both prefer the simple life. A day just doing laundry and watching television was perfect. We both loved music, especially pop. And we both had the same dreams of traveling the world. It wasn't long before we decided to move in together. We considered ourselves a married couple and lived our lives as such long before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. We knew that legal or not, we'd spend the rest of our lives together. In October 2015, I had an idea and reached out to Power 96.1 FM asking them to help me propose to Michael during the gay pride parade. The radio station was on board and invited us to ride their float during the parade. During a stop at Sixth and Peachtree street, that's when I got down on one knee. I told Michael, 鈥淲ith you every day is an adventure. Every adventure turns into a journey and I want that journey to last a lifetime. Will you marry me?鈥 Michael said yes. It was an incredible moment. After that, everyone wondered how we would top the proposal, and in time, the solution came to us. We heard about Generation Tux's contest for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to tie the knot on New Year's Eve in Times Square in front of millions of people. We quickly put together a video explaining why we deserved to be "2016's First Couple." After rounds of interviews, we were chosen as one of the two finalists. When I received that email, I read it six times because I just couldn't believe it. We didn't end up winning the contest, but as runners-up, we were able to say our vows in a ceremony during the celebration. After 10 years together, it was the perfect fairytale ending." (馃摲: Sarah Zimmer Photography)

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12. Don鈥檛 be afraid to be direct. Alexander didn鈥檛 think twice when he walked up to Michael at an Atlanta bar and said, 鈥淵ou鈥檙e the hottest guy here.鈥 They exchanged phone numbers before the night was over. In 2016, they were voted runners-up in a contest to be 2016鈥檚 First Couple, and said their vows in Times Square on New Year鈥檚 Eve after one decade together.

13. If you get pulled over while you鈥檙e driving, being nice to the police officer can do more than get you out of a ticket. Maribeth was driving home from her job as a bartender when she saw flashing lights behind her and pulled off to the side of the road. She still smelled like booze from the bar, and even though she tried to explain to the officer that she had not been drinking, she was asked to step out of the car and take a sobriety test. Maribeth really hit it off with one of the officers on the scene, but in the name of professionalism, Danny did not ask for her phone number until the next day, when he showed up at her bar to see her again. 鈥淲e鈥檙e expecting our first baby girl鈥nd can鈥檛 wait to tell her the story of how daddy almost falsely arrested mommy,鈥 Maribeth says.

"You know what's awesome? Being married. You know what's even more awesome? When you end up literally sitting next to your future wife on an airplane. That's exactly how Natalie and I first met on June 19th, 2005 on American Airlines Flight #638. I sometimes try to list the number of coincidences that had to happen in order for me to end up sitting next to the future mother of my 2 children on an airplane full of at least 150 other strangers. But then my brain starts to hurt, so I just walk over and kiss Natalie on the forehead instead. It's like life shoved us together and said, "You know what? I'm going to save you both a lot of time and heartache. Boom. Here you go. Your life partner. The end. Forever and ever, happily ever after, and all that crap. Now leave me alone." 10 years and 2 kids later, life was totally right. I could sit here and provide you with a story full of rich details and sentences that sound like they're straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel, but that would probably require me to also take a photo with Natalie where I'm wearing a cowboy hat and our foreheads are pressed together while the sun sets on a vineyard or something. And, honestly, the most important parts of the story remain the same: 1. Two strangers meet on an airplane and spend the 2 1/2 hour flight talking, laughing, and flirting. 2. Over the course of 4 years, they talk some more, laugh some more, argue a few times over the dumbest things, and fall in love. 3. They have a small, intimate wedding ceremony at New York's City Hall. 4. They have 2 beautiful children. 5. For the rest of their lives, they'll talk, laugh, argue, and fall in love some more. 6. Natalie buys Mickey a Range Rover. *** 7. The end Sincerely, Mickey Fuertes *** Full Disclosure: this has not happened. But I'm hoping Natalie gets the hint."

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14. Don鈥檛 be so quick to put in your earbuds when you get on a plane. Natalie and Mickey met on a plate in 2005. Mickey tells the story best: 鈥淚 sometimes try to list the number of coincidences that had to happen in order for me to end up sitting next to the future mother of my two children on an airplane full of at least 150 other strangers. But then my brain starts to hurt, so I just walk over and kiss Natalie on the forehead instead. It鈥檚 like life shoved us together and said, 鈥榊ou know what? I鈥檓 going to save you both a lot of time and heartache. Boom. Here you go. Your life partner. The end. Forever and ever, happily ever after and all that. Now leave me alone.'鈥

15. True love can overcome the senses. After 30 happy years of marriage, Mrs. Kuroki lost her eyesight due to complications from diabetes. She and her husband had planned to travel the world together, and instead, Mrs. Kuroki became depressed and withdrawn. For two years, Mr. Kuroki worked to plant thousands of flowers in the land he had once farmed outside their home to encourage his wife to come out of the house. His efforts paid off, and in addition to Mrs. Kuroki, thousands of visitors now enjoy the beautiful blooms and the story behind them.

"A few minutes before noon on April 15, 1986 I hurried out of my office, slightly late to meet my friend Jim. I told the receptionist, 鈥渙ut to lunch" walking toward the elevator lobby. I pushed the down button and anxiously waited for one of the eight sets of doors to open. Ding! I stood in front of the opening doors. A young woman squeezed out of the crowded elevator, and I stepped back to let her off before entering. She smiled politely and turned to walk toward reception. She was the most beautiful woman I鈥檇 ever seen. Enormous gray-green eyes. Flowing blue dress. Just wow. Another man in the elevator leaned out to watch her walk away. I took a step forward to enter the elevator, then stopped. Fortune favors the bold. I then turned and walked back toward reception as she asked to speak to one of the lawyers, apparently a distant relative. I mentioned that I was heading that way and offered to escort her to his office. Within a few minutes, I had finagled an invitation to join them for lunch. Of course, I鈥檇 be standing up my friend Jim at the restaurant. He鈥檇 understand. Lunch was amazing. I couldn鈥檛 take my eyes off of her. She was smart, funny, and charming. A few days later, after our first 鈥渙fficial鈥 date, I knew she was The One. After our second date, I knew we we would get married. After our third date, we were essentially living together. The truly miraculous part is that we ever even met because our lives did not intersect in any way. My wife was from Decatur, Illinois and lived in Evanston, Illinois. She was a professional singer-dancer who worked at night and rarely came downtown. I was from a northern suburb of Chicago, living and working as a lawyer downtown. There was absolutely zero overlap in our lives. No one I knew, knew anyone she knew. If she鈥檇 caught one more stoplight, or if I'd left my office 15 seconds earlier, or if any one of the seven other elevator doors had opened a half-second earlier, I would have never met her. On our 25th anniversary, we went back to 180 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago and took a photo at that same 34th floor elevator with our four grown kids. True story."

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16. Be polite on elevators 鈥 but not too polite. In the mid-eighties, a man was rushing out of his office to meet a friend for lunch when he saw 鈥渢he most beautiful woman I鈥檇 ever seen鈥 squeeze out of the crowded elevator. He stepped out of the way to let her through and got onto the elevator himself. Before the doors closed, though, he rushed out of the car and in the direction of the pretty stranger. He said hello and scored an invitation to join her for lunch. Thirty happy years later, we鈥檙e pretty sure that his original lunch partner has forgiven him for ditching their appointment.

"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."

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17. Love overcomes differences in culture and background. Ellen (who was from Australia) met Fini (who was from Zimbabwe) dancing under the moonlight in a park. The two had immediate chemistry and learned that they would soon be working at the same hospital. Ellen and Fini have faced challenges over the years due to their different backgrounds, including lost friends, visa complications and dowry negotiations that required Ellen to kill a chicken. 鈥淔ini and I always choose love and understanding over fear,鈥 Ellen says. 鈥淎nd together we have witnessed many miracles.鈥

18. You can meet the right person in the most ordinary places. When she was 16, Mikayla ran into her friend Alex at the grocery store, where she was making a last-minute trip to buy a razor. 鈥淚 realized I couldn鈥檛 go another day without shaving my legs,鈥 she says. Alex was there with his older brother, who Mikayla was immediately crushing on. Within a week, they were a couple, thanks to Alex鈥檚 matchmaking skills and Mikayla鈥檚 commitment to clean-shaven legs!

19. Even the most un-romantic stories can have happy endings. Darianne and Ben met in line for the bathroom at a bar in Santa Monica. Ben was nice enough to let Darianne jump in front of him to use the men鈥檚 room and, as if that wasn鈥檛 gentlemanly enough, he bought her a drink later that night. They had their first kiss one month later, and just four weeks after that, they were engaged.

"As someone who called off her destination wedding 1 month before the date, trust me when I tell you to always trust your instincts. Listen to that inner voice when it tells you something doesn't feel right despite external pressures and expectations. In 2012, I was about to graduate college when I first spotted Dan at a bar. I noticed him having a great time with his silly dance moves. I decided to use his Bluejay's hat as an excuse to talk to him. Long story short, the night ended with me puking and him holding my hair back. Any other guy would have just excused themselves, but not Dan. We stayed up the rest of the night talking and dated for a few weeks after that until I graduated college and moved to San Francisco. I knew we shared a special connection but I was 22 and ready to conquer the world. We maintained a friendship and went our separate ways, but my feelings for him never quite faded. One time I flew to Boston on a whim to tell him how I felt, only to be introduced to his new girlfriend. I was crushed and returned back to SF thinking that was the end of our story. Life went on. He moved in with his girlfriend and I got engaged. Naturally, our friendship fizzled out with respect to our relationships. Then, a few months before my wedding, I knew something wasn't right in my relationship. I flew home to spend time with my family and figure it out. It was an emotional time as I analyzed my life and tried to understand what I was feeling. While I was home, Dan, who had no idea what was going on, randomly texted me out of the blue. It had been 2 years since our last conversation. I found out he had ended his former relationship. Our conversation lead to the most natural re-connection and something inside of me knew that Dan was my destiny. I had never stopped loving him. I called things off with my fianc茅 and cancelled the wedding. I flew back to California and moved in with Dan. It sounds crazy, but it just felt right. We eloped on leap day with $15 rings purchased at the courthouse (mine was hot pink)" * You can be in a relationship for 2 years and feel nothing. You can be in a relationship for 2 months and feel everything. Time is not a measure of love

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20. Trust your instincts. Jake was only weeks away from a destination wedding when she got a feeling that something just wasn鈥檛 right in her relationship. While she was home visiting family to try to get some clarity, her ex-boyfriend Dan randomly texted her. It had been two years since they were last in touch, and they reconnected immediately. Jake called off her wedding and moved in with Dan instead. Soon after, they eloped on Leap Day and sealed their vows with $15 rings purchased at the courthouse. Jake鈥檚 was hot pink.

Tweet us your love story @BritandCo!

(Photos via @thewaywemet, Getty and Victoria Gold Photography)