Finding love online certainly isn't a new concept; dating websites are a dime a dozen these days. But you can also find love where you least expect it — like on your favorite social networking site. Because Instagram is a photo-driven medium, it's easy to feel like you know someone before you even meet them.
"Despite the geographical distance between us, meeting Matt on Instagram felt very similar to meeting someone in, say, a bookstore or at a party," said Robin, who met her husband through a comment he left on one of her photos. "We were following an overlapping group of people with similar interests and a similar aesthetic. Meeting each other felt very organic in that respect."
An added benefit: "Our year-long long-distance relationship was of course very difficult... [but] people from all over the world were cheering us on, and they still are. Rough days are so much easier when you feel that sort of positive energy, even from strangers," she said. "We give people hope, I think, that their perfect partner is out there, and they, in turn, give us hope, with their kind words and thousands of likes."
These five love stories prove that a picture really does say a thousand words.
Beulah & Alex: Fell in Love Through an Instagram Contest
When Beulah submitted a few of her images to an Instagram photo competition, she never expected to win — or to find the love of her life through the contest! After being named the winner, Beulah gained 200 new followers — one of them being Alex. A comment he left caught her eye, and after taking a look at his account, she learned that he's a photographer as well. She emailed him to ask about his work and shoots, which turned into an endless email chain that led to talking over FaceTime and, eventually, Alex traveled from Alberta, Canada to meet Beulah in Melbourne, Florida, where she lived. “It was the best week of our lives!" she said. "Head over heels in love. It was comfortable, it was honest, it was right. I couldn't put it into words if I tried, honestly.”
Naturally, the two documented their first meeting on Instagram:
"I still have a photo posted that was taken on my way to pick Alex up from the airport for the first time. Little did I know I was going to pick up my future husband. I'm so thankful for having it all documented."
The two embarked on a long-distance relationship, visiting each other as often as they could. In December, Alex proposed to Beulah while she was visiting him in Calgary. After riding a gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain to take in the magical sunset, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. The happy couple is planning a November 2014 wedding in Florida, and they're working on building a photography business together.
Jorge & Corinth: Found Each Other Through a Hashtag
Jorge's passion on Instagram is sharing photos of the sky. He started using the hashtag #sky on his pictures, and, while browsing through others on the hashtag one day, he came across a stunning photo taken by Corinth.
He clicked over to her profile and was intrigued by her unique name and beautiful photos. He noticed that she'd listed her Kik messaging username on her Instagram profile page, so he decided to send her a message. Because of their age and geographical differences (he was 19 living in Maryland, and she was 22 living in Whitehorse, Canada), he just intended to strike up a friendship. But Corinth's first thought was, "Wow, what a cute stalker!"
They soon began talking every day, making a point to always say good morning and good night to each other. After months of this routine, they both realized they were falling in love. One day, Corinth said "I love you," and Jorge quickly responded the same. "I really loved her, and it was crazy because we had never met in person, but I felt like I knew her so well. She was my best friend!” he recalled.
After they officially started dating in March, they started their own hashtag #chasingmiamor (chasing my love) to document their relationship. Six months later, they met in person for the first time. “Best day ever!" recalled Corinth. "I was so nervous, and he noticed it. But my gosh, that moment when we first hugged was one of the most memorable moments in my life.”
They're still going strong a year later, even though they've only spent a total of 25 days together in person. "We don’t always see each other because we are 3,590 miles from each other, so during those days we were actually together, we made lots of memories by capturing them through photos and videos," said Corinth. "And we’ll always be sharing our stories on Instagram, the app that brought us together."
Robin & Matthew: Met Through a Random Comment
After joining Instagram in 2011, Robin began browsing around to find interesting people to follow. One of Matt's cycling photos caught her eye, and she left a comment. He then commented on one of her photos of the snow, mentioning how much he missed the snowy Christmas weather he'd grown up with in Wisconsin before moving to California. After some more back and forth, he asked her to email him. She sent him a one-line note: "What's up?" He responded with an eight-paragraph email all about himself, his childhood, and his trouble adjusting to life in California.
"He was just so endearing and sincere. I could feel the warmth in his words," Robin said. "I'd long been struggling to find my place on this earth, and despite the differences in our individual circumstances, I could relate to every single word. I didn't hesitate to write back."
After a year of being email pen pals, Matt gave Robin his number. They immediately hit it off; one of their Skype chats lasted over 13 hours! A few months later, they met in person for the first time.
"I couldn't even make eye contact with him. I'm not exaggerating," Robin said. "For at least an hour, I couldn't look him in the eyes for more than a second or two. I was a flustered, giddy mess."
Luckily, she got over her nerves, and a year later, the couple was married. They even used Instagram to help plan the wedding -— they found their photographer and videographer on Instagram. They now live together in California.
Brooke & Carter: Planned the Proposal Through Instagram
Brooke and Carter met in a coffee shop while attending a mutual friend's show. They hit it off, and when Carter moved from Colorado to Kansas for a job, the couple took advantage of Instagram to keep each other involved in their day-to-day lives. After dating for two years, Carter planned to propose during a trip to Portland. But since he'd never been there before, he relied on a few friends he met on Instagram to help him find the perfect location.
The new friends even offered the pair a place to stay, paid for their rental car, and surprised them with an engagement party after the proposal! The happy couple tied the knot in December and lives in Colorado Springs, CO.
Jenna & Neil: Popped the Question on Instagram
Jenna and Neil met through mutual friends at Coachella in 2012 and connected instantly. Since they lived on opposite sides of country, they friended each other on Facebook and followed each other on Instagram to stay in touch, and their friendship quickly turned romantic.
They started exchanging messages about moving in together when Jenna moved from NYC to Los Angeles (where Neil lived), getting married, and even their future kids' names.
After nearly two years together, Neil decided to propose — and since their love story unfolded on social media, Neil knew he wanted to use the medium to propose. He created a new Instagram account, The Story of Jenna and Neil, where he uploaded photos and videos of them together, screen shots from their Facebook conversations, and more to document their love story.
The final photo:
She, of course, said yes! They're planning a November wedding in Palm Springs.
Tell us: How did you meet your future spouse?