Only in fiction do you expect high school sweethearts to fall in love, stay in love and end up together.
But we’re here to show you that it actually does happen in real life. We recently asked HuffPost readers who married their high school sweethearts to share their stories, and were stunned by just how many submissions we received. It hasn’t always been an easy road for the couples below, but these lovebirds have managed to go the distance.
Dream Photography Studio (right)
"Ryan and I met our sophomore year of high school in 1998 at 16 years old. Fun fact: We were voted 'cutest couple' our senior year. After dating just 1.5 years, Ryan was accepted to the University of Arizona and we weren't sure if we would continue to date. We decided to give it a try with me in Phoenix and him in Tucson, and the rest is history. We are at the point in our lives where we have spent more time together than we have apart -- not something the average 33-year-old could say about their spouse!"
Courtesy of the couple
"Forty two years ago, best friends found love and sealed it with a kiss. Our love for each other was easy, even while we struggled for the right to call each other 'wife.' Married with two children, a cat, a home and a lifetime of love! Maureen and I, along with our son Josh and daughter Sarah, were proud participants in the fight for marriage equality led by Lambda Legal in New Jersey. We are forever grateful to Lambda for leading the fight for love."
Dani Brewer Photography (right)
"Trey and I met when we were in the 9th grade. He asked me out on Jan. 29, 2008, the day after my 15th birthday. Three and a half years later and madly in love, Trey committed to play football at Vanderbilt University at the end of our senior year. I got accepted to the University of Memphis. I thought this was the end. I didn't think we could make it long-distance through college. Despite what everyone said and even what I thought, we did it. I supported him through his football career and he came to every Kappa Delta formal he could make it to. In May 2015, Trey's parents threw him a graduation party at their house. All of our family and closest friends were in attendance. During the party Trey stood up in front of everyone to thank them for being there. While doing so, he asked me to come stand by him. He then got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him! On May 14, 2016 we became husband and wife!"
Courtesy of Alexandra PaezFerreira
"We met 17 years ago as freshmen in high school. We were very good friends but I declined to be his girlfriend two times. Then one day he wanted me to meet him at our free period, and I asked him then to be my boyfriend. Years later I found out he wanted me to meet him so he could tell me that he gave up and it was better to be friends. Ever since then, we have been inseparable. We got engaged on our 10-year anniversary of being boyfriend and girlfriend and married two years later. We recently celebrated five years of marriage."
Courtesy of the couple
"Wali and I met when he transferred to Holy Cross High School in Delran, New Jersey before the start of junior year. By senior year, the cheerleader was dating the football player, and that's how our story began. Senior prom sealed the deal, and then we were off to different colleges. Although life eventually took us on separate journeys, as fate would have it, we found our way back to each other. After 14 years full of fun, laughs, friendship, support, growth, and love, Wali proposed over dinner during a family weekend getaway in Ocean City, Maryland."
Courtesy of the couple
"Joe and I went to the same high school which was fairly large. We both took notice of each other during a study hall our junior year but didn't make actual contact until the end of the school year. Our first date was in April 1969 and we started going steady in June 1969. We married in 1974 and now have three children and five grandchildren. We have a small business and work together every day and we are still best buddies. We kiss every night before sleep and every time we leave one another."
Courtesy of Brooke Pate
"We have been loving each other since we were 16 and 17 years old. From walking to class together to now guiding two little boys as they grow up in this world, it has been our greatest joy to laugh and love each other through it all."
Courtesy of Angie Krajewski
"We were set up by friends in high school. We both knew of each other, but had never met. Our first date was at a T.G.I. Fridays in November of 1993. I was a senior and he was a junior. We've been together ever since. We did 6.5 years of a long-distance relationship after graduating high school. We stayed strong that entire time with no breakups and saw each other very seldom. He proposed in 1999 and we married in July 2000 and just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. We have two beautiful children, which has been our biggest accomplishment in our marriage. We are a team, best friends and not only love each other, but we just really like each other. I wouldn't change our story for anything."
Studio KH | Modehaus
"My husband Zack and I started dating our junior year of high school, went to separate colleges, moved in together and said 'I do' within 9 years! And we are still learning about each other! Even though we share a million commonalities, we are total opposites: he's patient when I am not so, he's left brain and I'm right brain, he's athletic and I consider window shopping as exercise. What I love most about us is talking about future goals as a couple but not forgetting about our own dreams. We are each other's biggest support system!"
Courtesy of Maxine Vazquez
"Our friendship started freshman year of high school. We began dating junior year and in senior year, we had our first child. Here we are 16 years later with three beautiful girls ages 14, 4 and 2. I'm a huge fan of love stories but ours is my favorite!"
Courtesy of Mark Nedlin
"We met each other in 1984 at Mark's high school prom and we have been together ever since. We got married when marriage became legal in New York in 2011."
Courtesy of the couple
"We lived across the street from each other and started dating when we were 13 and 16, and married at 19 and 22. Still together after all these years and hopefully for many more to come."
Courtesy of Stephanie Menchaca
"My husband and I met in high school back in 2002. He was a senior and I was a freshman. We got married in 2007. Every marriage has its ups and downs. Life is a journey but it's worth it when you are married to your best friend."
Courtesy of Tyra Haag
"My husband and I met when we were 16 years old as students at Hendersonville High School. I was dating his best friend and thankfully got dumped! We started dating at 17 and got married at 22, right after graduating from the University of Tennessee. We're 34 now and have spent half our lives together already. We have three wild and loving boys (8, 6 and 2) who keep us laughing and completely exhausted. Our marriage is a true partnership and I can't imagine doing life without my best friend by my side."
Courtesy of Tianna Perez
"I married my high school sweetheart almost 13 years ago next month. We work together at two different jobs; people can't believe how a married couple can get along so well. We've been through so much together and I would follow him anywhere. Family has turned their back on us and didn't care for our relationship. But that didn't stop us from being together. We stayed strong and in love all these years."
Courtesy of the couple
"We've been together since Dec. 29, 2006 -- a little after Nile invited me to the winter formal. I was 16 and he was 17 at the time. We've been together for 11 years this year. We got married December 16, 2010, a month before Nile left for the Navy. We welcomed our first daughter, Kyra, in 2014. We are also one of the last-standing couples we knew from high school."
Courtesy of Jamie Nelson
"My husband Adam and I started dating my freshman year of high school. I knew instantly he was the one I would [marry]. We dated for two years and life got in our way and we split for two years. We each had long-term relationships that fell apart during those years. And as fate would have it, we found each other again and were married less than a year later. We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary and couldn't be happier! We have two beautiful daughters ages 20 and 17."
Jonathan Koder of Earl James Photography
"My husband Mark and I have been together since we were 16 and 17. We knew each other for years before we started our relationship and when we decided to go to homecoming together as friends, we realized we wanted to be more than just friends. It’s now 10 years later and we’ve been through a lot. We were married on Dec. 13, 2014 and are very excited about what the future holds!"
"My husband Michael and I have been best friends since 6th grade (we met in band), started dating our senior year of high school (2009), and were recently married (Oct. 24, 2015). As I said in my vows on our wedding day, we have experienced every major life milestone together. We moved away from home and attended college at the same university, and now we're busy creating our dream life in Austin, Texas with our four-legged fur baby! And of course, we're still best friends."
**Some responses have been edited/condensed for clarity.