Not only does volunteering for a charity event, community theater or fundraiser put you in an environment with like-minded people who share your values, but it also affords you time to spend alongside them to get to know them -- which is how Francis, 30 met his wife. "When I lived in Long Island, I started volunteering for a crisis hotline," he says.
"I had two shift partners, one of whom ended up being my future wife. At the time, she had a boyfriend and I had a girlfriend, so while I thought she was cute, there was never any weird flirty tension. We shared one four-hour shift a week for about two years. Without really intending to, we became good friends because of the experiences we shared assisting clients and talking about our lives outside the hotline in between calls. Around the time she left the hotline, we both coincidentally went through breakups. We went from commiserating about our hotline work to commiserating about being single. Then one night she came over, we hooked up, and about a year and a half later we were married. I think what worked about meeting that way was that things developed really organically, because neither of us were there to meet people. We bonded over the work we were doing and the stuff we discovered we had in common over the years."