No girl wants to get hit on in the middle of a set, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find your soulmate—or should we say swole-mate—at the gym. These eight couples managed to find each other between sets, so don’t give up on that cute girl who checks you out from across the gym.

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Melanie & Andrew

I met Andrew at our fencing gym when he started chatting with me after practice. During our chat, I learned that I had moved into a house not too far from where he was living, so I invited him to a party my roommates and I were throwing to celebrate having the house fully rented. He got sick and couldn’t make it to the party, so we set up a dinner date.

We’ve been together for just over four years, and we’ve been fencing partners throughout most of our relationship. We’re finally moving in together, and I’m excited to have a gym buddy who can spot me.

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Kat & Marc

I was working part-time at the front desk of our gym when Marc came in with a question about his key not working. I looked him up in the system and he asked me about the book I was reading—a nutrition book flipped open to a section on biochemistry. We started talking, and I found out that he was only in town for a few months for clinical rotations. I was dating someone else at the time, but we ended up lifting together a few times as friends.

Soon after he left town for graduation, I broke up with my boyfriend. We started texting more frequently, and about a month later we met up…and the rest is history! We’ve been together for about four months, and we still lift together when we can (we’re currently long-distance). According to him, my eyes, my body (I was wearing sweatpants…), and my book caught his eye, and left him ‘speechless.’

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Sade & Jeff

I moved to a new town for a new job, so I joined my local gym. I was strictly into cardio at the time, and I’d run on the treadmill for miles. Apparently Jeff noticed me long before he ever approached me—he’s a cop in town, and he told all of his co-workers that he was going to talk to me. He finally came up to me one day and said, “You shouldn’t run so much. Why don’t you start lifting?”

I started working out with him at the end of the week, and every day since. It hasn’t always been easy working out with him, because he was already a seasoned lifter (and it made me nervous), but he was patient, kind, and he had a great sense of humor about it all. I think it’s part of why our relationship is so strong! We’ve been together for almost two years, and we’re getting married at the end of this year.

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Becky & Marc

I met Marc when we became sparring partners. My boxing coach was looking for guys I could spar with who had a good reach (I was working on getting inside), and Marc just happened to be training for a fight at the same time. We started sparring a couple of times a week, realized we were actually great training partners, and started doing our conditioning together, too.

One thing led to another, and eventually we were hanging out all the time. Then we got drunk one night and decided we should be in a relationship. We’ve been together for four and a half years, and we’re getting married in October!

We haven’t been able to spar with each other in a couple of years because of job changes, relocating, and not having a gym…but a former coach of ours is opening a gym in a few months, and I cannot wait to throw punches with him again.

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Chris & Julie

Julie and I met at the CrossFit gym. There was a very real something at first sight for both of us (and seeing each other being strong and fit and sweaty didn’t hurt).

We awkwardly talked in passing for two and a half months—we’d almost always work out at different times, but we sometimes saw each other in between workouts. I was getting up the nerve to ask her out when a friend of mine asked me what I thought of her…because he was interested. I decided then that I had to make a move: The next time I saw her, I said “Hi, I know this might be forward, but I’m going to ask it now before I can’t…do you want to get coffee some time?” She said yes, and our first date ended up lasting 36 hours. We’ve been together for a year now, and we’re still at the same gym and we work out together all the time.

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Emily & Jason

We actually met at library school, but we started spending more time together because I was lifting weights. Jason liked hanging out with me and he asked me to teach him how to lift, which I only permitted because I thought he was pretty cute. We lifted together every day for about six months. We always had a really good time just hanging out, talking, working through school and life stuff, and we came up with all these slogans for ourselves, like “JACKED LIBRARIAN ARMY 2K14” and “#HEAVY WEIGHTS, HEAVY FEELINGS.”

After we started dating, he kind of stopped lifting—running was his first love, and he had really only started lifting to get my attention. It didn’t bother me because he has always been supportive and proud of me. We’re both librarians now, and we’ve been married for one year. He’s running an ultramarathon in October, and I’m easing back into lifting after riding the Seattle to Portland bike ride.

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Ivette & Melvin

I met Melvin—my ex-husband—at Gold’s Gym in North Hollywood, which was a hardcore bodybuilding gym. I worked at the gym as an assistant manager, and I also worked out there. We were introduced by a mutual friend who was his workout partner and my previous personal trainer. The first time we met, I was in the middle of a workout and not really paying attention…but he soon made himself noticeable to me.

I opened the gym every day at 5 a.m. and he always arrived early and brought me breakfast, which I thought was really nice. He would also stop by the front desk to chat before leaving each time (he was preparing for a bodybuilding competition, so he was working out three times a day). I saw a lot of him and we became friends…and six weeks later, we were married. When we first met, I never thought we would even date—he wasn’t my type, and I was a little intimidated by him—but I fell for his kind, caring, compassionate nature. After we got married, we went to the gym together but didn’t work out together, though I would sometimes go twice a day to help him get through cardio.

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Renee & Dustin

We met at an MMA gym—Dustin had been going there for about five years, and I had been going for four months. I always stretched on the mat before class, and one day he just came over and started stretching at the same time and chatting with me. We’re both southpaws, so he showed me some cool combos. I thought he was nice and he was obviously crushing on me, but I was stuck on the idea that I shouldn’t date anyone from my gym to avoid potential future awkwardness in my “safe” place.

After a couple of months, our gym had a social and after a few drinks he got a little handsy…but still didn’t ask me out. I started hanging with his crew and after another couple of months we finally made out for about four hours straight. We’ve been dating for eight months now.

I think it’s great to meet your significant other at the gym. I mean, if they’re attracted to you while you’re sweaty, red-faced, and have messy hair, then they must really like you!

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