Cyndi Finkle

Photo: Kristin Hahn

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Love Struck
Cyndi Finkle had no intention of marrying, until a bizarre impulse led her to the man of none of her dreams.

In 1996 I was 27, traveling the world as a photojournalist. That winter I'd spent a month living in Paris, and I returned home to Los Angeles broke. But as I sorted through my stack of mail, I found an invitation to a birthday party in Minnesota for a film director I'd met only twice before, and I was overwhelmed by a feeling—a sense of absolute knowledge—that I was supposed to go. I'd have to borrow money, something I'd never done before. But the feeling was so strong, I couldn't ignore it, so I asked my grandmother to lend me $200 for airfare.

The guy who had introduced me to the film director showed up at the Minnesota party, too. His name was Temple; we knew each other from dinner parties in L.A., but he had moved to Chicago earlier that year. This was the first time since we'd met that neither of us was dating anyone, and we spent the entire evening together. Surrounded by generations of a strong, happy family, we talked about our parents' divorces and contemplated what made people stay together. Just before he left for the airport, Temple asked me, "How do you know who you're supposed to be with?"

I told him the love story of my grandparents. In 1938 my grandmother boarded a Greyhound bus, and the driver winked at her, then flirted with her, then treated her to lunch at a small inn off the highway. Three years later she married the bus driver. She told me she knew he was the one because when she was with him, she felt like her best self.

When I finished, Temple said, "Well, then, we should be married." This is someone I had never even kissed. But I'd never been more sure of anything in my life.

Ten months later, we tied the knot, and this spring, Temple and I celebrated our 14th anniversary. I'm grateful, every day, that I listened to my heart.

—As told to Dana Hudepohl

Next: The devastating flash of insight that taught one woman to listen to her intuition