I Thought I Met My Boyfriend In ’07 Til I Found An Old Photo Of Us From Holy Communion In ’99

by Ana Luisa Suarez
Ana is an Associate Editor who loves animals and food. A good taco and a snuggle with her dogs is all she needs.

For the last 10 years, I’ve been with my boyfriend Chris.

We first started dating when we were sophomores in high school.

I was 16 and he was 15 at the time. We’d first met earlier that school year, because my best friend at the time, Ari, had previously dated his best friend, Brian.

Ari and I had nowhere to sit during our lunch period, so she decided we’d just sit with Brian and his group of friends. I used to think that was the first time I met Chris, but we’d actually met almost eight years earlier. We just didn’t know it.

Chris was a public school kid, but I’d gone to the Catholic school St. Matthias for eight years.

We lived in the same town our whole lives and his entire family even went to my church.

One day, nearly a decade into our relationship, we were looking at old photos with his mom and sister when we noticed something strange in a communion photo. It was a cute picture of Chris smiling for the camera. But then we realized that in this group photo, standing just two people away from the priest, was 8-year-old me.

Scroll down to read more about this discovery and to see the photo we found!

The Year We Began Dating: 2007

<u>The Year We Began Dating: 2007</u>
Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

Chris and I first began dating in May 2007. We met during our sophomore year when my best friend and I had nowhere to sit during our lunch period.

I vaguely knew who Chris was before sitting with him, because my best friend, Ari, had dated his best friend, Brian. I knew Chris as one of “Brian’s weird friends.” They filmed skate videos like Bam Margera, a celebrity at the time. Not my thing. At all.

But he was cute and funny (I regret letting him know that now because he thinks he’s the funniest guy alive), so I started to like him.

Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

We grew up in the same town, our houses less than a 10-minute drive from each other. We didn’t go to school together until high school, and that is when I first met Chris — or so I thought.

We’d been in each other’s orbits for years and never really realized it. One of my other childhood friends, Kristi, lived around the corner from Chris’ family. She used to mention some kid named Chris Santiago when we were 10, but I never met her friend. I only heard stories about him.

I used to believe the first photo Chris and I had together was taken the year we started dating, 2007. But one day, many years into our relationship, we realized that we’d taken a picture together much earlier than that. Our first picture together was shot in 1999!

The Year Of Our First Communion: 1999

<u>The Year Of Our First Communion: 1999</u>
Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

My First Communion was the day I realized kids from outside St. Matthias School attended my church. Call me naive (I was only 8), but I had no idea what CCD was, given I had my religion classes during school hours.

At St. Matthias School, we’d been preparing for our big day. I made a felt banner to hang on my pew in church, so my family knew where to sit when they came to support me.

When we got the church that day, I saw a bunch of kids I didn’t know. They had their own banners and pews in the church, but I kept to myself since I was a shy kid.

Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

When Chris and I first got together, I knew his family had attended St. Matthias for church. But none of us had put together the fact that Chris and I could have possibly had our First Communions on the same day.

Chris’ mom had dressed him up for his own big day, with a giant white ribbon on his arm, as it’s a sign of purity where she’s from,

In St. Matthias, to accommodate the 60 kids who attended the church’s school and the 60 kids from public school, there were about four days that a kid’s First Communion could fall on.

Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

I’ve seen plenty of pictures from my own First Communion, but one day last year, about nine or so years into my relationship with Chris, I was looking through his old family photos.

I love to see childhood pictures of Chris, because I think he looks the exact same. He still has a grumpy expression and his smile hasn’t changed one bit.

Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

While looking through photos with his sister and mom, I found pictures from his First Communion. They looked like the standard communion pictures, him posing with family friends and shots of him standing at the altar.

But one photo instantly made me do a double take. It looked very familiar to me, but not because I’d seen the photo in his mom’s stash of old pictures. I had a copy of my own at home.

Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

I have photos of me standing with a priest from all of my sacraments. Some photos from over the years are just me and the priest, other photos are huge group shots, like this one.

While that is common not just in my church, but for many families, what stands out in this picture is that Chris and I are both in it. Our first picture was taken in 1999, not 2007.

Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

When I first saw this photo, I thought Chris (circled in blue) looked so cute. But then I realized I’d seen this picture before. I can vaguely remember taking this photo because I was excited to stand on the top row with Father Doug.

There I was (circled in pink), just a few people away from Chris. Neither of us nor our parents thought we’d had communion on the same day. Chris’ designated church pew was only one or two ahead of mine, as we were ordered alphabetically.

It is obviously not that strange that we had communion on the same day. Maybe all the kids with a last name starting with “S” went that day, or we were just randomly chosen, but this feels like a bit more than a coincidence to me!

Us, 18 And 10 Years Later

<u>Us, 18 And 10 Years Later</u>
Ana Luisa Suarez for LittleThings

I am not a big believer in fate, and I often chalk things up to coincidence. Finding this photo of Chris and me when we were 7 and 8 did not reshape my worldview. But it did amaze me.

I’ve seen plenty of stories like this, where a couple falls in love and later learns they knew each other when they were kids. But I never expected to be one of those stories. I never thought I’d be able to one day show my kids this picture, maybe on their First Communion day, and say, “Isn’t that crazy?”

We’ve been dating nearly 10 years and we spent almost all that time thinking we’d known each other since high school, not second grade.

Please SHARE if you can’t believe what a small world this is, and let us know if you’ve ever experienced a moment like this before!