A couple who have been married for over five years discovered their relationship was meant to be after a sign from the past.
Husband Ye, now 35, found himself in a holiday picture taken by his wife Xue 18 years ago – before they ever even laid eyes on one another.
The precious photo was taken in July 2000, when the couple both independently visited the city of Qingdao in East China’s Shandong Province with their own families.
The two natives of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province in south-western China, were only teenagers at the time and did not know one another.
The fateful photograph shows a young Xue in a white dress, posing in front of the iconic red landmark in Qingdao’s May Fourth Square.
A young boy standing in the background to the bottom right of the picture would later become her husband.
Ye said he immediately recognised himself in the snap – because he has a picture of himself from the same day, in front of the same landmark.
Ye, who is dad to twin girls, explained: ‘We were at my mother-in-law’s house, and I was looking for old pictures of my wife to see whether our kids looked more like her or me.
‘I saw myself in the corner of her photo and said: “That’s me!”’ he added.
Ye said the snap gave him goosebumps.
‘I knew my wife had also been to Qingdao on holiday before, but we left it at that because we didn’t know each other then,’ he said.
The couple, who met through friends in 2011 and married the next year, were both ‘very surprised”, and happy at the same time, believing that their relationship was ‘destined’.
Ye said he planned to keep and treasure both photos as a momento.
‘My wife says I don’t know how to be romantic,’ he said, adding: ‘I’ll show her romantic.’