A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

24 Summer Love Stories That Will Make You Swoon

According to these truly epic tales of romance, one way to find a love that lasts in summer is to always say yes. Say yes to adventures, new connections, moments that make your heart race and that gut feeling that tells you *this* is how it's all supposed to feel. Most of all? Say yes to one another.

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Decide who really matters

Ben Bryant, 81, lives on the Upper West Side with his wife of almost 50 years, Elizabeth, who’s just a few years younger. They met in August 1967 when Ben was the lead in the musical Carousel and Elizabeth (known as Betsey back then) was in a supporting role. During a rehearsal, Ben spotted Betsey. “It was as though there was a pin spotlight on her and all the others in the room faded from view.” He asked her to lunch. With some reluctance, she accepted they went to the snack bar across from the theater. Ben calls it a “profound inner knowing.” He said, “I knew she was the one.” Later that day, on Ben’s way to the laundromat, he asked Betsey to join him. Under the glamorous fluorescent lighting, they had their first date. Ben says their relationship felt natural from then on…three months later they married. Check out these adorable true love stories from couples who knew exactly when they’d found “the one.”

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Shape life around summer camp

In 1967 when she was 17, Fran Wallace got a summer job as a kitchen girl at the all-boys Camp Tosebo near her family’s summer cottage near Lake Michigan. It was Pancake Day in the dining hall and Fran, along with the other kitchen girls, got the syrup ready for the meal, but it spilled and ants were everywhere. That’s when former camper turned counselor Dave Walle stepped in to help. The two quickly realized they were both from Chicago where they went to rival high schools. Fran found Dave to be gentle in the way he showed her around and explained camp rules. Dave liked how Fran laughed at his jokes. As the summer progressed, their interest in one another grew. Halfway into the eight-week summer program, some counselors had to travel back to Chicago to pick up the next round of campers. Dave didn’t want to go. He wanted to be with Fran for an upcoming beach party. He said, “Once you started venturing into relationships you don’t particularly want them to stop. I did everything I could to stay.” Dave managed to stick around that weekend and he married Fran five years later. Ten years later, the camp closed. The Wallace’s still visited the family cottage on weekends and in the summer. Over the years, they maintained close bonds with former camp friends. On one visit they discovered the sale of the camp fell through and it was looking for new owners. Dave dreamed of owning Camp Tosebo but the timing wasn’t exactly right, financially speaking. Their daughter was starting college and their son was getting married, but the newfound empty nesters had been praying for a fresh community and active lifestyle and realized this could be it. Thanks to a conservation easement (an agreement not to develop the property), the Wallaces, along with three other couples, now own Camp Toesbo and rent it out to other families. In 2012, they moved to the camp for good where they volunteer regularly, gather as a community and enjoy evenings on the front porch. Now grandparents, Dave 68, and Fran, 67, recently purchased a Camp Tosebo onesie for the latest addition to their family.

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Riding the train? Always say hello

Danielle Becker spotted an acquaintance standing with a group of friends while waiting for her train to the Hamptons. She approached the group to say hello and found they were Hamptons-bound as well. The acquaintance introduced her to Noah Stern. When Danielle found out he worked for sales at Adobe, a company whose program she uses regularly, she peppered him with questions, like, “Why was this shortcut changed?” “Do you love the rubber stamp?” Since Noah sells software and doesn’t actually use it, he really had no clue what Danielle was talking about, but they laughed and he shared his beer with her. Later Noah asked their mutual friend for Danielle’s number. Danielle recalls, “As rare as it is these days, Noah asked me out on our first date like a true gentleman: he called.” On their first date, they went out for margaritas and talked all night. Afterward, Noah saved Danielle’s name in his phone as “GF.” Three years later they’re husband and wife. (Looking to chat anyone up, here are some go-to conversation starters).

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Young, broke, and in love

Keani and Nicholas noticed each other at a party but they didn’t say hello. Nicholas told a friend, “That girl in the blue shirt is absolutely beautiful, I need to know her.” A year later, a mutual friend introduced them when Keani was 18 and Nicholas was 24. They talked about soccer (their favorite sport), travels, college, and the fact they went to the same high school but never met before. They both loved the same kind of music: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, and Oasis. Keani liked Nicholas’ sense of adventure, his beard, and the fact that she felt comfortable around him as if they were old friends. Nicholas liked Keani’s spontaneity and sense of adventure, which makes sense since she’s a travel blogger. Their summer was full of fun moments: jumping off a local pier in their Florida hometown and drinking wine on the kitchen floor. Keani says, “One night he took me up to his rooftop, laid out a blanket, and we watched the stars for hours. The world was quiet, the stars were bright. It was the moment I knew I was falling in love with him.”

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Pull an all-nighter on the beach

The summer Toni turned 34, she joined her friend’s beach share house in Bethany Beach, Delaware. By the time she arrived on July 4th weekend, everyone was at the beach already, everyone, that is, except for Frank Coleman, who she met as soon as she arrived. They were friendly with each other, but sparks weren’t exactly flying between them. Later that weekend, their group of friends were at a bar when a fight broke out. Not exactly a bar person to begin with, Toni wanted to leave. Frank noticed and suggested they take a walk on the boardwalk. Over the weekend, they spent a few all-nighters together on the beach, talking and laughing about everything: how she was Catholic and he was Jewish but how they were still similar and both originally from New York. That weekend Frank asked her on a boat ride. Later she introduced him to scuba diving. To avoid Sunday beach traffic, Toni gave Frank a ride back to their hometown of Washington, D.C. early Monday morning. By then, Toni was very interested in Frank. That night, he called and they went out the next day. A year later, they were engaged and they have been married for almost 30 years. She says, “People should not dismiss someone too soon. They could be passing on the potential love of their life.” Find out the signs you should accept a second date.

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Take your Midwestern lover to the big city

A few months after Carson Vaughan, a freelance writer, started dating his girlfriend, Melissa Dohmen, a public relations professional, they both moved from their Nebraska hometown to New York City for summer internships. Vaughan was interning at Variety magazine and living in Brooklyn with his brother in an apartment where they couldn’t afford to run the A/C during the heat wave the summer of 2008. Meanwhile, Dohmen was interning at an ad agency and living on the Upper West Side. Every day, they’d go to work and every night they would explore the city together, going to movie premieres and after parties, thanks to Carson’s gig at Variety. On weekends, they would picnic in Prospect Park or drink on Carson’s brother’s rooftop. Carson says, “It was in New York that I first told Mel I loved her.” Toward the end of the summer, they scored free tickets to an after party that went all night with drinks and dancing. He said, “It dawned on me that I’d never had more fun with a girl in my life.” The two have been together for nine years and are engaged to be married this fall. Find out the surprising secrets of happily married couples.

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Disneyland emergency? Not a problem

On a day trip to Disneyland, Sarah Brown noticed she had a red, puffy rash on her ankles. It was starting to itch so she found herself at the medical center where they gave her ointment and sent her home. As the day went on, the rash spread to her legs. Her ankle swelled and she was in pain. She says, “I could barely hobble to our parked car and we were Googling for the closest hospital.” Her friend from college, David, held and comforted her the whole time. They went to three hospitals and all were closed. At the fourth, they sat in the waiting room for three hours before being seen. Two hours later, Sarah finally had her diagnosis: poison oak. It was 3 a.m. when Sarah and David began their search for a pharmacy. Nothing was open, so David drove two hours back home to San Diego with Sarah to go to bed and wake up early to get her prescription. Sarah says, “He never left me alone and he never once complained. It was the kind of feeling I had hoped to have with my partner in life.” While they previously went on a few dates prior to the tip, Sarah later discovered that David was harboring a six-month-long crush on her but it was the way he cared for on the trip that won her heart.

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Courtesy-Othello-Banaci-Photography-for-Joanna-& -Alex-Choi

Sneak out and watch the sunrise

At church camp, Joanna Choi, then 13, noticed a sullen looking boy named Alex. Joanna was gung-ho to be in nature and experience camp fully. On the last night, Alex, also 13, asked Joanna if she wanted to sneak out and stay up to see the sunrise. Joanna, a self-proclaimed goody two shoes wasn’t sure if she should accept. “I’d never done anything even remotely ‘bad’ before!” Johanna says. Alex told her, “I’m going to be watching the sunrise anyway, so if you show up that’s cool, and if you don’t that’s cool too.” This sealed the deal. At 9 p.m. they made their way to a hill in the woods and talked for hours about high school, his dog, and all the other teenage topics of importance. Just as it was getting light out, Joanna fell asleep outside. Alex took his jacket off and covered her with it. They stayed in touch off and on over the years. Alex drove 200 miles every other week to visit Joanna in college when they were a couple. They broke up after graduation only to get back together seven years later. The two are married now but their union was 17 years in the making. Joanna says, “I’m honestly really glad that it took as long as it did. It gave us a chance to grow up and figure out what’s important to us. I was always the ‘girl that got away’ for him, and I always considered him my first love.”

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Courtesy-Elizabeth-Tsung-Photo/ etsung.com

Follow the trail to marriage

In 2011, Carol Kuruvilla and Renoj Zachariah were two recent college graduates grappling with what many 20-somethings grapple with: finding their purpose, their faith, their people, their place in the world. Renoj was working in the engineering field and had his sights set on law school. The two had known one another for ten years as acquaintances growing up in the same community in Hudson Valley in New York. One night they were up late messaging one another on Facebook. Renoj invited Carol to go hiking the next day. Carol recalls, “I hadn’t talked to him very deeply before that, but I decided to give it a try.” The two scaled over steep paths and jumped over cracks while Renoj carried two large jugs of water in his backpack and Carol managed without proper gear on what became a nine-hour trek. Taking it all in, Carol recalls thinking, “I felt like something had moved in me after so many months of feeling paralyzed. That’s what I had been wanting for so long: to feel movement in my life.” Their love unfolded slowly just like the hike did while they learned to look for the markers on the trees along the way. Carol says, “It was a very long and slow, gradual process of coming to an awareness that this is the right person.” Carol is now working as a religion journalist and Renoj recently finished law school. The two were engaged in January of 2017. Officially, they went on the hike as friends when they look back, they consider it their first date. Carol says it’s when their hearts moved toward each other. She adds, “I think we both discovered how to hike together and what our purpose was in that kind of meandering sort of way.” Ready for a hike of your own? Check out these seven stunning hiking trails.

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Meet your match at a music festival

When David won a trip to the four-day Bonnaroo Music Festival in Nashville, he considered not going. He lived in Los Angeles and wasn’t sure if the expensive, last minute flight was worth it. But a friend warned him that if he didn’t go, he’d regret it, so he went. During a performance by indie electronic duo Matt and Kim, David felt a tap on his shoulder. He’s 6’2″ so a shorter festival goer asked to switch places with him so she could see. That was Christine Reardon, a public relations professional from New York. During the song “Daylight,” David introduced himself and took off his sunglasses and Christine noticed his pretty blue eyes. They exchanged numbers and 30 minutes later, the two met up at the Florence and Machine show where they had their first kiss. Christine says, “It’s a music festival so things move a little faster than normal.” Bouncing around the festival together in a golf cart provided by David’s sweepstakes win, Christine’s friend’s started to call David “Bonnaroo boy.” Neither of them had any inclination that this was the start of a relationship especially since they lived on opposite coasts. Later that Summer, David emailed Christine to say hello. They stayed in touch and when Christine was in LA on a work trip, she texted David to meet up. She wasn’t nervous to see him, but wondered if their chemistry would exist outside of the electric making festival magic. Christine says, “He walked into my friend’s apartment and we laid eyes on each other and it was madness.” For the next year and a half, they were in a long distance relationship. Thankfully many unexpected West Coast work events popped up on Christine’s calendar, so the pair didn’t spend more than six weeks apart. David recalls, “I knew that no matter what I did in my life, I had to make sure that Christine was part of it.” He moved to New York in June 2013 and they married in fall of 2014. Christine says, “Don’t be afraid of summer love. You never know where it will take you.”

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Find your future family

The summer of 1990 was Danny Kofke’s last semester of college. He was assigned to teach first grade as a student teacher. He noticed that a fellow first-grade teacher was a beautiful woman named Tracy. Danny, now a special education elementary school teacher in Georgia, says the two fell fast. “She was the best teacher I had ever seen. (I thought) this is someone I would want to raise my kids.” By the time Tracy and Danny knew one another for a year, they were already engaged, married, and teaching overseas in Poland together. Now, they’ve been married for 17 years!

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Courtesy-Kara-Landau/ travellingdietitian.com

Go out dancing (even if you’re hesitant!)

On holiday, Australian native Kara Landau found herself dancing in a basement lounge in New York City’s meatpacking district, not her usual type of place. On the dance floor, she spied James, an Irishman who was living in New York. After a simultaneous smile, she gestured to James as if to say “come over.” He did a double take and looked behind him to check to make sure she was really motioning to him. They stayed up all night, moving from venue to venue to dance. They danced until closing time in Brooklyn and watched the sunrise together over the Manhattan skyline. Within a week they had moved in together, within a month they had found a new apartment together and within three months he flew across to Australia to meet her family and join her for her 30th birthday. Within nine months on a summer morning in New York City, James arranged a charter yacht on the Hudson River, got down on one knee, and proposed. Looking back to heading to the night at the bar, Kara says, “When my girlfriends suggested we go to this bar, I initially wasn’t in favor of it. Luckily, I decided to just go with the flow that night.” Want more? Here are eight proposal stories you have to read to believe.

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Let your lab partner become a lifelong love

In anatomy class, it’s important for medical students to find camaraderie. Without a sense of friendliness spending time in the cadaver lab can turn morbid. Jasmine Riviere Marcelin, a native of Antigua, and Alberto Marcelin, a native of Haiti who grew up in Florida, met during their first semester of The American University of Antigua as 20-something medical students when they were seated adjacent to one another during anatomy class. As medical school continued, they both found comfort in the other’s presence. They’re intellectual equals that allow one another to thrive professionally. They’re now full-fledged doctors in their early 30s working most recently with The Mayo Clinic. This constant, reliable and intellectual connection is key for medical students and doctor. Jasmine said, “He is my person, and I am his. After we met each other, we were basically inseparable.”

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Open your heart for the unexpected

In October, relationship coach Chelsea Leigh Trescott received a note from a man named Ian seeking her love advice. He called himself, “The Guy Playing the Waiting Game.” His letter read, “Dear Chelsea, I’m in a place I’ve never been with a woman before and I’m looking for some insight. I’m a 28-year-old father of two, a six-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy.” Trescott had never given advice to a father before but she has a soft spot for dads so she congratulated him on fatherhood and advised him to let go of waiting and just enjoy his kids. After she sent a reply in November, Chelsea noticed Ian was watching her Instagram Stories. Intrigued, Chelsea asked where he lived. In December, they began to message one another and soon sensed a deep connection. Chelsea never envisioned herself dating a man with kids. She shares, “I had these grand declarations about what I would never do. One of those absolutes was that I would never date a man with children.” Yet with Ian, her heart expanded and she found herself loving him and extending that love to his children. They’ve spent this summer going to traveling and taking tons of photos. Chelsea, 29, has gratitude for Ian, 28. I’m forever thankful to Ian for sharing his two little ones with me, for making me feel so loved, and for bringing out such a loving side of me, a side I didn’t know was there.” (Here are 11 signs that you can trust your partner.)

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Skip work, take the ticket, and make the move

One day, on a backpacking in Australia Regina Barker, a Denmark native, met Greg Barker, a native Australian, at church. She happened to run into him the next day when she was strolling around central Sydney. The new friends headed to Manly Beach where Regina planned to meet up with her travel partner. They couldn’t find her and later found out she’d taken a nap back at the hostel (Thank you, fate). Greg skipped work and the two laughed together all day. Regina says, “As we said goodbye, he tried to kiss me, and I bluntly refused. Did he really think it’d be that easy?!” Before she left Sydney she went on a proper date with Greg, which ended with a kiss on the harbor. The date seemed magical but she was worried she’d never see him again. Back in Denmark, Regina received a note from Greg along with an airline ticket to Sydney in the mail. She wasn’t sure if she should accept it. Regina said, “It felt like a big deal and I didn’t know him very well. There’d be no way to escape if things got super awkward.” Five months later, when Regina was back in Denmark, Greg surprised her with a visit. A few months later after that, Regina moved to Australia on a work and holiday visa. Two months after the move, Greg proposed. The pair now has three kids and will soon celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary. Celebrating an anniversary? Here are a few ideas how to make it special.

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Update your Twitter ASAP

At a downtown Chicago Meetup for technology buffs, Laura Cabrera was looking for a software engineer to help her build an app. She spoke with Bobby who seemed to listen to her ideas more than any other guy had before. The two then followed one another on social media. Laura noticed Bobby loved spiritual books like The Three Pillars of Zen and The Mindfulness Solution, titles that intrigued her. She says, “I fell in love with his mind. The tweets he’d send out were so deep and futuristic.” Laura says, “I did what any girl in my shoes would do, I pretended to need help learning how to code.” A couple of coding classes with Bobby later, they were official and are now engaged. They relocated to Missouri to build websites and take action on their technology dreams. Social media helped Laura get to know Bobby in a positive way. If you want your online profiles to help your relationships, consult be sure not to make these common social media mistakes.

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Flirt at the bus stop

Steve Wyton was waiting when he noticed a beautiful woman with red hair sitting in the same office. He said, “She was stunning. I looked at her but not for too long. I didn’t want her to think I was staring.” After his appointment, he checked to see if she was still in the waiting room but no such luck. Steve wished he had at least said hello and kicked himself for the missed opportunity. Not all hope was lost though. As he approached the bus stop, he spotted the woman with the red hair across the street. The red hair stuck out to him because he found it beautiful but also because he’s a redhead himself. (This might seem like a convenient coincidence but less than two percent of the world’s population has red hair so he was onto something. Out of the corner of his eye, Steve kept glancing in her direction, looking out for signals that she might be open for conversation. An open expression, a polite smile, a nod? Nothing. Steve had no clue what to say to her. All of a sudden, a dumb grin appeared on his face and he said,  “Hey, Carrot Top! It’s OK, I am a red head too.” Steve later found out that Sarah (the red-headed lady) found the “carrot top” greeting to be strange (understandably so!) but she was attracted to his confidence and sense of humor. Looking back, Steve says, “I think that if she wasn’t a redhead and I didn’t have that one thing in common with her, I probably wouldn’t have ever said anything to her.” Now, when they pass by the bus stop, they tell their seven-year-old daughter about how they met.

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Meet someone you feel like you already know

Chloe Jo Davis of girliegirlarmy.com tells her single friends that the can’t-breathe-butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling isn’t always the one to wait for when you’re looking for love. (According to these 11 signs your partner is a keeper, she knows her stuff.) Davis says that your other half should feel like home, you should love the core of them, you should feel like you’ve known each other from another place and time. In the case of her now-husband Jeremy Davis, that wasn’t just a feeling. It was a reality. The two met in a New York City nightclub. Jeremy had a rock-and-roll vibe that hooked Chloe. Jeremy later messaged Chloe on MySpace (so early ‘aughts!) complimenting her miniskirt. They went from admiring one another on the nightlife scene to quickly realizing they had something serious, already (occasionally) shedding the glamazon lifestyle to hang out at home together. One night at home with glasses on, no makeup and her hair in a bun, Chloe asked Jeremy if he’d ever been to Israel, not sure why she was asking but just following a hunch. When he said yes, Chloe remembered traveling to Israel when she was seven. She specifically thought of being with her family and playing by the hotel pool with an older boy named Jeremy. She said, “I knew it in my gut it was him.” That day in Israel, Chloe wrote a note to her friend Laura. The note said, “I met the most gorgeous boy. He is 11 and his name is Jeremy. He has kind of stick up hair in the front and kind of long in the back and blue eyes. He is very nice. P.S. Sorry, I forget that he has red hair.” The note, which she still has today, was written on King David Hotel stationery, the same hotel Jeremy’s family stayed. After confirming with their families, their timelines lined up and it was settled: they knew one another from another place and time.

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Say yes to the blind date

In the summer of 1977, Liese Sherwood-Fabre was in Mexico, on a study abroad trip and had a ton of Spanish literature homework to get done. So when a friend offered to set her up on a blind date, she was hesitant to say yes to the potentially awkward setup. But she was heading home in just two weeks, so in the name of seizing the day, she agreed to meet Raul, the friend of a fellow student’s boyfriend for a “pre-date” after class. But Raul didn’t show. Her friend took this no-show as an opportunity to visit Raul’s house, but he wasn’t home. Instead, Liese met Raul’s mom. When Raul got home, his mom told him he needed to meet the girl that visited her earlier. Raul attended a party with Laura as planned. They danced all night. This led to a four-year, long-distance relationship—writing letters, talking on the phone, and visiting each other during school vacations. In 1981, they married. Liese says, “Thirty-six years, three kids, and five moves that included three international assignments later, we’re still together. Thank goodness I said yes to that date!” Nurturing a long-distance relationship of your own? Here’s what science says about your future.

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JDate = fate

Lisa and Steve Becker first connected on JDate in 2000 and realized they had a lot in common—both were from Southern California and are close in age. On one phone call before their first date, they realized they even attended the same sleepaway camp as kids. As it turns out they actually attended camp together and Steve had proof. Lisa says, “One day we were looking through Steve’s childhood photos from camp and he joked that there was a girl with oversized glasses, staring straight at the camera and that she could have been me. It was! He had a picture of me from summer camp when I was about 11 years old.” The two married and their story (as well as other online dating experiences) became the basis for Lisa’s first novel, Click. The pair has two daughters and will soon celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary. Reflecting on the picture Steve had of her, Lisa said, “At first, it was a humorous surprise. I think I was more embarrassed than anything at the oversized eyeglass frames I was sporting but the more I thought about it, it just confirmed that we were truly meant to be together.”

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Reconnect with a high school crush

One day when Steve Gamlin was almost 40 years old he wrote six words down in his journal. They were, “I am ready to find her.” This was after his divorce and after he left his 10-year radio career. He’d spent the past four years starting a new career as a motivational speaker. Ten days after his journal entry, he got an e-mail from someone named Tina. Mistaken it as spam, he almost deleted it but soon realized it was Tina Wojdyla, a former classmate from high school who found him on Classmates.com. Steve admits he had a crush on Tina in high school but wasn’t brave enough to ask her out. “I sent a message back, to which she replied, ‘Hey, we should keep in touch.’ My thoughts at the time were, sarcastically, ‘Yeah, sure…one message in 21 years. What are the odds we’ll actually stay in touch?’ She e-mailed me with her phone number. Several days later I called. We spent the next four weeks calling, texting, and e-mailing one another questions about our life paths. I remembered how I felt about her in school, and the feelings all came back. Four weeks later, she bravely admitted she’d felt the same way back in school, and still did. She wouldn’t send me a picture of herself, which was the most beautiful gift. I got to fall in love with Tina with my eyes closed and heart wide open. In mid-July, she had to come back to New England to visit her grandmother in the hospital, and I got to see her for the first time in over 20 years. When I met her at the airport we knew we’d be together for the rest of our lives. The following January, she moved back to New England. We’ve been together ever since.”

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Theater with a twist

Fresh out of college as a musical theater major, Kathryn Kellogg was on a six-month contract as an actor with The Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair which transforms 35 acres of land into a recreation of a 16th-century village. She lived in actor dorms where she met Justin, who just got out of the U.S. Air Force. That summer the actors threw plenty of themed parties including a toga party where Kathryn and Justin first talked while draped in nothing but a sheet. Their roles on stage weren’t romantically linked (she was a fishmonger and he was the town beggar), but they performed bits together throughout the show where audiences formed around two characters doing improv together. The two admit they sometimes bumped into each other on purpose to be able to perform together. She’d pretend to pay him to push her fish cart and buy him a brownie from the local baker. He picked her a bouquet of daisies and bought her a lantern “to always guide our fishing journeys.” Kathryn says, “The audience was watching our characters fall in love, but they didn’t know the actors were falling in love too….well….they probably did.” By the time their contract ended, Justin asked Kathryn if she wanted to move with him to California. In a twist of fate, two days before Justin’s big question, part of Kathryn’s house back home in Arkansas burned down and her possessions were destroyed. Sharing her thought process at the time she says, “I didn’t feel tied to anywhere. Whenever you are performing, you only have what was in your car. That’s all I had. Life was telling me to go.” Making a big leap of your own? Read all about how to tap into intuition.

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Courtesy Sarah Lee

Be cheesy and slightly reckless

Sarah Lee found herself in feeling like she was in the middle of a rom-com when her date, Andrew, twirled her around on the boardwalk at Coney Island. They were spending their first full weekend together as a couple and thought nothing could be better than a trip to New York City’s famed beach and amusement park. They rode the roller coaster, ate hot dogs, and went on their fill of rides. At one point in the day, Sarah’s hair was soaked in ice cream. Sarah says, “The whole day was marked with spontaneity. I just felt like I needed to let myself embrace it, not be so caught up in what it all means and how it’s all going to work out.” In the mood for a movie? Here’s our list of the top 10 romantic movies of all times.

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Courtesy Alisa Vitti

Take a road trip (they’re rocket fuel for romance)

Alisa Vitti, a nutrition and hormone expert and entrepreneur behind FloLiving.com, travels to Cape Cod every summer, a traditions she considers a necessary retreat. In July 2008, she planned to travel via train but Vic Russo, an accountant she recently started dating offered to drive her. She accepted and suggested he stay the weekend. During their four-hour road trip, Alisa and Vic turned the radio up, sang songs, chit-chatted, and had periods of silence that felt sexy and easy especially as a summer rain storm hit somewhere between New York City and Massachusetts. A sense of ease fell over the car that reminded Alisa of past summer vacations with loved ones. She thought, “I think this guy might be my family.” During their mini vacation, they indulged in playful competition over mini golf and card games. They adopted a cat that visited their deck. They also enjoyed the usual dinners out and trips to the beach but instead of the polite nervousness that is often felt between new lovers, Vic and Alisa experienced a comfortable energy together. One day, Alisa got sunburned and spent hours on the couch covered in Noxzema. “It was real life and it was good.” The two experienced both an intense attraction and inner groundedness. On knowing Vic was the one, Alisa said, “It was like the pendulum stopped swinging and hits its center point.” Summer, she explains, is a time for peak bonding. “It’s nature’s ovulation phase where a connection can happen.”

Gina Ryder
Gina Ryder is a New York-based writer specializing in psychology, relationships, and health. Her work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Glamour.com and more. A former editor with The Huffington Post, Gina is a huge advocate for the power of personal narrative to humanize news, connect people and bring social understanding.