Here at CULT MIA we’re getting the Valentine's feels. For this Valentine's Day, we asked our cult to send us up-lifting Love Stories from around the globe. Here are our top 5 stories that didn't leave a single dry eye in the room.
Lorenzo, 56 and Ilaria, 56 both from Milan, Italy
Lorenzo and Ilaria went to the same high school but never got to know each other. They then went on to the same college, but again never crossed each others’ paths. Eventually, they decided to pursue the same profession, and both applied for law school. That is when the two first met.
Lorenzo would always spot cheerful Ilaria sitting at cafés around law school, chatting, getting coffee and having cigarettes with her many friends. She had something about her that felt attracted to him, but, as a more reserved guy, Lorenzo wasn’t sure how to approach her. It was Ilaria that made the first move and asked him out. She had put her eyes on Lorenzo for a while. Being herself very talkative and extroverted, she found Lorenzo’s more closed-off personality - paired with his beautiful appearance - very different and intriguing.
The two started dating.
They went through many years of law studies and practice together, always supporting each other and working very hard side by side in order to get their diploma. Eventually, after 6 years, they finally obtained their certificate - again, both at the same time. Six months later, however, despite already living together, Lorenzo still hadn’t proposed to Ilaria. Again, it was Ilaria’s decisiveness that made things happen. At 34 and with the job of her dreams, Ilaria wanted to either get married or move on - she wasn’t going to wait anymore. She loved herself and knew what she wanted. She proposed to him, and Lorenzo said yes! Despite being a go-getter, he never felt very confident in relationships with people. He loved Ilaria deeply but had always had a hard time letting go of himself and expressing his feelings.
Now, 20 years after, Lorenzo and Ilaria have two kids and still work together, supporting each other in their daily personal and professional lives.
Sarah, 29 from Washington DC and John, 30 from Seattle
Sarah and John met their senior year of college. From the beginning, Sarah had her eye on John. She’d purposely “do homework” in the dining room just before dinner when John had a tendency to stop by after practice. He’d say hi and smile, and they’d engage in small talk before meeting again at dinner.
Sarah started seeing John at more parties and across campus. She’d go out of her way to speak to him and get to know his friends. She thought this really could be going somewhere. John was oblivious. He thought Sarah was cute and liked talking with her but had no idea about her feelings. He just thought Sarah flirted with everyone.
But then on Halloween, John had just finished a match and was in a particularly celebratory mood. At the end of the night, one of John’s more attune teammates suggested they all head back to the house together. He conveniently disappeared en route, and somewhere between the house, a pumpkin patch, and a basketball court, Sarah and John had their first kiss. The next morning Sarah woke up with mononucleosis, and so started a month-long courtship made for PG TV.
Ironically, this would set the stage for what turned into 6 years of distance. Sarah planned to move to Argentina after graduation. John had his eye on the Army. Neither of them intended their relationship to turn serious. But after graduation and several talks rationalizing a breakup, they were never quite able to let each other go. Instead, they perfected Facetime dates and transatlantic flights. The distance wasn’t easy. There were a few stretches of time that nearly broke them. But they soon realized that the very qualities that drove them apart— a sense of purpose, professional ambition, and desire to give back to society—were the reason they were so good together. They were both pursuing their dreams, and so this made any distance worth it.
The couple got married on New Year's Eve, knowing that John is getting deployed on his second army tour this month to an unknown country. They are closer than ever and will always conquer the distance.
Francesca, 33 and Jacopo, 36 both from Varese
Francesca and Jacopo met for the first time in 2005. Francesca was dating Jacopo’s best friend at the time. The two became best friends immediately and they spent 7 years together, hanging out with common friends and sharing mutual interests such as rugby matches. In the meantime, they explored love stories unaware of what fate had in store for them.
Until something happened in the middle of 2013. That summer Francesca asked Jacopo to go out for a drink. Deep inside her, she felt something was different this time and as Carrie Bradshaw would have done, she tried on seven different outfits before choosing the right one. That night while they were coming back home Francesca kissed Jacopo and then ran away without saying a word. The following day she texted him asking for a moment to talk but he didn’t reply. She got a message in the night from him: “I’m standing in front of your building, come on down”.
They’ve been holding each other since. They moved in together in 2015 and Jacopo proposed to her in a midsummer night singing their favourite song from Mumford & Sons. The following year they got married in a little mountain chapel and in the same place, 2 years later their first baby boy was born, Bernardo.
And when someone asks them to tell their stories they both always reply the same way: “I married my best friend, what more could I want?”.
Lily, 23 and Timmy, 25 both from Guayaquil, Ecuador
How many times have we heard the phrase “Life is too short, just do it”. Even though they’ve known each other since they’re 14, Lily and Timmy got to know each other 4 years ago over a spring break trip in Spain. Despite their inevitable connection they decided to not pursue their relationship because of what they decided was wrong timing as they lived 12 hours away from each other. 6 months later Timmy had a terrible accident, he fell from the 8th story of a building rooftop, that left him in a coma.
When he woke up and recovered fully, he decided to turn his life around and live every day as it was his last (Literally). He started to shape his life with happiness as his ultimate goal. On the other side of the world, Lily was going through a break-up, finishing college and growing up.
After 4 years of not seeing each other and no communication at all, they ran into each other at a dinner party back in Ecuador. The timing was right this time and after dating for a bit they decided to properly start dating because life is too short. Literally.
Maria and José, both 32 & both from Tampico, Mexico
There’s nothing more incredible (and romantic) than celebrating your 15th anniversary the day you get married. Maria andJosé met in secondary school, when they were 14 years old, always in the same class, always sharing the same friends. The couple dated from 15 to 30 and tied the knot last year. You could only imagine that they already have a lifetime of stories together, grew up together and have built their lives together.
When you were thinking that this story could not get any more special? José’s father also married his teenage sweetheart - the couple started dating at 15 and have now been married for 40 years. As romantic as this story is, the journey has been long and not without its bumps. Living in different countries (from France, the US, Spain and Mexico) - Maria and José broke up a couple of times, but never for very long and never starting a new relationship with anyone else. Despite wanting to try to live their own lives - a natural step to make sure they knew that their first love would be their only love - they always ended up together.
We know Maria and José have already had many adventures, but the real love story for the newlyweds is just starting. We are rooting for them to break the Guinness World Record of longest relationship ever!