20 couples from around the world reveal how they fell in love | DailyExchange
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20 couples from around the world reveal how they fell in love

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Kazuhiko Kobayashi and his wife Mieko Kobayashi

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, in 2018 Reuters interviewed 20 couples from around the world to ask them about their love stories.

From arranged marriages that have lasted over 40 years to young love between teenagers, these pairs prove that love has no age, gender, race, or sexuality. 

Keep reading to be reminded that love is real no matter where you are.

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The Amatyas met on their wedding day more than 60 years ago and have been together ever since.

Nnuche still remembers their wedding day: “I saw Raywoti for the first time at my home after we officially got married, during the wedding her face was covered with a Ghumto (veil).”

Haidar Ali Moracho and Coral Ibanez Blanco had to keep their relationship a secret for most of their time together.

Blanco recalled that they met because “a friend of mine told me there was a girl who liked ‘Dragon Ball’s’ Vegeta character and wanted to become a boy.” They began video-chatting, and met after a year of only communicating virtually. She went on to explain that “his family didn’t approve of us at first and we spent the following five years seeing each other secretly during Japan Weekend fairs.”

Haidar explained how they stayed together through adversity: “Together until death do us part.” Blanco added, “We have gone through a lot of difficult times, but now we feel like we can face anything and anyone, no one can bring us down.”

Pramodini Roul was recovering from an acid attack when she met Saroj Sahoo at the nursing home where she was undergoing treatment.

The two met in 2014 when Sahoo was visiting his friend at work — the who was treating Roul. Roul talked about one of the most meaningful moments in their relationship:  “After an eye surgery, I was flying with Saroj and suddenly started seeing things clearly. That was the first time I saw Saroj’s face. I had never imagined that I would be able to see Saroj in my lifetime.”

Chad and Jenny Ostrom met on the first day of college more than 20 years ago.

Chad explained that they met on “the first day of college in the middle of the heartland, Kansas,” when him and his friends were helping freshman girls move into the dorms.

“There was Jenny, unpacking boxes with her family and in classic, comedy double-take action I walked by her room, stopped, and walked right back to it.”

Over 20 years later, they’ve been long-distance across three different states, but are now married with a daughter.

The internet brought Rute Magalhaes and Filipe Alves together.

“We met 12 years ago on the internet. Photography brought us together and we fell in love. Then we started a studio to help others fall in love with the magic of photos,” Rute said in 2018.

Cathal King and Jessica O’Connor bonded over their mutual love of outdoor activities.

“We met playing tag rugby in Killarney. We’re both very active . We do adventure races, hiking, and love to travel,” Cathal explained. 

Razhy and Alejandra met more than two decades ago in Mexico City, when Razhy moved there after being kidnapped.

The met after Razhy quit his job as a director of a weekly magazine in Oaxaca, after being kidnapped. Alejandra eventually moved to Europe to study abroad, and explained that when she returned she “went cold” because her family didn’t approve of the relationship.

“Finally, four years later, we were both without partners and decided to meet again,” she said. “We got married in the neighborhood of Coyoacan, the neighborhood where we walked together and we met again after all those years.”

The two now have a son.

Amornrat Ruamsin, then 27, and Pitchaya Kachainrum, then 16, had a symbolic wedding ceremony in 2018. They met on Facebook.

Ruamsin and Kachainrum had a symbolic wedding ceremony that is not legally binding since Pitchaya was under 17, the legal age for marriage in Thailand. The couple planned to officially wed after her birthday.

“I’ve had relationships with before, but it was not that good and I was heartbroken many times. I met Pitchaya on Facebook and I first sent her a message to introduce myself. We fell in love with each other. After living together for more than a year, we agreed to have a baby. So now we have a five-month-old daughter and today we got married as our parents wanted. This is the happiest day of my life,” Ruasmin said in 2018.

Dmitry Shamovich met his wife, Anastasia Kuzmenkova, when she visited his homestead with a group of birdwatchers to build artificial owl nests.

“Four years ago I was here, at the homestead for the first time — we arrived with other birdwatchers to build artificial nests for owls. And I met Dmitry, the owner of homestead, for the first time, here. Later we met again, when I arrived to be a volunteer in a project related to capercaillie. After that we made more projects together and one day I understood I fell in love with him. It was mutual,” said Kuzmenkova in 2018.

Arda and Daniela met at a museum and immediately hit it off.

“I saw Arda in 2015 at an exhibition at the museum. And he recognized me as well. A smile from both sides. One hour later we were sitting together and having a cup of coffee. Now we live together in a nice flat,” said Daniela. 

Asha and Chandrabhan Ahuja met on their engagement day — just six days before their wedding. They’ve been married 50 years.

Asha recalled how her life changed when she got married: “I was a free girl and used to go to jam sessions and enjoy time with friends. My life became completely different after I married him. He comes from a religiously conservative family. From a family of four, I had to live in a joint family of 20.”

She went on to explain, “I sacrificed a lot after our marriage to adjust to a new environment. We are from a generation where we had to make a lot of compromises to make the marriage work, unlike today. I have no regrets as he loves me and I have a great family.”

Chandrabhan added, “I am a happy person. I am thankful to God who has given me such a great wife who has helped me to achieve whatever I wanted in life. A lot of credit goes to her how she has handled me for the last 49 years. We have become closer now as we are growing old. I now accept whatever she says. I am a happy and satisfied person.” 

Noor Djait and Ismail Benmiled grew up on the same street, but didn’t really become close until they met at a nightclub when Djait was 17.

Djait remembered the night they met like a fairytale. “That night was the first time we really made eye contact with each other, the first time I talked to him. I remember I took off my to dance on the table. At the end I only found one, Ismail found the other. He brought it to me two days later, like Cinderella,” she said.

Eventually they broke up because of their age difference, but Benmiled persisted, and stayed in contact with her for years, until he went to Rome (where she was finishing her architecture studies) and proposed shortly after. “We have been married for six years, we have two children, and our love has not changed an iota. We are as in love as we were in the beginning,” Djait said in 2018.

Zheng Dingguo and Huang Chenfeng had an arranged marriage in 1972.

In 2018, Chengfeng had been taking care of her husband around the clock since he was admitted to the for cancer treatment. The couple had an arranged marriage, organized by their parents in 1972. 

Zakir and Nurgul Omur got engaged when they had only met twice.

Zakir remembered that “my mother didn’t ask me if I loved Nurgul or not. She said, ‘If you don’t love her, keep in your mind: I like her!’ But once we got married I got to know her better. I loved her. Now it’s just the two of us living in our small home.”

How does Zakir explain their relationship? He said, “We don’t have any reason to get angry at each other. We all need someone to be together with in peace and have conversations. Life could be really difficult if we didn’t love each other.”

Om Hany and Hayes Mehana have been married for more than four decades and have 12 children.

Their relationship started at a vegetable market — and now they have a 50-year-old vegetable shop that they both worked to expand.

“Our families don’t know about Valentine’s Day, but we built a big family as it was our dream. With my wife, every day is like a festival, not just one day,” Mehana said. 

Mezbah Ul Aziz and Mausumi Iqbal met on the first day of class at dental school, but didn’t begin a relationship until Aziz rescued Iqbal from bullies.

“Our was not love-at-first-sight type. In fact, we used to remain at opposite ends of the class when we met first, but you know about magic, it always happens with surprises,” said Iqbal.

Their love story began a year and a half after they met at dental school, when Iqbal was being bullied, and Aziz “came out of nowhere” to help her.

“He did not need to help me, but he did,” she said in 2018. “From that day, we started our journey together. Our story was being written as one by fate and now, we have a treasure too, our five-year-old daughter, the center of our attraction, the sign of our love.”

Kazuhiko and Mieko Kobayashi met nearly 60 years ago — Mieko was an hour late to their first date to see if Kazuhiko was “serious” about her.

Kazuhiko still remembers the early days of their relationship. “On our first date, I waited at a meeting place for an hour. It turned out she had been advised by her mother and older sister to be late for an hour to see whether I was serious about her.”

Even though they spend most of their time together, they’re definitely not sick of each other. Kazuhiko said, “We see each other most of the time, both at home and at this shop, which in business for about 50 years, but I still find her charming every day!”

Oladipupo Baruwa was persistent about his wife, Funke — he walked home from church with her after every service for two years.

Funke “just loved his persistence and the fact that he didn’t want to give up.”

After the birth of their first daughter in 2013 the pair made a commitment that, whatever lay ahead, they would face it together. “For me that has always been the unifying factor… Marriage is a commitment, it is a hard work and when you are willing to work at it, you get better,” said Oladipupo.

Suzzy Konje and Tony Wakaiga were both 18 in 2018, but they said their “passion for each other has aged has matured like wine.”

Wakaiga met Konje at a modeling photo session on Banda Street and they soon started dating. “We have been very good friends for a long time and our passion for each other has matured like wine,” said Wakaiga. 

Yohanna Gonzalez was with someone else when she first met Kathriel Zambrano — but five months later they were engaged.

Gonzalez was piercing at an event called InkFest, while Kathriel was being tattooed nearby. “I didn’t give him much attention, because, at the time, I was with another person,” said Gonzalez.

One day she arrived home and “on my bed there was a gift bag in the shape of candy, with a lot of makeup, a necklace and a little book that said, ‘do you want to be my girlfriend?’ and that’s where it started…”

Gonzalez continued, “One day he grabbed me in a queue, and asked me if I really wanted something serious with him. I said yes, I was willing to be with him forever. Then he knelt, gave me a ring and proposed to me. I started laughing a lot because I got very nervous. We have not been together for long, but we really feel that we know each other all our lives, it was such a brutal chemistry at the beginning that it has been impressive.”

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