11 Stories That Will Make You Believe In Love Again

Photographed by Refinery29.
We're used to seeing love stories in movies, in which two people typically meet, fall in love, experience some extenuating circumstances that make them fall apart, and then come to a resolution that helps them live happily ever after.
Real life may be a lot more complicated than that, but people do fall (and stay) in love every day (just without the sweeping music in the background).
Ahead, we've rounded up a few moments from 2017 that made us believe in love again. If you could use a little more faith in people and the world at large, take a look at some of our favorite stories.
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"Dominic and I met as teenagers. We went to different high schools but they were close in proximity, so we had a lot of mutual friends. High school was also the time period in which we both came out to our families, although at separate times and unknowingly of each other's personal journeys. After graduating high school, life took me and Dominic in different directions. He went on to attend UCF in Orlando while I went to college in Kentucky. We reconnected one summer when I was in Orlando helping a friend move into her dorm and asked Dominic to have dinner with me. That night we talked for 4 hours and shut down the restaurant. Shortly after, Dominic asked if we could make it official and so our long distance relationship began. But the distance wouldn't be ending anytime soon. After college, I moved to New York for work and Dominic moved to D.C. to go to law school at Georgetown University. Finally, after 7 years of the back and forth, we are finally living together in Brooklyn... and engaged! Dominic and I feel lucky to have found love at such a young age. However, falling in love with another black man was scary in ways neither of us could have ever imagined. It forced us to face the very real resistance from society for being not only homosexuals but black men as well. We had to confront the stereotypes of being largely defined as uneducated, disloyal, untrustworthy, and unreliable individuals. But together we chose to rise above those prejudices and rewrite our own story- one of inspiration. We want others to see that our union is marked by achievement, love, friendship, respect, and unconditional support. We hope to encourage other black and brown men and boys everywhere to be true to who they are. And when they find love in each other's eyes, to know that their love is just as strong and beautiful as anyone else's."

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How often do you get a second chance and actually make it work?

Dominic and Nick first met as teenagers, went in different directions, and then reconnected one summer night, during which they talked for four hours and shut down a restaurant. And after seven more years of long-distance love, the two finally got engaged, and are living together in Brooklyn.
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Sometimes, romance means getting down and cleaning a dirty bathtub.

When one woman was suffering through pains from endometriosis, her husband came home with a heating pack, made her a snack, and then began cleaning their tub so that she could take a bath.

"I have never, in my life, felt more cherished or protected," she wrote in an Imgur post. "People say marriage is where the romance ends or that relationships become stagnant, but it really is the best thing in the world to be married to your closest friend — particularly when they make sure to show you that you matter. I think that it only has to become stagnant or unromantic if you let it. Grateful for someone who won't let that happen."
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After a series of epileptic seizures that completely wiped her entire memory, Jessica Sharman's boyfriend Richard Bishop strived to make her fall in love with him all over again. The couple had been happily dating for 7 months, but all the beautiful memories they created were about to be replaced with a giant question mark for Jessica. On the morning of March 2016, the couple were taking their daily commute into London where they worked together in recruitment (which is also how they met). While on the train, Jessica suffered from an epileptic fit, and afterwards, woke up in a world she no longer recognized. She couldn’t recall her own name, identify her own family, and her boyfriend, too, became a complete stranger to her. Doctors informed Jessica's loved ones that there was a very slim chance she would ever recover her memory. They were all devastated, especially Richard when Jessica tried to break up with him — expressing that she felt uncomfortable in his presence. * “I didn’t know him but he was acting like we were in love. I tried to end the relationship, but he looked so hurt and promised he would help me remember how great we were together. Seeing how passionate and caring he was finally convinced me he must care for me, so I agreed to give it a shot." - Jessica So Richard began to woo Jessica all over again — bringing her flowers and taking her to their former favorite restaurants. He made it his mission to make Jessica fall in love with him for a second time. Jessica appreciated how sweet and patient Richard was with her, and couldn't help but fall for him. Now Jessica states: "I don't remember the first time I fell in love with Rich but I do remember the second."

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You'd be forgiven for thinking that Jessica Sharman and Richard Bishop's story came right out of a movie.

After dating for a mere seven months, Sharman suffered an epileptic seizure that left her without her memories — she woke up not remembering even her own name, let alone the man she was dating at the time.

Nevertheless, Bishop stuck around despite the fact that she might never recover her memories, and looked after her.

Sound familiar?

"I don't remember the first time I fell in love with Rich but I do remember the second," Sharman said.
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Pinterest isn't exactly the most romantic app, but one husband has a pretty romantic way of using it — to have a secret account that he uses to see what's on his wife's wishlist, and buy it for her.

"She’s picky and she likes things that tend to be small [items] or handmade...so I like to get things right the first time," Jordan told BuzzFeed.

Modern romance at its best, really.
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When a random Twitter account stole this couple's photo and even erased their identity by trying to pass it off as a picture of a straight couple, they fought back — and reiterated their love for each other in the process.

Though they didn't get a chance to DM that Twitter account directly, one of the women, Alexa Willis, said, "I would ask why they had to change the gender and why people can't just accept the gay community these days as is. They knew we were a gay couple and changed it to be heteronormative. Very frustrating."

"I just hope that one day society standards won't be set on the fact that a boy and girl relationship is the only one," she added. "Love is love, and it should be shared between any gender."
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"I was diagnosed with breast cancer on my and Danny's six month anniversary. I met Danny at a bar called Iggy's in New York City when a mutual friend introduced us. Come to find out, we grew up 20 minutes away from each other in New England. To break the ice, he showed me his Eagle Scout card and jokingly asked me if I was impressed. I was instantly attracted to his sense of humor. The first few months of our relationship were indescribable. We spent a lot of time together exploring the city, bar hopping on the Lower East Side, and staying up all hours of the night talking. Then six months into our relationship I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 23. I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was four years old, so it truly was a living nightmare. The day I was diagnosed I texted Danny, whose office was only a few blocks from the radiologists office, and asked him to come meet me. I told him something was very wrong. He found me completely shocked, standing on the sidewalk in the pouring rain. For the next six months, he was my rock. He was there during my double mastectomy surgery, multiple rounds of chemo, and doctors appointments. While everyone else was walking on eggshells around me, he continued to treat me exactly the same - always making me laugh with his sarcastic comments and jokes just as he had before I got sick. It really helped having that sense of normalcy in my life. Danny is so strong and has an amazing way of controlling his emotions, so when everyone else in my life was freaking out, he was not. He was such an amazing support to my family as well - making small talk with them in waiting rooms for hours when they were stressed out and upset. He even bought me a new pair of running shoes in my favorite color purple when I was cleared to work out again. Now every year on my date of diagnosis, we both take work off and spend the day together walking around NYC and doing things we love. It's one of my favorite days of the year despite the fact that it's connected to something that was so traumatic. When you survive cancer, you learn to celebrate every moment you have with the people you love."

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Getting in the groove of a new relationship already requires some transitions, but receiving a cancer diagnosis six months into a relationship is a whole other story.

However, when one woman (who was not named in the story) was diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of a relationship with a man named Danny, she quickly found out what kind of person he was — the kind of person who would stay by her side through chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.

"He was there during my double mastectomy surgery, multiple rounds of chemo, and doctors appointments," she wrote. "While everyone else was walking on eggshells around me, he continued to treat me exactly the same — always making me laugh with his sarcastic comments and jokes just as he had before I got sick."

Now that she's survived, the two mark the anniversary of her diagnosis each year by walking around New York City together.
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You might think that if you've seen one surprise proposal at a sports game, you've seen them all, but we promise that this one really is worth it.
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For the past 26 years, Sharon and Billy Hahs have traveled all over the world chasing solar eclipses, and have managed to catch 11 of them. "There's just nothing else in the universe like a total solar eclipse," says Sharon. "During totality, the air gets cool. You have a 360-degree dusk. And then all of the sudden it's over, until the next time. It's science and magic all turned together." The couple has seen eclipses in many different countries including Ethiopia, Australia, Zambia, and Norway. They've even stayed in tents in the Sahara Desert. But this year the Solar Eclipse came to them, right in their own backyard. That's right! Sharon and Billy Hahses family-owned farmhouse in Sedgewickville, Missouri landed in the path of totality for today's solar eclipse, and the couple invited about 60 of their friends and family over to view the scientific serendipity with them. The Hahses have a routine: Sharon takes about 25 photos to capture the full evolution (from the partial eclipse, to the corona, to the diamond ring effect) while Billy attempts to capture it through painting. "The thing that changes from one eclipse to the next is the size and shape of the corona and the exact flavor of blue that you got on that particular eclipse," Billy said. When asked which eclipse was their favorite? "All of them," they both replied. Billy thinks he might have a favorite after today though: "We didn't get to bring 60 people along on any of these others, and these are 60 people that we treasure and love."

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The total solar eclipse was one of the most note-worthy events of 2017, and for good reason. After all, it was the first to occur since 1979, which is why one couple decided they needed to be together to see it.

But the Hahses aren't just casual observers — they'd been traveling to see eclipses together for years. Before this year's eclipse, they had traveled to see 14 eclipses together, and actually experienced 11 total.

"I'm not a mystic at all," Billy Hahs said in a video from the BBC. "But it does have a kind of gripping effect." They call themselves "eclipse-afficiandos," Sharon Hahs added.

Relationship goals, indeed.
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Gender equality has been legal nationwide in the U.S. since 2015, but couples in Germany had not won that right until earlier this year. And in October, Karl Kreile, 59, and Bodo Mende, 60, became the first couple to benefit from the new law.
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"Our mums met in secondary school half way around the world when they were only 14 years old. They remained close friends over the years and were even in the same group of ladies who met for lunch. However, it wasn't until our mums were friends for nearly 40 years, that Aree and I finally met. Yes, our mums stayed in contact all that time but never introduced us. It wasn't until we were all attending the same party in London, that Aree's mum came up to me and said, "I can't believe you've never met my kids," and then led me by the hand to introduce me. I was instantly attracted to Aree. After chatting with him, I went up to my mum and said, "I just met my future husband." Initially, she didn't know who I was referring to and asked me to point him out. When I did, she had a very knowing smile on her face but didn't say anything else. So imagine how excited our mums were when they found out that Aree asked me out. Unfortunately, our first date was awful. I think because our mums are so close, we were both very hesitant in our approach and weren't being ourselves. He was being careful not to do anything that I would go and complain to my mum about and vice versa. We went on a few more dates after that and they went from bad to worse. Eventually we decided to just remain friends. It was only once the pressure was completely off that we both started being our true selves and forming a real connection. We talked almost daily for 6 months as just friends until he asked me if I'd be willing to give it another go. I said yes and figured one more date couldn't hurt. Our first date the second time around was the best day. It was completely different than before. We decided to keep our relationship a secret from our families for a little while in case it didn't work out, but luckily it did. Our relationship only grew stronger and stronger. We eventually told our parents a few months later and they were over the moon. A few years later, we tied the knot. He is my soulmate and I love him more with each passing day. Our mums now joke that they made us for each other (our birthdays are only 4 days apart!) Sometimes you have to give Mr. Right a second chance."

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Rebounding from a bad first date can sometimes feel impossible. But take it from this couple: It can seriously be worth it.

Shaween and Aree' mothers met each other in school when the two women were both 14, but this couple didn't actually meet until nearly 40 years later, at a party in London.

"I was instantly attracted to Aree," Shaween wrote. "After chatting with him, I went up to my mum and said, 'I just met my future husband.'"

However, their first date didn't exactly reflect that initial spark — nor did the dates that followed. After deciding to call it quits and remain friends for six months, the two gave it another go, and it stuck.

"Our first date the second time around was the best day," she wrote.
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"It's not the most attractive quality to go on a date with someone who is venting about their ex the whole time. And 5 years ago, that was me. I was on every dating site possible, but couldn't understand why no one ever asked me out for a 2nd or 3rd date. In hindsight, it's crystal clear. I was angry and bitter about love. I had recently walked out on the father of my 2 children after a 9 year relationship. He was verbally abusive towards me, often telling me I was fat, ugly, & stupid. His anger continued to escalate until one day he punched a hole in the wall. I realized it was only a matter of time before his abuse turned physical, and I left. As a single mother with 2 kids, I wasn't sure who would want to date me. My ex left me feeling broken and worthless. After multiple failed attempts at online dating, I decided to take a break from dating altogether. I know it sounds cliché, but I needed to find happiness from within me, instead of looking for it in another person. I focused on becoming the kind of person that MY right kind of person would want to be with. 2 years later, I got back into the online dating game and found my Guy... no seriously, his name is Guy. Although I'm not exactly sure how I got any matches with my embarrassing profile bio that stated things like "not looking for a fling, "looking to make a family" "mom of 2 kids." (Not necessarily what men on dating apps are looking for). When I came across Guy's profile, most of his photos were kind of a train wreck, but there was one of him hugging his son that made me want to reach out. I realized early on that Guy was different. He's funny, genuine, and easy to love. But then again, I became someone different. We've now been together for 3 years and just got married this summer. Guy's son is wonderful and and our children love each other so much. My kids like to say, "we don't use the word step, he is our brother." My son and Guy's son are only a month apart. They even share a birthday party together. Being a blended family and an interracial couple hasn't come without it's challenges, but we hope that in the end, our children will be stronger and more open-minded individuals because of it."

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It can be difficult to begin dating again after surviving an abusive relationship — especially if you're a single mom — and while it certainly wasn't easy for Jen Moriwaki, she eventually found her Guy.

"My ex left me feeling broken and worthless," she wrote. "After multiple failed attempts at online dating, I decided to take a break from dating altogether."

After two years of focusing on herself, she got back on the online dating train, and met Guy.

Despite initially thinking that "most of his photos were kind of a train wreck," she said, "There was one of him hugging his son that made me want to reach out."

Three years later, they're married, and have a blended, loving family.