As women, we’re typically more comfortable opening up about love and romance, especially the attributes and the moments that made us fall in love in the first place. But, for reasons ingrained in society, men tend to be relegated to a place of stoicism.
In other words, it’s less accepting for dudes to confess their deepest feelings where love is concerned. But, let’s be honest, there’s just something about a guy getting gushy that gives us all the Jerry Maguire feels.
So, to honor that fact, we asked men of all ages and walks of life to share what made them fall so hard for their significant other. Trust us when we say that these real-life love stories do not disappoint.
“She just has this kindness about her that seems out of place in this world.”
“Carey and I fell in love in high school, but it was real even then. She just has this kindness about her that seems out of place in this world. And, honestly, I just wanted to be as close to it as I could. Being close to it for 25 years has made me a better man, a better father, and just a better human being — and I guess that’s the point of marriage anyway. Carey is a preschool teacher and is truly amazing with little kids. In certain scenarios where most people, like me, would run away screaming, she runs towards it — right into the fire — and handles it with grace every time.” — Scott Robertson, 47, from Trabuco, CA; married for 25 years
“I fell in love over pancakes and an omelet.”
“When you first meet Ashley, it’s virtually impossible to miss her gorgeous smile and perfect teeth — I found out later that her dad is a dentist — along with her sparkling eyes. But that’s just what you see on the outside. On our first date we went to brunch and, truthfully, I fell in love over pancakes and an omelet. I just loved how easy it was to talk to Ashley. I love the way she talked about her family, her love for musical theatre, her excitement about exploring everything that New York City has to offer, the way she looked me in the eyes, paid attention to our conversation. It was the best brunch I ever had, I never wanted it to end. A little over three weeks ago, we gave birth to our first child, beautiful Jordyn Reese. I smile every single time I watch Ashley with Jordyn. Just seeing the way she is as a mommy makes me realize even more how special she is.” — Marlon LeWinter, 37, from Delray Beach, FL; married for 2 years
“I looked up and saw her in the stands and that was it.”
“Although we met when I was 17, I think the moment I fell in love with her was when I was in college playing badminton. I looked up and saw her in the stands and that was it. We had so much fun while we were dating, and we married when I was 22 and she was 18. I still have the receipt from our honeymoon — it’s framed and remains in our study. We stayed at one of San Antonio’s finest hotels, which cost me $5.50 a night — dinner was $7.30. Since we’ve retired, we do everything together. We work out together in the morning, go grocery shopping together, and participate in five bridge groups. We still enjoy each other’s company after all these years. The reason we have had a long happy marriage is because I’ve learned the two magic words: ‘Yes Dear.’” — Bernie Weil, 82, from Frisco, TX; married for 61 years
“I was awestruck by what a wonderful mother she must be.”
“We’d been dating for a couple of months when Terri invited me to meet her 15-year-old daughter Sarah Ann. I was picking her up for a dinner date when she introduced us and left us to chat in the kitchen while she finished getting ready. It was the most charming 10 minutes I’ve ever experienced. So smart, so beautiful, and so funny. Meeting Sarah Ann left me awestruck by what a wonderful mother Terri must be. I fell in love with her that instant.” — Richard Crouse, 60, from Boca Raton, FL; married 13 years
“External beauty does not last forever, but inner beauty lasts a lifetime.”
“Besides being incredibly beautiful, I was attracted to Melissa for her sense of humor. In my line of work as a plastic surgeon, I work with a lot of women. External beauty does not last forever, but inner beauty lasts a lifetime. Melissa has a wonderful sense of loyalty both to her family and her friends. She is very giving and generous. She is my best friend and now my wife. I call her my little ‘Wonder Woman!’” — T.Y. Steven Ip, 53, from Newport Coast, CA; married for one year
“I realized that someone this goal-focused was someone I wanted in my life — forever.”
“My wife and I met on OKCupid, and we fell in love because she decided it was the right thing to do! I actually broke up with her twice early on. I was a couple years out from a messy divorce and wanted to play the field a little more. She just wasn’t having it. She stuck around and, with a combination of charm, fancy cooking, and what I still refer to as the ‘not fair dress,’ I realized that someone this goal-focused was someone I wanted in my life — forever. Now, we’re almost two years into our marriage, have a home in the suburbs together, and she’s pregnant with our first. I’m glad she was smart and persistent enough to see how much potential we had! I’m still head over heels for her.” — Erik Dollman, 38, from Albany, NY; married for 2 years
“I just had the feeling that I knew her.”
“I walked into rehearsal for a production of the show Carousel and the director introduced me to the assembled company. There were probably 20 folks there, but I saw only one. Sitting in the front row was a lovely young woman with a Shetland Sheepdog at her feet. I didn’t know who she was, but it was as if she had a spotlight on her — all the others in the room faded from view. Her presence hit me like a velvet sledge hammer. I learned that the mesmerizing lady’s name was Betsy Hepburn and that she was playing Carrie, the comedienne, who marries Mr. Snow. I was thrilled with her voice and the comic personality with which she sang. A few hours later I asked her to lunch. With some reluctance she accepted, and we went to the snack bar across the street. As we were eating our sandwiches I told her I felt like I knew her. She replied that we’d never met. I agreed that that we’d not met before, but I just had the feeling that I knew her. We were married four months later.” — Ben Bryant, 83, from New York City; married 50 years total (divorced for 11 years and then remarried)
“Loving her was effortless.”
“I came to LA in 1994 to get away from my family business and get into stand-up comedy. I met a girl at my first day job and started giving her rides home from work. One day, she offered to take me out to dinner to thank me for the rides. The dinner, which was on Valentine’s Day, was at a little bistro in West Hollywood. She paid. While I was driving her home, Sting’s ‘If I Ever Lose My Faith in You’ came on the radio. Shortly after that night we decided to get married while eating in a Taco Bell. A couple weeks later, we opened the Yellow Pages and found 1-800-MARRY-U. We called and were married on a rooftop that night. Twenty-three years later, we still debate whether our first date was really a date because she paid.” — Rob Holmes, 47, from Marina del Rey, CA; married for 23 years
“It was about finding the right person at the right time, even when we were both comfortable with the prospect of being single forever.”
“I’m a novelist, so I’m naturally introverted. I’ve never liked trying to ‘pick-up’ women or even the games new couples so often play during those first couple of dates. Once I reached my 30s, I’d relegated myself to being single for the rest of my life. Even when I met Mandy, the woman I fell in love with and am now married to, I was hesitant to ask her out. I eventually caved, and we met up for the first time at a pub in Long Beach, California. I refused to put on any pretenses. I wore crummy jeans and a t-shirt and she got the real me right from the get-go, wry sense of humor and all. I was stunned to discover that she wasn’t putting on any pretenses either.
We hammered down a couple cheesesteak sandwiches and a few pitchers of beer between us, and had an honest good time. From that very first date onward, we were 100 percent honest with each other, even about our flaws and very different pasts. The fact that my wife has always been genuine and quickly allowed me to open up to her made me fall in love with her without trying. Certainly, we have a lot of common interests and a similar sense of humor, but it was more than just finding the right person. It was about finding the right person at the right time, even when we were both comfortable with the prospect of being single forever.” — Garrett Calcaterra, 40, from San Leandro, CA; married 4 years