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Great love stories. You know, the ones you’ve seen in movies and read in books. There are so many variations of these so-called “great love stories”. The unexpected (but obviously expected) meet cutes. The numerous love at first sight and love at last sight (where they finally meet again but it’s always too late). When that special someone enters the room and you have the typical scenario of what being “in-love” apparently looks like. Everything seems a lot brighter, music playing in the background and of course, some invisible force of the world somehow managed to slow downtime. But does that actually happen in real life? I swear, movies and books are notorious for influencing our ideas and expectations about relationships, dating, and love overall.

So when we finally go out into the real world we experience the opposite of everything mass media has taught us about love. Well, you really can’t blame one for becoming cynical and repressive about love. We’re left and wondering if great love stories are truly just a simulated formula only possible in books and movies. Are people in movies the only ones who will go against their parents’ wishes just to be with the person of their dreams? Are there any love stories that will stand the test of time or life in general? Apparently, those stories do exist in real life. Here are some now:

  1. 43 years old and 44 years old: Once there was a girl who was from a very wealthy family. Everywhere the girl went, she always had a chauffeur with her. Once there was a simple boy from a middle-class family. He was extremely studious and was always focused on his academics. You see, the thing is, these two individuals would eventually fall in love. Both of them went to the same college, although the boy was a year older. In his usual study spot at the entrance of the school, he would always catch a glimpse of the girl as she walked in. However, he would always just admire her from afar because he was way too intimidated to approach her, given the fact that she was rich. One day, a friend told the boy that there was a guy who needed tutoring. The boy saw this as a great opportunity to earn some extra money. So, the boy set up a tutoring session with the guy who needed school help. Towards the end of the session, the boy went to the washroom and when he came back, the girl that he’d been admiring was sitting with the guy he was tutoring. It turns out, they were siblings! The boy did his best to maintain a calm composure and managed to finally introduce himself to the girl. After a few sessions, the boy would eventually tutor the girl. From that point on, the boy and the girl would meet regularly at a coffee shop to supposedly study. Fast forward two years later, and they eventually get married. To this very day, they’ve been together for 21 years and have three kids.
  2. 78 years old and 86 years old: “So last year when my grandpa was hospitalized and he was near the end of his life, my grandparents celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. To me, lasting 55 years, especially when they got married when my grandma was in her 20s, says a lot about their relationship. It would be hard to last that long without love being the foundation of their relationship. When my grandpa realized he was dying, he talked to every family member. Everyone found out that aside from saying their goodbyes, my grandpa made sure to tell them that we need to take care and look out for my grandma. His dying last wish was for everyone to take care of my grandma and that’s when I knew that I witnessed true love.”
  3. 22 years old and 23 years old: I met him through a friend, and that friend was his manager at McDonald’s. I usually loved going to McDonald’s because I was able to get discounts and free food, as well as see my friends who worked there. I still remember that it was the third week of October the first time he saw me. The funny thing was at first he thought my friend was pretty. He constantly asked a lot of questions about my friend and I. Apparently, from those questions he realized that I was his type of girl. We would eventually get invited to the same parties, but we never really talked because I was too shy to do so. Eventually, we added each other on social media and started texting. The texting soon turned into all-night video calls. A few weeks passed by and we finally went on our first date. That very day, he also asked me to be his girlfriend. To be honest, I was doubtful because I was supposed to leave for Hawaii and I didn’t want to do long distance (since my previous relationship ended due to LDR). But he persuaded me, he told me that if it doesn’t work out then it’s not meant to be. So, we became official on November 20, 2016, at the very place where he asked me to be his girlfriend. The day I realized I loved him was when he fought and took my side against those who doubted our relationship. Despite all of the hate and uncertainties people said about me and our relationship, he stood by me. For once, someone chose me. Four years later and we’re still together, now with our amazing baby boy.
  4. 22 years old and 22 years old: We were both very awkward and shy teenagers when we first met and dated. There were so many uncertainties and questions, but finding out the answers is what makes our relationship worthwhile. A month of taking walks, video chats, jamming to music, and hanging with our friends. I still remember the warm and bubbly feeling, but what I didn’t realize was that I was already falling for him. I can say that I first started falling in love when I watched him play a song on the guitar that he dedicated to me. The next few weeks turned into months, which turned into six years. He became the most impactful person in my life. If someone was to ask me for moments in my relationship where I knew I loved him, I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint just one. Every moment together just feels right. I really do believe he is the one. I’ve become a better person over the six years I’ve loved this man and truly can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.
  5. 70 years old and 77 years old: My grandparents met in university, they both went to Queens University. They first met at a library. My grandma was intrigued by my grandpa right away, maybe you can say love at first sight. But she later found out that my grandpa was engaged to another woman. My grandma respected their relationship and she stayed friends with my grandpa. For some reason, the woman my grandpa was engaged to called off the entire engagement. My grandma told me that from that point on she knew that she was not going to let my grandpa slip through her fingers again. So she took her chance and they eventually got married. They have four kids and one of them is my mom. My grandpa passed away when I was four (I’m nineteen now). Every now and then we would tease my grandma about finding herself a boyfriend. My grandma would say no and insist that my grandpa was the only person for her. What really inspires me about their story is how it continues to stand the test of time. One day there was a song playing for one of my dances called “Could I Have This Dance For The Rest Of My Life”, and my grandma goes on to say that she doesn’t like the song. I asked her why and she said, “Because I didn’t get to have your grandfather for the rest of my life and that’s not fair.” I hope one day, I get a love like theirs. A love that is undying.

So, there you go. There are love stories out there in the real world, I mean you probably already knew that right? My point is that you don’t need your world to slow down or have extremely accurate music about your feelings playing in the background or have gone through complex obstacles to be with that special someone. You don’t need to experience any of these aspects (although if that happens I’m happy for you) to know that your love story is as good as any book or movie plot. In fact, it’s even better because you’ve lived it and are currently experiencing it. By just doing so you’re proving every non-believer wrong (including me!) and reminding everyone that love is always worth it in the end.

Lyell Tibayan

U Alberta '21

Lyell is a fourth year Education student in the University of Alberta, with a Social Studies major and Health Studies minor. She enjoys reading, writing and anything associated with wellness (nutrition and physical activity).
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