Differences can’t keep love apart

Gomez and Donahue.

Some conquer distance, others height, but they all make it work with good spirits and romantic stories.

Two continents, one love

Angelo Angel Gomez & Moira Donahue Angel
Washington, D.C.

How they met: On a trip to Nicaragua to visit friends, Moira met Sofia, an adventurous biker who was passing through on her way home to Chile. The two became instant friends and exchanged info before parting ways. When she learned that Moira had relocated to D.C., Sofia encouraged her to meet her friend, Angelo, who was studying for his MBA. Though Moira was intrigued, it took a year to convince her. The two met at a comedy club and have been having fun ever since. They married in winter 2010, celebrated with family and friends in a summer celebration in California and celebrated for the third time with their Chilean family over the holidays.

He loves: “Lucky for him, he’s not here to answer that question. … I sure do hope he loves my haphazard, frantic, disorderly lifestyle to balance his clean, organized, yet spontaneous way of living.”

She loves: “He is a caring soul with an incredibly inviting smile, and when he greets you for the first time, you immediately know he is a friend for life. Fortunately, he’s my love life for life, too.”

What people say about their love: “‘It was fate.’ ‘Truly the most unique love story I’ve ever heard.’ ‘It was destiny.’ Yes, I’ve heard these varying renditions from friends and family everywhere. In some ways I believe they are right — that fate took its course — but at some point we definitely took fate by the reigns and decided that it was just too good to let go.”

Sore thumb, happy ending

Joe & Simone Hanley
New York, N.Y.

How they met: Joe and Simone began dating off and on for two years in 1999, when both were students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. They lost touch until 2006, when Joe had a dream about Simone. He sent her an e-mail, she replied. Things turned from friendly to flirtatious. In October 2010, the couple — who say they “stick out like a sore thumb when walking down the street” — married.

He loves: “What I love most about Simone is also what can frustrate me the most: She is fearless and outspoken. If she has an opinion, she will let you know.”

She loves: “I love that he is so kind to everyone and that he constantly makes me be a better person by loving me for all of my flaws.”

What people say about their love: “We laugh at the same things. We both strive for balance between work and play, health and vices and frugality and splurges. We’re both confident people who believe in ourselves and each other.”

Man’s best friend makes a match

Jeremy Espino & Erin Menzies
Pittsburgh, Pa.

How they met: Jeremy and Erin met when she was an undergrad working in the University of Pittsburgh department where he had a National Library of Medicine post-doctoral fellowship. Things didn’t turn romantic until a few years later, when Jeremy volunteered to watch Erin’s miniature dachshund, Oscar, while she was on vacation — and he sent her e-mails “from” the dog. Despite a six-inch height (she’s taller) and seven-year age (he’s older) difference, the two married in a Buddhist ceremony in Corralitos, Calif., in May 2009.

He loves: “Erin says what she means and means what she says. She has a kind heart and is always thinking of things to do for other people. She seems to be able to tune into other people’s emotions and be empathetic, but can also be bitingly sarcastic and funny.”

She loves: “He is always smiling — he has a beautiful smile that lights up his face and the whole room. He’s truly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and he’s always willing to help solve a problem in a positive way instead of adding to it negatively. He loves me even when I’m not at my best.”

What people say about their love: “People say that we are just very easy to be with as a couple. That we fit well together, but that we don’t have to be together every second in order to have fun; we can mingle separately at a party. We’re comfortable together and it’s obvious that we love each other.”

Match made in retail heaven

Ted & Clare Monac
South Dennis, Mass.

How they met: In addition to a 13-inch height disparity, one of Ted and Clare’s biggest differences is that “she strives to save money shopping while I just shop!” So it’s not surprising that they met in the retail world; she passed by his shoe store, he poked his head out and began a conversation. One son, two daughters, three grandsons and 41 years of marriage later, the couple is still going strong.

He loves: “She’s incredibly creative and … has made our home very warm and attractive. She is an optimist and is usually cheerful and upbeat. She has been a great mother.”

She loves: “He is good and generous, a hard worker and honest.”

What people say about their love: “Those who know us feel we are a warm and close couple. Most people think we are perfectly matched!”


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