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Martina & Jaroslav

Country: Czech Republic
Ethinicity: Czechs
Dated: 5 years
Married: 5 months
Our Story: “We met at work. She started working there a couple of years after me. We started noticing each other but didn't really talk much. One day she invited me to the cinema. 'I was supposed to go with a friend and she couldn't go after all so I invited him.' I thought, 'that's weird. But ok.' *laughs*
I admire: “her ability to be herself always. Also how intelligent she is.”
“It's weird because it's almost the same. His brilliance.”
Advice: “Be patient and communicate.”
“Try to live together before marriage. We didn't and now we're trying to figure each other out in regards to our living situation.” 
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Liesbeth & Wim 

Country: Belgium
Ethnicity: Flemings
Dated: 2 years
Married: 14 years

Our Story: “We met at work in Brussels. I remember the first time I saw her thinking, 'Wow! What a nice girl. What a pity I already have a girlfriend.' We started talking and went out to eat with a group of colleagues. She told me she had seen the Star Wars movie. I was so impressed.” At which point Liesbeth said, “and I hated the movie.” *laughs out loud* Wim continues, “Nevertheless, I thought she was very cool.” Liesbeth remembers the first meeting a little different. “I had been working at the company for 1 month and knew I had met everyone except one person. One day, I was on my way to the copier when I see this man. I immediately had to make a u-turn and sit for a minute because I was like 'oh my god!' I was blown away. We soon found out that both our parents were from Leuven, and we had gone to the same University at the same time and never met.”

Advice: “Live a little before getting married. Respect and be nice to each other.”

“It helps to have some experiences and independence before you marry. This way, you get to know yourself as well. Make sure you feel treated as an equal with your partner.”

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Irina & Ghenadie 

Country: Moldova
Ethnicity: Moldovans
Dated: 4 years
Married: 4 years

Our Story: “When we first met, we didn't like each other. He thought I was too impulsive. I thought he was too calm. Three months later, we met again at a pub. After one or two cocktails, we saw each other in a more positive light and that's how it all started. We dated for a while but never moved in together until we got married. We knew we would get along great so we decided to wait.”

Advice: “Have kids. I wasn't sure if I wanted kids. It took me three years to decide but now I know it's the best thing that happened to our family. It brings such happiness.”

“Don't look at others lives but focus on your own. Do what works for you and your partner.”

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Anna & Anton

Country: Ukraine
Ethnicity: Ukranian & Belarusian
Dated: 2 years
Married: 1.5 years
Our Story: “We met in an online chat. I had seen his photos and they impressed me so I decided to write this guy. He responded. A few days later, we met in the city centre. We had dinner, took a walk, and went to the cinema. After only talking for a few minutes, I felt very comfortable with him and it was enough for me to continue talking to him. I remember when we were in the taxi, Anton said, 'I need to make you my wife.' So it's like he proposed that first night!” *smiles happily*
Advice: “Listen to your heart.”
“When getting married, do it your own way. Don't listen to others. Also, if there's a situation where the couple will live with their parents, find a way to move and live on your own.”
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Ross & Mark

Country: Portugal
Ethnicity: Mexican & British
Dated: 1 years
Married: 2 years

Our Story: “I had moved to Portugal for a few months. We were in the same circle of friends. The first time we met was normal. Just like meeting any friend. I told one of our friends I wanted to make a Mexican dinner for everyone so they knew what traditional Mexican food was like. So we did it at her house and I prepared the meal. At midnight we were giving a “thank you for coming” speech when a friend said, 'what's for dessert?' It took me by surprise because there was still food left and I had been cooking for like 8 hours! I said, seriously? She answered, 'yes.' So I went in the kitchen to try and whip up something quickly. Mark saw I was a little stressed so he came in and said, 'need any help?' and that's how we started. We began casually dating because I was only there for 3 months. We continued talking once I left but it didn't last long because he had a close family member pass away and wanted to be left alone. We stopped talking for months. Out of the blue, I receive an email from him saying he missed me and wanted to stay in contact. Since then, we've been together.”

Advice: “Have lots of patience and try not to hide anything.”
“Communication. I can't know what he's thinking just like he can't know what I'm thinking.One of the two has to take the initiative. I think if you have that, you can bear any situation.”

Open

Alexander & Michael

Country: USA
Ethnicity: American & Dominican
Dated: 3 years
Married: 2 years

Our Story: "We met online on a gay men dating site. We chatted for a while before meeting. I asked him to lunch one day. We went to a Dominican restaurant. I wanted it to be very casual. Many men here in NYC are very straight forward where a date for them is having sex which, for me, was not in the book. I was looking for a husband. After that lunch, I think we were together every day."

Fav Qualities: "He's very creative and a hard worker."
"I think it's his patience. I also appreciate how he keeps me together like when we're preparing for a show, which can be very exhausting."

A Struggle: "We, sometimes, are so busy in our professional lives that we forget about ourselves."

Acceptance in the USA: "I grew up in a small town in Mississippi. I came from a very right-wing, republican family. I didn't know any gay people but I always knew who I was. NY is very open to acceptance." "We've been to his family's home in that small town and I didn't experience non-acceptance."

Proposal: "I was cooking and he came home with a bottle of bourbon. He asked if I wanted a drink and I said, 'yeah, sure' and the ring was in my whiskey. I wasn't looking and almost swallowed it."

Advice: "Save money. Don't spend it on a big wedding. Marriage is about your vows and each other. Think about the future, especially if you plan to have kids. Communication is also important. Even if you're communicating in ways that are sometimes wrong but you're trying. Also listen."
"Live together and share the same space before marriage so you can see each other at your lows and highs."                                                                                                                    

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Rima & David 

Country: USA
Ethnicity: Americans
Married: 26 years

Our Story: “My grandfather was married four times and I had a cousin from his second marriage whom I'd never met until I was like 32. When we met, he was engaged and it turns out her fiancée was best friends with Rima. She introduced us.” Rima added, “after our third date we decided that we were going to get married. 46 days after our first meet up we were engaged.” 

Fav Qualities: “That she puts up with me. Her honesty, straight forwardness, she's kind hearted, her intuition, her creativeness.”

Advice: “When you're first married, I don't think you realize the work part of the relationship. You realize the love, the surprises, the sexiness of it all. That's all fun and great except that if you're really in something for the long haul, that changes a lot. Maybe it still stays good and that's ok but it not what can sustain relationship. What sustains a relationship is you have to come back to the drawing board all the time, talk about it, and work at it.”

Open

Denica & Robert

Country: Scotland
Ethnicity: Indian & Scot
Dated: 1 year
Our Story: “We met at a dance in England. My friend had asked her to dance and I asked her friend. My buddy fancied her friend and Deni so we swapped partners.”
I like: “that she likes me and is very clever.”
“that we get along well.”
Struggle: “When we first met he was always away because he was in the army and when he was around, he would go out a lot with friends and drink. After leaving the army he calmed down.”
Advice: “Tolerance.”
“Always talk it out before going to bed. 'One thing he is very good at is never letting us go to bed with an argument.'”
Open

Christy & Panos

Country: Cyprus
Ethnicity: American & Cypriot
Dated: 3 years
Married: 2 years
Our Story: “We were both working in a physical therapy office in California. The first thing he ever said to me was mahal kita, which means I love you in Tagalog. My first thought was, 'hmmm...this guuyy.' *laughs*
I admire: “his personality. He has a very strong idea of who he is, which can be frustrating at times; but, I also wish I was more like that.” 
“how strong she was about leaving home and moving to Cyprus.”
A Struggle: “Having a child has been difficult at times. I think coming from different backgrounds makes it a bit hard. We have different ideas on how to raise a child but at the end of the day, we both know that what we want is to raise a good kid.”
Advice: “Communicate.”
“Be honest with each other.”
Open

Ane & Vitjon

Country: Albania
Ethnicity: Albanians
Dated: 1 year
Married: 5 years
Our Story: “We met through friends.”
I admire: “his friendliness, that he's hard working, and humorous.”
“how very nice she is with our children.”
Advice: “Try to understand each other.
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Björn & Sigur 

Country: Iceland
Ethnicity: Icelanders
Dated: 18 years
Married: 5 days

Our Story: “We knew of each other in high school but it wasn't until 10 years later that we met at a party. I remember afterwards we had gone to a bar and there was a student of hers who really wanted to talk to her. Basically, I bought him a beer and said 'here's a beer; fuck off.' *laughs* That was on January 10th, 1997. That's the reason why we chose to get married on Jan 10th this year.”

I admire: “how there is so much warmth in her presence. Sometimes one feels something is right. That is the feeling I get when we're together.”
“He is very encouraging. When things are difficult, he manages to make me love the situation anyway.”

Advice: “Be understanding. Try no to expect the other person to do everything your way.”
“Love the flaws in your partner just as much as the qualities.”

Open

Sofia & Nikos 

Country: Greece
Ethnicity: Greeks
Dated: 4 years
Married: 1.5 year

Our Story: “We met through Facebook but I've known his father since I was a child because his father worked at my father's factory. The first time we spoke was through a Facebook message. After 3 months we went out to grab a cup of coffee. 4 months later, we began our relationship. I remember once, Nikos rode his bike for 30km just to be with me. It was very special to me since he had not used a bike in so long but knew how much I loved cycling.”

I admire: “mmm...everything. *laughs* I love that he's risky, sweet, kind. He's the whole package.”
“I love her eyes.”

How did you propose: “I serenaded her and told her, 'I want you to be the woman I'm with the rest of my life.'”

Advice: “Find hobbies you're both interested in and spend time together.”

Open

Couple in their home in Tirana

Country: Albania
Ethnicity: Albanians
Dated: 1 year
Married: 30 years

Our Story: “We were introduced by a mutual friend of our families.”

I admire: “I liked the way she looked inside & outside.”
“I liked that he lived in the city. I didn't like living in a village.”

Advice: “Believe in what you want and your choices will soon enough appear. Be happy with your partner.”
“Try to be honest, respectful, and very careful with the one you decide to spend your life with.”

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Andrea & Marco

Country: Croatia
Ethnicity: Panamanian & Croat
Dated: 6 months
Married: 7 months

Our Story: "We met through a circle of friends." 

Qualities: "Her personality."

"The way he makes me laugh."

Advice: "Be yourself with each other."

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Anna & Michał

Country: Poland
Ethnicity: Polka & Polak
Dated: 2 years
Married: 10 years

Our Story: "We met at the university while doing our studies. After work I would take classes and he joined our group the second semester. Of course, we didn't like each other at first. We became friends with time. I would call and ask him to save me a seat or he would come by to my home and borrow my notes. I thought he wanted a date when he came by the first time but he just wanted the notes. *laughs out loud* I had a boyfriend at the time. Once my boyfriend called me to tell me he was too tired to pick me up after class. I was frustrated with his attitude and Michał offered to take me. I took it as he was offering me a ride every time from then on *laughs again* so we spent our time talking on our drives."

Advice: "Even though you're a couple, you still should have your own life. Your own hobbies. If you don't have any, find some."

"Don't have a secretive life but have your own independence; communicating with your partner and making sure you are both in agreement."

Open

Eilin & Miguel

Country: Andorra
Ethnicity: Dominican & Spaniard
Dated: 1 year
Married: 1 year

Our Story: “We both lived in Madrid and worked only a few blocks away from one another but never met. He then moved to Andorra and I continued living in Spain. It wasn't until my roommate invited me to go to her hometown of Cádiz that we met. My roommate was friends with Miguel since childhood. On one of my holidays, I didn't know what to do and she invited me to go with her to Cádiz. I ended up going with her. She had told Miguel about me and their whole group of friends! I still feel like we met organically because although she planned it and they all knew, I didn't. *Smiles* Our dating time was long distance but we had no problem with that because we knew we had great chemistry, and completely trusted each other.”

Advice: “I believe it's become easier to separate and give up on marriage. It's important to remember to have patience and to be tolerant.”
“Definitely tolerance. Remember that no relationship is perfect.”

Open

Éva & Andor 

Country: Hungary
Ethnicity: Hungarians
Married: 37 years

Our Story: “In 1957 I met my husband and his family. He had a very big family. A lot of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. That was new for me, of course, because I had lost all 49 members of my family in the Holocaust. His family lived in Budapest, which was the only place Hungarian Jews could possibly survive, in the Budapest Ghetto.” She then continued with how it feels to fall in love at an older age. “When you fall in love as an older person, it is something unbelievable. You feel very young. You repeat the feelings of being young in your old age. Everything is made with all your soul. You know that every moment is very precious. We know that we are the luckiest persons on earth because of that feeling. It is something extraordinary and wonderful.”

Advice: “Young couples need to learn to have patience with each other. They can't give up so easily.”

Open

Kay & Michael 

Country: Ireland
Ethnicity: Irish
Dated: 4 years
Married: 41 years

Our Story: “We were both very big golf players. A mutual friend said, 'I have a friend coming into town. Would you like to play golf with her?' “And of course that I would. We won the golf competition. I think it was love at first sight.”

Advice: “Don't be selfish. Always consider the other person's wants and needs. Be kind to one another. ”
“Accept the other person. If you have a row, you need to talk things through and not go to bed angry.”

Open

Sara & Ian

Country: England
Ethnicity: British & Jewish
Dated: 3 years
Married: 30 years

Our story: "we were set up by a college friend. She said, 'if you ever come through here, someone would really like to meet you!' And so, we met!"

I admire: "her beauty, loyalty, kindness, how you always know where you stand with her. She's someone I can lean on because we're such good friends."

Advice: "Grow together. Try and achieve things together."

Open

Polona & Tomaz

Country: Slovenia
Ethnicity: Slovenian
Dated: 7 years
Married: 6 years
Our Story: “We met through friends. My best friend and her friend started seeing each other. Then they thought we should meet. We chatted online a few times before meeting. The first time was fine but it was our second date when I realized he was a good man and I was very interested.”
I admire: “how easy it is to talk to her.”
“his spontaneity, wit, and what a great friend he is. I love that he is so tall too!”
Advice: “I think you should know someone really well before getting married.”
“Communicate. I don't think getting angry and fighting solves anything. I think talking calmly makes it easier to get through the situation.”
Open

Bente & Bjorn

Country: Norway
Ethnicity: Norwegians
Dated: a little over a year
Married: 7.5 years
Our Story: “We met at a motorbike event at Teddy's Bar. My friend and I joined and she was there with some of her friends as volunteers. We became friends for a few years before getting together.”
I admire: “her personality.”
“how he's different from any one I've met.”
Advice: “Go for it! Make sure to have space to do your own thing to be able to still be you.”
“Try to find time for each other in your every day life.”
Open

Per-Ola & Carina 

Country: Sweden
Ethnicity: Swedes
Dated: 8 years
Married: 23 years

Our Story: “We met while playing in the Military Orchestra. During a weekend tour down in the south of Sweden I ended up as an extra in her band. We got together one night for pizza. That's how it all started. We were married in a bit of a sneaky way. The day we baptized our daughter we thought, 'since everyone's already here, let's do it now.' So no one knew they were there for a wedding as well.”

I admire: “he's so honest and kind. He is someone I trust 100%.”

“her drive and passion for what she's doing.”

Advice: “Have good friends around. Know that you don't always have to do everything together. If you don't have the same interests, that's ok. It's a nice thing for you to do what you like because when you come home, you'll have something to talk about. Be confident and trust the other person.”
“A good way to make a relationship last is not to spend too much time together. This way you don't aggravate and bore each other. You'll have more to share.”

Open

Claudia & Roman 

Country: Austria
Ethnicity: Austrians
Dated: 14 years
Married: 2.5 years

Our Story: “We met through my cousin. He had asked me if I wanted to join him and a couple of friends for a game of badminton so I did. She was one of the friends. Our first date was in this cinema. That's why we chose to meet you here.”

I admire: “It's something very nice but very bad too. He always tells you the truth. He's very straight forward. Also, I can always count on him.”
“She's always been a strong woman. She easily brushes off the bad and moves on. She's different from any other woman I've met. She stands out.”

Do you remember your first kiss: “Yes. It happened on our second date. We went to an Italian restaurant and had pizza. On our way out, it began to rain. We walked to the tram station. While waiting for the next train, I kissed her.”
“I was very sick, actually. At the time I didn't know my appendix was about to burst. I was in a lot of pain but I really wanted to be with him and was hoping we would kiss.”

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