We know love is hard. And we’re not just talking about romantic love. Love is anytime we give a little bit of ourselves to someone else — a friend, a family member, someone we care about.
A famous Rollins College alum, Fred Rogers, said it best: “You know, I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And consequently, the greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know they’re loved and capable of loving.”
That’s why this month we celebrated your love stories.
Inspired by The New York Times’ Tiny Love Stories, we asked you for your 100 word love stories about how you’ve experienced love while living in Orlando, and you all delivered. We received more than 30 stories and chose these six to share with you.
EVERY TIME IT RAINS …
“On our first date, we walked around downtown and got to know each other before heading to a comedy show. It started to rain so we hid under an awning and looked at art through a window while guessing what it was supposed to be and how much it costs. We were so nervous but comfortable at the same time. It was a perfect night. Now we are married and I think of that night every time it rains.” – Matt Armon
MEET ME ON MONDAY
“I met him at his favorite local restaurant on Mills. It was my first date since moving to Orlando, and I was really excited. We vented, laughed and drank the evening away. Soon, meeting every Monday at 7 p.m. became our thing. Slowly, but surely, he showed me around Orlando. I not only fell in love with him but with the city. We eventually stopped seeing each other. Now every time I drive around the places we’d visit together, I can’t help but ponder on how he’s doing…” – Camila
‘LOVE AMIDST OUR DIFFERENCES’
“We attended EDC Orlando as two strangers and left as two lovers. Peace, love, unity, and respect are the foundation of EDC and also the foundation of our relationship. It’s this foundation that has allowed us to overcome our race, ethnic, and religious differences and create a love story for the ages. Four years after EDC, our Nigerian-American wedding represented everything the city and EDC stand for– a celebration of love amidst our differences.” – Kelsey Evans-Amalu
LOVE YOURSELF FIRST
“We were 18 when we fell in love. I didn’t know that people could loveso hard. We were entangled in each other… the way we slept, the way we touched, the way we loved. He helped make me who I am. I’m grateful for that. Twenty-three years later, I’m 41. He stopped seeing me. I was a blob. But I’m not a blob. I’m… a lot of things. I’m a woman, a creative, a producer, a friend, a lover… of a lot of things. Now I’m falling in love with a kickass person. I’m into her. I’m into me.” – Leah Nash
LOVE, FIREMAN LEE
“My husband and I met on a chilly day in front of the Orlando Fire Station where he works. As I walked by bundled up on my way to work, he called out, ‘It’s not that cold out!’ I laughed, then stopped to chat. After a few minutes, I mentioned to him where I worked, and he took note. We shook hands and I went off to work. The next day, I received a huge bouquet at the office. Overwhelmed, I read the card, which said: ‘Happy Thanksgiving from Fireman Lee.’ Beneath the salutation was his phone number.” – Heather Sorensen
BROUGHT TO YOU BY TINDER
“This relationship is brought to you by Tinder 👌🏽. We matched on a Friday when he was at Shawn Theodore’s art show. We FaceTimed that night. By Sunday we were nonstop 😍. We texted through the Super Bowl and debated JT’s performance. On Monday we had dinner at Pho 88 and dessert at Market on South, where we shared a lemon bar 😋. It’s been a year now. We live in Ivanhoe Village, and eat Sticky Rice almost every Sunday ❤️.” – Lydia Jorge
Illustrations by Haley Weaver