What Love Looks Like – The New York Times

What Love Looks Like – The New York Times


On an unseasonably warm day in October, a photographer and a reporter on a quest for couples to feature in The New York Times traversed almost the entire length of Manhattan, crossing through Central Park, stopping at Comic Con and wandering the High Line.

A few mishaps were inevitable.

Upon spotting one couple who were power walking around the Central Park reservoir, they stopped to ask: “Are you a couple?”

“I’m his mother!” the woman said. “I’m 80.” (Well, she hardly looked it.)

A few successes followed. Faith in journalistic powers of observation reaffirmed. And then, another stumble.

A pair of women lounged on a picnic blanket, bodies and hair casually intertwined. A few feet away, a man reclined in the grass, his gaze on them. A triad?

The photographer and reporter approached: “Are you by any chance in love?”

Sisters, it turned out. “That’s my boyfriend,” said one of the two, pointing at the man.

Awkward.

Brushing off the sting of embarrassment, the photographer and reporter marched on, and by sundown they had rounded up 10 romantically involved duos. Meet them below.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Lily Foster and Mike Gates, Australia

Dr. Foster, 32, is a pediatric intensive care doctor, and Mr. Gates, 34, is a firefighter. They met online. Their first date was over brunch, between his night shift and her afternoon shift.

Is this your first big trip?

Dr. Foster: This is our second big trip. We went to Europe last year.

Was it smooth sailing?

Mr. Gates: I don’t know about that.

Dr. Foster: Definitely a few arguments. About directions and stuff.

Is that why you carry your own map?

Dr. Foster: Pretty much. He has his map on his phone, so I have to check. I confirm.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Inavi Javier and Nadia Shahzad, New York

Ms. Shahzad, 20, and Mr. Javier, 22, met at Sweetgreen, where they both work.

Ms. Shahzad: He was upset because no one was level scooping the chicken. So I showed him that I was level scooping, and he saw me for the first time. We started hanging out, and a couple of weeks later he asked me to be his girlfriend. We’ve been in a relationship for two months now.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Jo Won Kyun and Joo Young Yi, South Korea

Mr. Jo, 43, works in construction, and Ms. Yi, 31, is in fashion merchandising. They were on the High Line on their first day of vacation in New York.

Mr. Jo: Our friends introduced us. That was a year ago. I felt I was falling in love with her from the first time. It took me six months to propose.

Ms. Yi: No, three months!

Mr. Jo: No, six months.

Did you know he was going to propose?

Ms. Yi: The mood was different. I expected it instantly.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

George and Liza Ledain, New York

Ms. Ledain, 37, a stylist, and Mr. Ledain, 47, a UPS driver, met at the nightclub Webster Hall. They have four children and dated for eight years before Mr. Ledain asked Ms. Ledain to marry him. (They were attending Comic Con.)

Mr. Ledain: For two weeks, every time we went out, I would carry the ring with me. There was a horse and carriage, a white one. I asked the lady to take us to a nice spot, and she took us to Central Park. Liza stood up to look at the city. And then I was on my knees. She turned around, looked down and I proposed.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Aaron Rivera and Kyle Stirtzinger, New York

Mr. Rivera, 34, a manager at Oak, and Mr. Stirtzinger, 27, a server, were friends before they began dating. Mr. Stirtzinger recently moved to New York and now lives with Mr. Rivera.

Mr. Rivera: We met in Los Angeles when I worked at Kitson. He came in one day and came in every day after. He would just spend eight hours wandering all around. Everybody knew I was being stalked. I was actually in another relationship at the time. But it was cute.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Marcus Wright, Atlanta, and Danasia Williams, New York

Mr. Wright, 26, a construction worker, stopped Ms. Williams, 20, in the street the first time he saw her. Their relationship took off from there.

What did you say?

Mr. Wright: “Marry me, marry me, marry me.” Or something like that. No. I saw her, looking amazing as usual. I was like, “I don’t mean to interrupt you, ma’am, but you’re very pretty.” And she was like, “Thank you.” We started talking. She was going to catch the bus but instead we walked. I walked her to the last stop on the bus route. We’re coming up on our one year.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Heather Dair, Oregon, and John Adam Diallo, Burkina Faso

Mr. Diallo, 40, who works in sales, and Ms. Dair, 47, who works in customer service, met six years ago. They have been inseparable since.

Ms. Dair: We met at a bodega. On 27th street. I was doing paperwork.

Mr. Diallo: And I walked in to buy something.

Ms. Dair: He approached me.

Mr. Diallo: She was sitting down. I stared at her, and we had eye contact.

Ms. Dair: And then you came up and said, “Do you want to mingle?” My first thought was no, but it was so charming that I said yes.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Jessica Gonzalez, Puerto Rico, and Chester Poole, New York

Mr. Poole, 40, a doorman and mechanic, and Ms. Gonzalez, 31, met in Puerto Rico 16 years ago when she came into an auto body shop where he fixed cars. They dated for a year before he joined the beauty supply company where she worked.

Mr. Poole: We were going out on the island constantly because we were working together. For six years or so, we had to be constantly in contact. We have 16 years together. I’ve proposed twice, and she said yes. But there are so many complications.


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Margie and Malcolm Phillips, Australia

Mr. Phillips, 89, and Ms. Phillips, 79, both retired, first met about 40 years ago on a yacht, when they were both married to other people.

Ms. Phillips: When his wife died, my husband, who was very ill, and I started looking after Malcolm. But then I started looking after him I think far too well.

Mr. Phillips: We got married when I was 84.

Ms. Phillips: I was 74.

How did the romance begin?

Ms. Phillips: I walked past his beach house. I said, “Hello, how are you?”

Mr. Phillips: You had your dogs.

Ms. Phillips: And I said, “Would you like to come for a walk?” And he said, “Yes.” The next day, miraculously, there he was again. And then you said, “Do you think Graham would mind if we had a cup of coffee?” And I said, “I think he could care less.”


CreditDaniel Arnold for The New York Times

Luciana Amadio and Mauricio Vendruscolo, Brazil

Mr. Vendruscolo, 38, a hedge-fund manager, and Ms. Amadio, 40, an assistant at a courthouse, met while taking Italian language classes. Both of their grandparents are from Italy.

Who asked whom out for the first time?

Mr. Vendruscolo: I invited her to watch a movie at home. That was 12 years ago.

Had you been eyeing him from afar?

Ms. Amadio: No.

Mr. Vendruscolo: It was not love at first sight. It happened slowly. It was the day-by-day routine, studying together.

What do you fight about?

Mr. Vendruscolo: We don’t fight. Sometimes I like to do stuff, walk around and stuff, and she’s more lay down. Sometimes we fight about that, but besides that, we don’t really fight. We’ve never had a real fight.


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