After taking loving submissions over the past couple weeks, it's time for you to choose your favorite local love story in Patch's Greatest Love Story Contest.
Below you'll find contestants' stories in their own words. In addition, you'll find faces to go with the names in the photo box above. To cast your vote for your favorite, write the couple's names in the comments section below.
Voting ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013.
Couple: Greg & Diana
We met 4 years ago on Facebook by our mutual love of hockey. I think we have the greatest love story in Minnesota because we found each other at a time when we both were probably at our lowest and somehow we found each other on Facebook. I knew from the first kiss we shared that I wanted to be with him forever and now we are in the process of planning a June wedding. We compliment each other in our strenghts and weaknesses and make each other better people. We build each other up and love each other unconditionally. He is my best friend!
Couple: Phyllis & Joon
We met 38 years ago when I was teaching for the US Government in Seoul, Korea. Joon was teaching Judo on the military post and we became instant friends. Five months later we were married. He said he knew I was the one for him the day we were introduced by a mutual friend, Being from different cultures has made our life all the richer, but also all the more important to listen to each other and communicate across the cultures. Our love and admiration for each other has grown through the years and has endured many ups and downs that have only made us stronger. He is the love of my life and I am his. We are planning a trip back to Korea with our children and grandchildren in 2014 to go back to where we met and share memories of those days with our family,
Couple: Steve & Kelly
Kelly and I lived on the same street growing up. Our families were friends but Kelly is a couple years younger so we never considered dating. Nearly 10 years after moving from the neighborhood I got on Eharmony. Longer story shorter we got matched and started dating. We've now been married for almost three years and been together for five years. We also now have a beautiful daughter.
The cornerstones of our relationship is communication and team work. We always make time to have dinner with each other where no TV is allowed, have regular date nights so that we don't become detached from our relationship and talk about about any disagreements we may have. While marriage is not easy we seem to have found a way to make it as fun and easy going as possible. I couldn't think of a more perfect sole mate and can't believe how lucky we are to have found the life we have.
Couple: Kim & Noah
This love story began anywhere BUT MN! Our journey began in Los Angeles. And New York. And New Orleans...
Fed up with NY, again, I was determined to find a job elsewhere when I embarked on a trip to LA, portfolio in hand, to visit a college friend, Claire. And to meet her boyfriend, Jon. And mention by Jon of Noah, his friend who had just moved to NY. "Yeah, you should meet Noah, he just moved there, he's a nice guy. Let's call him right now and wake him up!" (3 am in LA, 6 am in NY).
Five long distance calls later, fast forward to NY and my first date with Noah. I was nervous to meet the body that went with the voice on the phone...
Thursday arrived, this Noah rang my doorbell, we had our date, I already felt smitten. "Why now?" I thought. I was all ready to leave NY!
Long story short: We left NY, married in New Orleans, had our 2 kids there, after 9 years relocated to Mpls. (Edina). Our marriage has weathered changes in weather, culture, geography, distance from family and all else that moving 6x in 10 yrs. brings! Here we are 26 years after meeting, 21 years after marrying, all because of a phone call at 3 am from Los Angeles to New York... go figure!
Couple: Sue Anne & Jack
My husband Jack and I live in Fridley, which is where we first met in high school. We came close to dating back then, but ended up going separate ways, with separate spouses, until - both single again - we re-met at a reunion years later.
Even after 25 years of marriage, it seems a bit presumptuous to claim to be the world's greatest romance: we didn't exchange love letters across a war-torn continent or have the honor of donating a major organ, one to the other. But we did give each other that cherished second chance to discover true devotion - the kind that survives rebellious stepchildren, career disappointments, the loss of loved ones, and personal health crises; the kind that hangs in there for the ebb and flow between passion and friendship. And that particular blessing may just translate to the best gift this earthly life has to offer: someone who will always, bottom line, invest the time and effort to figure you out, to help you over the rough spots, and to guide you toward your better self.
Couple: Cassie & Jorge
My husband Jorge and I live in Minneapolis, we met as teacher and student, I was an English language tutor working on my degree in ESL and he was English language learner hoping to improve his English language skills in order to be accepted into college. After our first tutoring session we started dating, that was 6 years ago! We are now married and have 2 children with another on the way! His English is now excellent :)
Couple: Kristi & Jesse
Town: St. Louis Park / Minneapolis
I am Kristi, and my boyfriend's name is Jesse. I live in St. Louis Park, and he lives in Minneapolis. We are high school sweethearts...of a sort.
We met at the Minnesota State Fair in 1991, the summer before our sophomore year. I was with a group of girls, and he was with a group of guys, and his group started following our group when we spotted each other in the arcade. We wandered over to the pizza joint across the street and loitered until we finally met up in the midway. Jesse wrote his phone number on the back of his pay stub for me (which I still have), and I called him the very next weekend. Our relationship lasted for almost two whole years, which is an eternity in high school! But then we broke up in dramatic high school fashion at the beginning of senior year and never saw or spoke to each other again...until...
In 2008, I found myself in college again pursuing another degree, and all the "cool kids" were on Facebook and convinced me to join. Late one night, I got bored and started looking people up and found an old mutual acquaintance of mine and Jesse's. I messaged him and asked if he remembered me and Jesse and if he had a way of contacting Jesse. He obliged and gave me Jesse's number. It took me about a week to work up the courage to call him, but I did. He agreed to meet me for a drink, and it was just as though not a single day had gone by. We have the greatest Minnesota love story because it was the Great Minnesota Get-Together that brought us together.
Couple: Kyah & Mike
Once upon a time there was a girl named Kyah Hanzal from Richfield, MN who started going to school in Richfield with Mike Hayek in 3rd grade. Growing up they crossed paths many times, including gym classes in middle school and social studies classes in high school. It may have seemed that they would have ended up being high school sweethearts, but they didn't end up hanging out until after they graduated high school. They started dating on June 24th, 2009 and stayed together even though they physically parted ways. Kyah went to college in Mankato, MN to pursue a degree in elementary education while Mike stayed at his house in Richfield to go to the University of Minnesota. Then on May 4th, 2012 they had a picnic by Minnehaha falls. The weather was nice but it was about to rain. The happy couple decided to walk to the bottom of the falls and make their way along the creek down to the Mississippi River. It had just started to sprinkle but before they left, Mike told Kyah that he loved her and wanted to start the rest of his life with her so he got down on one knee and Kyah said yes! Mike is currently attending the University of Minnesota's Law School and after Kyah graduates in May, the happy couple will get married on June 14th, 2013 where they will hopefully live happily every after!
Editor's Note: Voting ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Patch sites that accepted submissions were Richfield, Southwest Minneapolis, Edina, Fridley, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley and Hopkins.