We love a good love story

We think that the best love stories are, in fact, not in Hollywood but in our own backyard.

In our Jan. 17 issue, we brought you the story of Gordon and Ann Melliar, a local couple whose friendship carried them through 52 years of marriage on two different continents.

We enjoyed telling their story so much that with this week’s edition of the Chronicle landing on Valentine’s Day, we went out and found three more love stories to share.

We think that the best love stories are, in fact, not in Hollywood but in our own backyard. They’re the hard-working mom and dad who have survived the tribulations of child rearing. They’re the divorcees getting a second chance at happiness, the long-distance lovers who fight tooth and nail to beat the odds and cross the country (or continent) to be with one they love … the possibilities are endless.

My love story began on the Internet nearly 14 years ago but didn’t come to fruition until an impromptu trip to California with a j-school colleague landed me on his doorstep in 2003. A ton of hardship, highs, lows and seven years of marriage later, my views about love have evolved. As singer Jason Mraz puts it, “It takes no time to fall in love, but it takes you years to know what love is.”

That’s because real love goes beyond physical attraction. When it comes down to it, the most successful marriages are those strengthened by friendship. Life is much more rewarding when faced with a best friend at your side.

So whether you’re newlywed, happily married or single, take some time today to reflect on and share the love stories in your life. Have they affected your views on love or the way that you love? Why is your partner your best friend, and if you’re single, what qualities do you look for in a best friend?

Instead of focusing on the fancy dinners and expensive gifts that traditionally come with the international day of love, trade in the chocolates for some food for the soul.

Not only does it invoke the warm fuzzies, but your thighs will thank you too!

—  Niomi Pearson