“Be My Valentine?”


Happy Valentine’s Day readers!

I honestly don’t ever expect spectacular things on Valentine’s Day (maybe one too many romcoms?), but it does feel special to me, even if it’s just a tingle in my toes.

I hope this gives you a little tingle, too:

Click on the card for a little surprise from me to you!

Also, this is a GREAT last-minute reminder that even if you weren’t planning on getting anything for the great people in your life, you can still send them an adorable digital card (I know, they exist?!) via email with Paperless Post.

It’s a currency-based invite/card service, but you get 100-something coins just for registering, which you have to do anyways.

Any Valentine’s plans? Tell me about it! And have an unforgettable Valentine’s Day!

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“It Was Over When… on Carson Daly”


Our sister site (with a new book) It Was Over When was on NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly” recently. Forward to 2:47 to see our specific segment on the book:

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“Love at first read”


Hello fellow readers, and welcome, welcome, welcome to the blog!

I am beyond excited that we are running and ready to bring a little narration to this operation (with the help of your voices, of course).

This blog won’t be about me but about the collective, which is why your participation, comments, suggestions, contributions will be vital to its ongoing publication. That’s one of the great things about love and falling in love — there’s an intrinsic commonality that binds together the human experience.

But first, a little bit about myself since we will be conversing with one another: my name is Esther, I’m a twenty-something (did you groan?), and I came across this site during a time in the near past (yes, even younger believe it or not) when I’d forgotten to believe in love, romance and the justified idiocy that comes with falling in love because, frankly, after seven years and two big bad relationships, it got too hard.

I’m in a different place, now, and while a lot of that progress came with time, some of it came from connecting with books, magazines, blogs and the stories on this website of strangers that never gave up; of love stories with happy endings that inspired hope or stories with just endings and two people different from who they were at the beginning.

Gosh, is that too heavy for a Monday morning? At least it’s more interesting than my favorite ice cream flavor, right?

I want this to be another source of inspiration, a reminder that in the end, it’s worth it.

Cue cornball music.

P.S. I don’t think The Beatles are cornball. At all.

(video c/o beatlemusical, via YouTube)

Note: Images and videos posted on this site are not property of or Robert Elder unless specified otherwise. The sources for media on this blog will be noted when possible.

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“First Couple”


Jodi Kantor (author of The Obamas) wrote a short piece in February’s Glamour on President and First Lady Obama, their marriage, and how Obama’s inauguration into office changed it. Granted, it’s a little shallow (hey, the lady’s gotta sell books), but it was something I hadn’t considered before. The First Couple, in my mind, are distant and inhuman, as are many public figures, and getting a glimpse into a White House marriage with its unique circumstances, ironically, brought the Obamas down to earth. Or at least a little closer to the ground.

Turns out some hardships aren’t too far off: equality, support, trust, laundry (you know, if you have a military valet do your laundry).

And what about having a joint career? To work so closely with a partner is something I never wanted for myself (let alone in the public eye), because I thought it would cause unnecessary stress on the relationship, but it looks like the strain only solidifies the Obamas’ marriage.

Any experiences in blending love and work? Perfect, great, not so great, don’t even go there? Share please.

(image c/o Wikimedia Commons)

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“Music Mondays: Etta James”


This week’s Music Monday is dedicated to Etta James who passed away last Friday. Among the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient’s many hits is the love ballad we all know and hear redone again and again, but never the same as the one Etta James.

Want more? You might remember Beyonce playing the Blues legend in Cadillac Records. Here is her cover of “I’d Rather Go Blind.”

(video c/o YouTube)

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“Modern Love is…”


I’ve been an Elle reader since high school, and this particular story, “Modern Love,” from 2010 stuck with me because it had a pretty cool video component. The story idea itself piqued my interests, but the brief (and I mean brief) info provided with the pictorial of NY/LA’s glitterati couples left me wanting more. Hence the accompanying videos on Some of my favorites:

Deborah Ann Wol (actress, HBO’s True Blood) and E.J. Scott (improv comedian, Chicago’s Second City)

Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass (costars, FX’s The League)

Olivia Palermo (socialite) and Johannes Huebl (model)

Adorable, right? There’s an endearing and special quality about video, watching them interact with each other, that isn’t the same on still film. I’m fascinated by how unique the loves are — hilarious, romantic, incredibly dorky (comic books in the mountains? I love it!).

A trend I noticed with the responses to the term “modern love” was this conservatism; this stay-at-home, comfortable, enjoyable kind of companionship. I have to admit — sometimes, I get antsy and discontent in my comfort. I think to myself, “I’m young. I have the rest of my life to sit still!” But then I realize that kind of companionship is a rare, rare commodity in this world, and that I am one lucky duck.

What is modern love to you?

(videos c/o

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“Love Letters”


Remember those? The thing you make using a pen, paper and some thought. Not a love email or a love text or a love Facebook message, a love letter. Maybe it’s the writer junkie in me, but the things I really hold onto from my significant other are the things he’s written me, even if it’s just a short note on a scrap of paper (which he left on my desk after our first month of dating along with a vase of lilies — I still have that note).

It’s only à propos that I’m writing this post as January comes to an end because we all know what that means: Valentine’s Day is a-coming. And if you’re strapped for cash, (1) I’m pretty sure you’re not alone and (2) this is the perfect sentimental and cost-efficient gift. In fact, it’s what I gifted my sweet last year; I wrote the letter onto mat board along with my favorite photo of us and framed it.

I also wanted to share a letter from Paul Newman to his (second) wife Joanne Woodward on the day of their wedding. (It’s been circulated so much, I’m pretty sure it’s considered a quote now.)

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

She stayed with him to the very end.

(image c/o kate gabrielle via Flickr)

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