5 Truly Inspiring Love Stories From Real Couples

Reading love stories

Casablanca. The Notebook. Brokeback Mountain. There's something about epic love stories that can soften even the hardest of hearts. And it doesn't matter whether you're single or attached, what culture you live in or how you make your living; Great love stories are universal.

Even romantic comedies have a long tradition of inspiring our love lives: Think of Some Like It Hot or When Harry Met Sally. Or the love story at the center of Kristan Higgins' new book from Harlequin, Waiting On You, which has many of the light-hearted and hilarious elements of our favorite rom coms, while maintaining a powerful message at its core.

The book tells the story of Colleen and Lucas, one-time sweethearts who get a second chance at love. Unforeseen circumstances separated the pair, but now — a decade later — they're reunited and find that their chemistry is still alive.

Author Kristan Higgins is giving away a copy of her new title from Harlequin BooksWaiting On You, to 10 YourTango Readers! To enter, answer in the comments below: How did you meet your significant other? This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!

Colleen and Lucas' story of reunited romance might seem like the stuff of fairytales — the same sparks after ten whole years?! — but it turns out their tale is not that far off from real life. Stories of couples reuniting after decades apart have been popping up all over the place lately. Now more than ever it seems real people, and not just our fictional counterpoints, are getting a second chance at a happy ending.

And — you guessed it — we found five of our own, heart-melting, real-life love stories — from a couple torn apart by war to a celebrity couple who were childhood pen pals. These stories are guaranteed to make you go "aww!"

The Package From 1950
Howard Attebery and Cynthia Riggs have what might be one of the longest love stories of all time. The couple met when Cynthia was only 18. Howard says it was love at first sight — but he had to wait 62 years to tell her! They both worked in San Diego at a marine laboratory and used to write notes to each other using a secret code scribbled on paper towels.

However, Cynthia was in a relationship so the two never shared their feelings. They eventually lost touch until one day in January 2012 when Cynthia received a package filled with all the secret messages they had sent to each other in 1950. And there was one more message: "I have never stopped loving you." Gasp! Cynthia tracked Howard down … and the two have been together ever since.

Not Your Average Celebrity Love Story
When Great Gatsby actress Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons wed in 2012, you might've just skipped over it after assuming it was just another celeb love that won't last. But what you didn't know is that Carey and Marcus were once childhood pen pals! The couple was writing to each other way before the days of social media, but they lost touch as they grew up.

Luckily — and with a little help from their star power — the pair reunited as adults and eventually married a few weeks after they finished shooting Inside Llewyn Davis, a movie by the Coen brothers they were both involved in. Carey's even stated that they've resurrected some old habits and began writing to each other again, though this time the letters are a little more romantic.

Torn Apart By War
Boris and Anna Kozlov had only been married three days when Boris left to serve in Russia's Red Army in 1946. By the time he returned home from war, Anna and her family were declared enemies of the state under Stalin's harsh regime and were sent into exile in Siberia. Boris came home to an empty house, with no sign as to what had become of his wife. Separated from each other with no way of knowing if the other was dead or alive, Boris and Anna married other people but never forgot the love they had shared. Boris even became a writer and dedicated a book to his wife of only three days.

Eventually, their spouses passed away and in 2007 Anna decided to return to the house she had shared with her first husband 60 years ago. In a remarkable twist of fate, on the exact same day and in the exact same village, Boris had also returned to lay flowers on his parents graves. When they saw each other across the road, they recognized each other instantly. In an interview with The Telegraph, Boris described her as the true love of his life, even after all that time! 

More great love stories from YourTango:

Follow Your Gut
Christine Hassler, a contributor on The Daily Love, tells the story of a long lost love between her friends Melissa and Chris. When they were both 19 years old, Melissa and Chris met at a club in New York. After dating for only three months, the two felt like they were headed in different directions and decided to split. Melissa eventually moved to L.A., while Chris stayed rooted on the east coast. Neither gave the other much thought (they never even spoke again after their break up) until Melissa had a spark of intuition.

She was looking through old pictures and came across one of a guy she had dated in college named Chris. Something told her to find him again and she did… on Facebook! She sent him a request, which was immediately accepted and the two began writing to each other. The correspondence became more frequent and eventually Chris moved out to L.A. so they could move in together. The couple married on March 23, 2013, twenty years after their first date in New York. It just goes to show that sometimes love can be a connecting thread, even if a couple isn't exactly right for each other on their first try.

For Better Or For Worse
Kelcie Yeoman and Larry Ragsdale have a different kind of reuniting love story. A week before the couple took a vacation with Kelcie's family, during which Larry was planning on proposing, Larry was hit by a drunk driver on his way home from showing Kelcie's sister the ring he had picked out. Larry went into a coma and for months it was unclear whether or not he would recover. But Kelcie never gave up, sitting with him every day until Larry finally opened his eyes again.

The crash had left him partially paralyzed but Kelcie was so committed to his recovery, she even got a job at the treatment facility where he went through numerous surgeries and gruelling physical therapy sessions. Three years after coming out of his coma, Larry proposed to his guardian angel with the same ring he had chosen before his accident. The couple even got their dream wedding in Disneyland after Kelcie's sister McKenzie started a fundraising campaign to help them. They reached their goal of $20,000 in only 11 days!

Whether it's by fate, chance or some other divine force, incredible love is happening all around us. There's no doubt that sometimes you're just destined to be with the person you end up with! Curl up with Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins, a new title from Harlequin Books on sale March 25th and let it remind you that sometimes a second chance at love can sneak up on you, even after all those years!

To enter to win a copy of Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins, answer in the comments below: How did you meet your significant other? 10 YT readers will win. Contest closes April 18, 2014 and winners will be notified by April 15, 2014. Official rules, eligibility and contest description can be found hereThis contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!