Journal and Courier Article- Couples share their love stories for Valentine's Day

Couples share their love stories for Valentine's Day

Journal & Courier - Lafayette, Ind.

Author:

TAYA FLORES

Date:

Feb 14, 2010

Start Page:

n/a

Section:

LIFE

Text Word Count:

1100

Document Text

On Valentine's Day, love and the heart-stopping notion of romance is on people's minds. It's in the low-rumbling banter of office talk, the high-pitch cackle of girlfriends gossiping and the soft whisper of love birds canoodling. But some people are jaded and feel that love is forever fleeting -- it comes and goes, like the warmth of a kiss on a frigid February day.

But for the lucky ones, it can last a lifetime. So, what's the key to ending heartbreak and finding steady companionship?

The world may never know. But three local couples, ranging from newlyweds to marriage veterans, believe they have found that special someone and agreed to share their story about finding true love and keeping it.

The newlyweds...Aaron and Kimberly Laughner

After searching for the perfect location to propose, Aaron proposed to Kimberly in the forested hills of Happy Hollow Park in West Lafayette.

"Will you spend today, tomorrow and forever with me?" Aaron recalled the moment he proposed. "She said yes, thank God."

After a three-month engagement, the couple got married. Although new to wedded bliss, they know relationships take work.

"Communication is one of the biggest things," Aaron said. "It's very hard to sharpen that tool in your arsenal of things you should do to strengthen your relationship ... But it's the only way you'll work past something."

Kim said perseverance is key. "One person is not going to change over night," she said.

Although the couple has only been married for about three years, they plan on making it a life-long commitment.

Aaron hopes they can take a cue from the romantic film, "The Notebook."

"How they just died together at the end. I think that's so great."

A 1970s fling turned forever...Vickie Bagley and Al Beavers

In 1971, Vickie Bagley met Al Beavers through mutual friends in Ohio. The two hit it off and began a dating relationship that lasted three years.

"She was different," Beavers said. "If she sees something, she goes for it."

To a self-professed motor-head, the fact that outspoken and independent Bagley drove her own muscle car was endearing. "The word got around town that she'll put up a race," he said.

But immaturity and apprehension eventually ended their fiery romance and the two eventually parted ways and didn't reunite for about 30 years.

Even though Bagley moved on -- married and had two kids -- she couldn't forget about Beavers. "I never knew where he was at or what he was doing but he was always in the back of my mind," she said.

The two finally met up again, after Bagley found out that Beavers was living in Dayton, Ind., from an memoir he wrote about his mother on Valentine's Day 2005 in an Ohio newspaper.

Since the old feelings she had for Beavers never died, Vickie divorced her husband in 2007 and moved to Dayton to be with Beavers. "It reminded me of who I was and I liked who I was then and I sort of lost that person over the years," she said. The two got engaged in January.

Now reconnected with her true love, Bagley wants to spend the rest of her life with Beavers. Her advice to making it work, "Pick your battles wisely," she said. "Decide what you want in life and go for it."

A 1950s romance...Carol and Les Howey

Although Carol and Les Howey lived a few miles apart in Indiana, they met on a boat cruise in Washington D.C. in 1956.

"We crossed paths that evening and that was it," Carol said.

Young and in high school, the two engaged in conversation while the ship quietly cruised along the scenic Potomac River.

"Carol was very smart and articulate and had the qualities of (a woman) I wanted to date," Les said.

Carol was impressed with Les' humility. "I just liked him," the 71-year-old said. "The other guys were full of themselves but he was very quiet and polite."

Shortly after, the two started dating and were married in 1957, Carol was 18 and Les was 19. "You went from your father's home to your husband's home, that's how it was," Carol said.

The two have been married for 52 years and have seen their children become adults and have children of their own. They say the keys to such a long marriage include dedication, commitment, compromise and putting your spouse's needs before your own.

"We take our vows seriously," Carol said. "In our day, our commitment was very serious. If things go wrong you don't just throw it up in the air and walk away."

Add longevity to your relationship

Buck Black, a licensed clinical social worker with Heartland Clinic who specializes in couple issues, gives tips on ways to maintain a long-lasting relationship:

1. Make sure you are communicating. Talk about work, relationships and other topics at least 15 minutes a day.

2. Discuss good experiences that happen to you as well as negative experiences.

3. Make sure you are having regular date nights at least once a week. A date night does not have to be expensive, but it will give you time to get away from the chaos of everyday life.

4. Make sure you are taking vacations together and doing activities together such as going to the park or playing softball.

5. Make sure you are supporting and encouraging your partner and doing everything you can to listen and accept them. You want to stay away from criticizing, threatening and blaming your significant other.

-- Taya Flores/Journal & Courier

A few Valentine's Day facts

Legend has it: Valentine's Day originally commemorated the anniversary of the death of St. Valentine, a Roman clergyman who was executed on Feb. 14, about 270 A.D., for secretly marrying couples in defiance of the emperor. According to another legend, the holiday began as a Roman fertility festival. Americans probably began exchanging handmade valentines in the early 1700s.

By the numbers:

180 million -- Number of Valentine's Day cards exchanged each year

50 percent -- Proportion of cards bought in the six days leading up to the big day

40 percent -- Proportion of purchases which parents account for

$3.27 -- Average spent per person on family pet on Valentine's Day, up from $2.17 last year

Source: National Retail Federation/ BIGresearch, Hallmark research

Top ways to celebrate

By household participation rate:

Greeting cards, 65 percent

Date night, 44 percent

Candy, 38 percent

Flowers, 32 percent

Gift cards, 29 percent

Stuffed animal, 21 percent

Other gifts, 17 percent

Perfume, cologne, 12 percent

Jewelry, 11 percent

Sources: Hallmark/Retail Industry Leaders Association/NRF

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Abstract (Document Summary)

The two finally met up again, after Bagley found out that Beavers was living in Dayton, Ind., from an memoir he wrote about his mother on Valentine's Day 2005 in an Ohio newspaper. Since the old feelings she had for Beavers never died, Vickie divorced her husband in 2007 and moved to Dayton to be with Beavers.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.