We met in 1968, when he was Dartmouth’s hockey captain and I was one of seven women on Dartmouth’s testosterone-fueled campus of 3,000 men. I joined Denis’s fraternity to be his brother but fell for him instead. He nicknamed us “Romes and Jules” after the Zeffirelli movie. Even though I dumped him for the visiting art professor, he dropped everything to drive me home when my 45-year-old mother lay dying of alcoholism. It was an act of lovingkindness unlike anything I have ever known. Husbands have come and gone, but our 50-year friendship lives on. — Lynn Lobban


I’m the lone woman in the composite, just below the dog’s photograph. Denis is in the row above, two to the right of me.

We graduated from the same culinary school but met working together at food events. I developed new food products that she styled in photo shoots. For more than 10 years, I ignored my feelings for this beautiful woman: so smart, funny, talented and — married. One night at a cookbook launch party, we stood in a dark studio in Austin, Tex. She told me about her favorite new dish, wings coated with burnt honey. She described it and touched my arm. My vision tunneled. Nothing I could do. Remembering that moment a month later, I recreated the dish. It was delicious. — John Bartel

The recreated wings (cooked and styled by yours truly).

My mother told me relationships are like shoes: No matter how beautiful they are or how much you love them, if they don’t fit there will be pain with every step. Nobody will know it but you. There was pain in my relationship with my boyfriend of eight years, but I had ignored it. I finally understood the true meaning of my mother’s saying when he cheated on me. I don’t hate him or the other woman anymore. I took off the shoes and am free. — Karleen Chiu

My mother and me, wearing comfortable shoes.

I flew from the West to the East Coast on a day’s notice. My brother was dying; cancer was winning. I spent three powerful days with him, shadows looming. On my final night, my brother and I went to dinner, our last together. Small talk with interludes of silence, just staring at one another. Declaring our love with words seemed feeble. He was everything a big brother should be to a little sister. Is knowing that it would be the last time together a gift? I think so. Love you, Bob. Miss you big time. — Chris Teicheira

A picture from our last weekend together, five days before my brother died.

For couples who park their cars on the street, dealing with alternate-side regulations is the worst. It’s cold, crackling cold. Today, I insist I will do this for my husband after his hip replacement. I grab my travel mug of hot coffee, his comforting parka, my satchel of magazines, my phone. I pray that the street sweeper will bypass our block. It does. After 90 minutes, I climb back into our cozy bed beside my husband, who murmurs, “Thank you.” Because we both know that sharing city chores is an expression of true love. — Judy Hadlock

The alternate-side parking sign outside of our apartment building.
In future editions of Tiny Love Stories, we hope to showcase voices and perspectives from around the world. Australia was our first such special edition; India is up next. If you live in India and have a short personal story about the ties that bind (and sometimes break), go to nytimes.com/tinylovestories and write “INDIA” at the start of your entry.
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Tiny Love Stories: ‘Would We Ever Be Together Again?’