Despite what cynics might tell you, love is the only force which can change the world for the better. It doesn’t always take the form of grandiose gestures; instead, it can be found most often of all in the little things.

13 stories about affection and love

Here we’ve gathered together a few stories — some amusing, others touching — about the most wonderful feeling any of us can ever experience.

  1. My husband is away on a business trip. He keeps phoning me every evening before he goes to sleep, asking me to sing him a lullaby. A lullaby! He says he can’t fall asleep without one. He’s a fully-grown man, 40 years old, about to open the third branch of his business abroad. Well, what can you do, if your husband can’t sleep? So I sing to him…
  2. My mother lost the ability to speak after she suffered a stroke. Her recovery was a long and difficult process. But the first thing which she managed to say was ’I love you, my daughter.’
  3. My grandmother lives in the countryside. I used to get taken to visit them all the time. Another old couple lived down the road from them; they had a grandson, four years older than me, who used to look after me when I was very little. When I was three, he painted my knees green. When I was five, he taught me to read. When I was ten, he used to protect me from the other boys in the village. When I was 15, I visited the village and he was away serving in the army — that was the longest summer I’ve ever lived through. When I was 17, he consoled me after my friend had died. At 19, he helped me overcome depression. Now I’m 24, and he’s 28. Today he became my husband.
  4. I was sitting chatting with my friend. She was telling me about how she plucks the tiny hairs from her upper lip. My husband was sitting reading a book right next to us. My friend suddenly turned to him and asked whether he’d ever wished I would also ’shave’ my upper lip. Without a hint of embarrassment, he replied: ’I’m honoured to have a hairy wife!’ Then he just carried on reading.
  5. Before I was married, I never used to cook my own food; I always ate out in cafes or restaurants, or bought ready-made meals. It’s not that I can’t cook; I just really hate washing the dishes after I’ve eaten. Especially if it’s a fatty or oily meal, and there’s dried-out bits of food still stuck to the pots and pans — I think I might even have a phobia about this; I just can’t stand it! So anyway, I got married. And now when she asks me to wash the dishes, I go and do it in silence. I start cleaning, and I start getting angry; I feel sick but I keep doing it; by the end I’m going absolutely crazy — but I’m determined to get those pans sparkling clean, even if it kills me. Why do I put myself through this? Because I love my wife far more than I hate dirty frying pans.
  6. I’m 24 and my brother is ten. A couple of months ago I went on a diet. I’m now a bit thinner and prettier. Recently I was admiring myself in the mirror, and my brother was hanging around next to me. I nudged him jokingly and said, ’see how pretty your sister is?’ And the little jerk answers me in complete seriousness: ’You know, I don’t think you’ve lost any weight at all.’ He waits for me to finish swearing at him with the same serious expression on his face, then finishes: ’…I always thought you were beautiful.’
  7. I broke up with my boyfriend recently. I really loved him; I was distraught. Suddenly, a secret admirer started sending me lots of flowers, and my mood naturally started to improve. Yesterday I found out that my ’secret admirer’ was in fact, my dad. He’s the best dad in the world.
  8. When I was nine months pregnant, I asked my husband to paint my toe nails. He refused for a long time, said he didn’t know how, and that anyway it was no job for a man. I got upset, and went for a shower. Then I heard through the door: ’Google, how do I paint her nails?’
  9. There’s this old man living in our town. He has this really old dog. I mean, really old. It has some problem with its legs; it can’t walk. So the second it gets warmer and spring comes around, he picks it up in his arms, goes out onto the street and takes it for a walk. He walks all over the place, for hours on end, all the time carrying the dog in his arms, despite the fact it’s actually pretty big. But the dog looks at him with such devotion in its eyes, and licks his hand. It’s such a touching sight. That guy might be old and frail, but he has a huge heart.
  10. I do shift work — two days at work then two at home. My wife started preparing breakfasts for me to take to work; she always includes little surprises along with the food. When I find the little notes she’s written telling me how much she loves me, I’m as happy as a kid on his birthday. No one’s ever done that for me before.
  11. Recently I found out the true meaning of ’undying love’. My grandparents are both 77, and they do everything together. My grandmother’s eyesight is very poor, whilst my grandad is deaf. My grandmother always says that ’I’m his ears, and he’s my eyes.’
  12. I always knew that women can become very needy when they’re pregnant. I was ready for it. Or at least, I thought I was ready. I never thought I’d find myself plucking the tiny hairs from all the raspberries because, in her words, she can’t eat them when there’s a chance they could ’sting’ her…
  13. I spent a large part of my childhood with my mother at work — an oncological rehabilitation centre for children. I’ll always remember this one 17-year-old girl and her boyfriend whom I encountered there. She had bone cancer, and went through several sessions of chemotherapy. She eventually had to have her left leg amputated above the knee. Her boyfriend came to visit her. She told him that she wanted to break up; she didn’t want to ruin his life. He gave her a firm ’no’, and told her she was the only one for him…This was years ago. I saw them recently. She now has a prosthetic leg; she was walking along with her two children hand in hand. We started chatting, and then her older son (he’s six years old) interrupted: ’my mom’s the Terminator’, he proudly declared.
Photo: Arseny Snigirev