Giving your heart to another person: It's the most universal impulse, yet the most singular thing we do. So if you've ever worried that your relationship isn't like everyone else's, you're absolutely right—and you're not alone. Dearly beloved, we're pulling back the curtain on the lives of 4 real couples to behold the amazingly varied shapes love can take. And whatever shape it happens to take for you, we now pronounce you just fine.

Couple #1

Sara and Robert Crabbe

The Challenge

Married in 2005, Sara, 32, a PR manager, and Rob, 34, a TV producer, both come from a long line of very successful unions—we're talking decades upon decades of love-you-forever, you're-my-one-and-only, flat-out wedded bliss. Five years down, only 60 or 70 more to go...

Sara: My mother's parents have been married for 62 years, and my other grandparents were married for 42 years before my grandfather passed away. My parents have been married for 36 years, and they're still really sweet with each other—there's a big love there. I understood early on that they'd all found their ideal, and it made me want to wait for mine, too. When I met Rob—it sounds corny, but I knew I had. And by the way, his parents celebrated their 40th last year.

Whenever Rob and I are out together, a crowd forms around him, and I like that my husband is someone people want to know. What's unique about him is that to the core, he's good. It sounds bland, but it's extraordinary. There's nothing in him that's ill-willed or secretive—he doesn't even tell white lies. The guy is just good. And because of that, he makes me better. In past relationships, the grass was greener elsewhere. But now the best part of my day is seeing Rob walk through the door.

Rob and Marisol: The art of living apart

Scott and Andrea: Together forever, all the time

Ian and Johanna: To feel needed


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