Love is timeless. Love is blind. Hmm, what else? Love is an open door. And love is also really, really, reeeeally weird sometimes. When love is particularly strange it can be difficult to come to terms with and this list looks at the least believable love stories out there. Here are 24 real-life bizarre love stories.
1. They Had Chemistry
Susan and Philip McClinton were a likely pair with an unlikely common interest. The two met in a topless bar. Not too unusual, considering she was a dancer there, and he was a bouncer. However, they had more than a workplace in common—they also had a shared passion for science. After they fell in love, they helped each other fulfill their dream of becoming biologists.
2. Seeing Double
Now here is a love story that you definitely don’t hear every day. Hunny and Bunny Feller were two identical twin sisters living in the Catskills in the 1940s. If their rhyming names and sibling situation aren’t strange enough for you, here’s the kicker—they had a double wedding in which they married another set of identical male twins. The girls met the boys, Elliot and Danny Reiken, while working as waitresses at a hotel where the boys played in a band.
Identical twins is one thing, but identical couples?? That’s entirely another.
Living in Russia, Anna and Boris got married just three years before Boris left to serve in the army. But while he was gone, something horrible happened. Anna’s whole family was exiled and forced to leave the country. Anna had no way of contacting Boris, and despite years of searching, he could not find her. Boris and Anna both experienced their own separate loves and losses after that.
Then, 60 years after their love had flourished and withered, Anna visited her hometown. Lo and behold, on her first return home she spotted Boris in the distance. They ran to each other, had a second wedding, and the rest, as they say, is history.
4. Love Always Wins
As gay men in 1950s America, John Mace and Richard Dorr’s love was doomed from the beginning. That didn’t stop them, though, and they had a rather full life together meeting each other in school, raising John’s son and grieving the child’s loss—all the while hiding their true relationship from the world. Finally, in 2011, New York legalized gay marriage.
61 years after meeting each other, the couple played celebratory love songs and got married at ages 84 and 91.
5. Til Death Do Us Part
We all love fantasizing about the moment of our engagement. We want it to be magical, and I’m sure Irena Kolokov was no different. Unfortunately for her, her husband-to-be had sinister plans. Instead of magic, this fiancé wanted to give his lady a shock and trauma that would last her entire life. He invited Kolokov out to a location and when she got there, she found a car crash and a paramedic who told her her boyfriend was dead.
There were ambulances and smoke and even his seemingly lifeless body. When Kolokov burst into tears, her boyfriend stood up and proposed. He wanted her to know how much she really needed him in her life so she’d really stay til death do them part. And, what do you know, she said yes.
6. Love at First Click
Have you ever passed someone on the street that attracted you so immediately and uniquely you almost wanted to ask them on a date right then and there? Of course, you never would…Unless you were Patrick Moberg. Moberg saw the woman of his dreams on a train. She had braided brown hair and rosy cheeks and although he didn’t speak to her in the moment that their eyes met for the first time, he did start a website to find her.
The website URL was www.NYGirlOfMyDreams.com. He found her within 48 hours of posting the website, but their fast-paced, intense relationship ended almost just as quickly. After two months they realized their mistake and went their separate ways. But at least Moberg never has to ask, “what if?”
7. One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure
Sometimes a door closed is another door opened. This was exactly the case after a woman’s horrible ex sold her favorite (and very expensive) guitar in a fit after she broke up with him. He was so smug about it that he gave away the location of the guitar at a local pawn shop. She found the pawnshop, then using some detective work found the guy who had purchased it.
It turns out he was an absolute sweetheart and gave it back to her for free in exchange for a jam session on his porch. Nine years later, they were still together, married, and happier than ever.
8. A Second Life
A woman falls ill after her husband passes on from a heart attack. The doctor tells her it’s probably due to depression and stress from his passing, but doc runs some tests anyway. She was so distressed she took out her husband’s handgun, ready to take her own life as well, but as she stared at it the doctor called. Her illness wasn’t due to her mental health. She was pregnant and had a new reason to live.
9. Moving Mountains
Gehlor is a small village in India which, until recently, had no street access to a doctor. One man, though, singlehandedly set out to change this. Dashrath Manjhi’s wife fell off a cliff and passed on because there was no easy access to medical services he could take her to. Then, he turned his heartbreak into a poignant tribute to her. After losing her, he refused to let anyone else lose their loved one in this way.
Following her passing, he began breaking apart the cliffs and mountains, creating a long road to connect his village to the nearest city. It took 22 years, but he finally completed his task.
Faizul Hasan Quadri married his wife when she was only 14 years old and the couple never had a child. His wife, Tajammuli Begum, did not want to be forgotten by history, despite not living on through a child. So, at age 77, Quadri began building an epic mausoleum for his deceased wife. The small building was a replica of the Taj Mahal—which is particularly fitting considering the original Taj Mahal was also built by a husband for his wife.
11. A Paper Trail
David Hurd was a good ol’ fashioned lover boy and sent daily letters to a woman named Avril Cato in the Caribbean. The two had never met, but a year after sending very intimate letters back and forth, Hurd proposed to Cato. She accepted, so he traveled to Jamaica and they laid eyes on each other for the first time ever—on their wedding day.
12. For the Love of Stuff
Objectophilia is a real thing. It’s when a person is sexually or romantically attracted to a physical object. One woman who was diagnosed with this condition was named Eija-Riitta, and her last name was changed to the German name for the Berlin Wall: Berliner-Mauer. That’s right, this woman fell in love with the wall after seeing it on TV. Why the Berlin Wall and not, say, the Great Wall of China?
Well, the Great Wall is too thick, she says. Berliner-Mauer likes long, slim, horizontal, “sexy” things and after saving up for many visits to see her love, the two were officially married in 1979. As you have probably guessed, though, this is a tragic love story. Only ten years after their wedding day, the Berlin Wall was torn down. Berlin-Mauer was devastated and I am honestly still not sure what to think about the whole situation.
13. Love in a Hopeless Place
At ages 25 and 19, Tarek and Hadil met and fell in love, but it was the wrong time and place. The two young lovers were refugees in a camp in Greece without any certainty around their future. Hadil was having a particularly difficult time because she had been separated from her parents, who were sent to Germany. What’s more, Hadil was Christian and Tarek was Muslim, so Hadil’s family was not happy.
Despite the hopeless-looking situation, the couple’s love blossomed—that is, until tragedy struck. Hadil’s cousins stole her away to a different camp, leaving Tarek with no way to get to her. Luck would have it, though, that a reporter happened upon his situation and gave him money to find Hadil and run away with her. The two escaped and their love was given a fresh start.
14. Finding a Home
Vic, a Canadian man, had his life turned upside down when he went backpacking in Amsterdam and ended up living on the streets. However, his life was flipped back when he met Emmy Abrahamson on a park bench. The two chatted for while. Abrahamson was visiting from Vienna and despite Vic’s scraggly beard and terrible smell, she saw a man who was worth a second date.
After Abrahamson left back home, Vic cleaned himself up and gained enough money to visit her. Within a few years, the couple were married and Vic had a degree in mechanical engineering!
15. In Sickness and in…Death?
Carl Tanzler, or “Count Carl Von Cosel” as he was known, was an x-ray technician in the early 1900s. Tanzler’s ex-wife and daughters lived in Germany, but he was working at a hospital in America. It was at the hospital where he met tuberculosis patient Elena Hoyos and he fell in love. She didn’t have the same feelings for him, but it didn’t matter for long, because she passed on from her disease and her body was placed in a graveyard. That’s when Tanzler enacted his sinister plan.
Tanzler claimed that wanted the best for this woman he had obsessed over and got her family’s approval to move her to a nice stone mausoleum. Unbeknownst to them, he had the only key to her resting place, and would visit her nightly with gifts. Eventually, Tanzler took this obsession further and brought her to a secret laboratory where he worked on Hoyos’ body until she was ready for him to bring back to his house. He was eventually charged, but never served a sentence and continued other strange antics throughout his life.
16. Love is Blind(ing)
Linda and Burt Pugach were happily married for many years before Linda passed on at the age of 75—but there was a horrific dark side to their relationship. Back in 1959, not even that long after they’d first met, Burt hired men to blind Linda with lye when she refused to keep seeing him. He served 14 years for his crime, and when he was released, he and Linda got back together.
Some say she might have suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, but the couple seemed passionately in love after the incident.
17. Tinder Loving
There is no doubt that we live in the age of dating apps and sites. These days, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home to find true love, but that also leads to problems like catfishing. A woman named Emma Perrier was pretty confident in her chances with one gorgeous man online, though, because the site required identity verification and a monthly fee.
After many months of falling in love, Perrier discovered that her love was not real and this fake person’s photos were actually images of a model named Adem Guzel. On the bright side, Guzel was a real person, so Perrier messaged him to let him know his identity was being used. Guzel proved his existence over Skype, and the two fell madly in love. I guess in one way or another dating sites do work!
18. Hero or Villain?
Looking back at our favorite childhood stories can be a bit of a wake-up call at times to the dark underbelly of everything in this world. For instance, ever wonder why the famous character Wonder Woman gets tied up in her comics all the time? It might have had something to do with the fact that her original creator, William Moulton Marston, was very much into bondage.
It turns out he was also a polyamorist who forced his wife into letting other women live with them. Marston would tell others that those women were relatives of some sort, but he was actually making their babies under the same roof as his wife. Someone could write a whole comic book just about Marston’s many loves that he kept secret from the rest of society—I don’t know if I’d call him a superhero, though…
19. Love is a Game
What do you do when you’ve given up all hope of finding the perfect woman? Marry a video game character, I guess. Or at least that’s what one Japanese man did in 2009 with a character named Nene Anegasaki from a Nintendo DS game. He is happy as any newly married man and plans to make a “happy household” with his wife.
20. Cruel Love
Victor Cingolani shot model Johana Casas twice in the head—but this is not the love story in question. No, rather, Johana’s twin sister Edith went on to marry her sister’s killer only one year into his 13-year sentence. Understandably, the world was skeptical. Edith’s family disowned her, furious onlookers pelted her with rocks after the ceremony, and the court forced her to undergo psychological testing before she was allowed to follow through with the marriage.
21. Super Secret Wedding
After seeing a man once, Madeline Ann Desmet managed to stalk that man for two years, send him dozens of love letters, and arrange their wedding. She was finally found out and charged when he was contacted by a jeweler asking him to pay for their wedding rings.
22. Wet and Wild
Sharon Tendler was the first person ever to marry a dolphin. Her husband’s name is Cindy. Okay, so the wedding wasn’t legally official, but it was certainly symbolic of her undying love for the male dolphin. She understands that Cindy will likely have children with another woman and she is open to the idea of marrying a human one day, but for now, she’s happily married to the herring-eating creature.
23. But That’s MY Husband!
When Linda was sitting at home watching an episode of Dr. Phil, she made a chilling discovery. On the episode two women were claiming to be married to a man named “Ed Hicks”—a man who was also dating Linda’s sister. Of course, Linda immediately called her sibling, who happened to be sitting right next to Hicks at the time. He had proposed just a week prior… Eventually, the sisters were able to call the authorities and were later invited onto Dr. Phil themselves!
24. Oh, Millennials
In the age of Twitter and Snapchat, love can be found in the strangest places. A woman named Victoria, for instance, was attracted to the writing of whoever was in charge of the Twitter account for her favorite bookstore. She jokingly tweeted out that she was in love with him and he contacted her via his personal Twitter.
The two never met in real life, until one day the boy tweeted out his craving for doughnuts and Victoria shyly dropped some off at his workplace. That was that. The two went on a real date and are now happily married to each other.