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Friday, December 08, 2023 — Houston, TX

Tiny love stories: ‘Why try to break something that’s not broken?’

Deema Beram / Thresher

By Michelle Gachelin and Riya Misra     3/7/23 11:08pm

Inspired by Tiny Love Stories, a section of the Modern Love column by the New York Times, our new series shares the love lives of the Rice community in bite-sized stories. If you’re interested in telling us your love story, email thresher@rice.edu.

Marriage From Afar

Rice alumna (’20) Chenlin Huang met her husband in 2017 at McMurtry College’s Y2K public. They began dating soon afterwards and got married last December.

“I’m a med student in St. Louis, but I met my husband at Rice,” Huang said. “It was initially on Tinder, because he was a [mechanical engineering major] and he’s two years ahead of me, so he graduated in 2018. There were basically no chances for us to know each other in real life if it weren’t for Tinder. But we had it and we first met each other in real life at Y2K … I was at Rice for another two years, so we’ve been doing long distance since 2018.”

Huang said that she and her husband are both independent, but they call each other every day.

“I’m such an expert in long distance,” Huang said. “I think the most important thing is that you know what your love language is [and] what the other person’s love language is. Long distance definitely does not work for everybody, and it’s definitely not fun to talk about initially … We don’t really have any shenanigans going on, and we are really open and honest with each other. So I think from my standpoint, that’s the kind of person that I would want [to have] a long distance relationship with.”

14 & Cuffed

Luisa Martinez, a Hanszen College freshman, met her current girlfriend at an all-girls middle school.

“All my friends were lesbians, which is also an important piece of context,” Martinez said. “I met my girlfriend in seventh grade … and then we started dating at the very end of eighth grade, which is great. We like to pretend that we started dating [in] freshman year just to make it a little bit better.”

The two of them are approaching five years of dating, a length of time that Martinez said comes with its own set of challenges — including a fanbase.

“Since we’ve been together for so long, like a lot of our longtime friends [or] even just people [who] went to the same middle school as us are weirdly invested in our relationship,” Martinez said. “We have people depending on us. Multiple people have been like, ‘You guys have to stay together. What about me?’ I’m like, ‘You’re someone [who] I interacted with twice literally four years ago. Please calm down.’”

Like Huang, Martinez is no stranger to the ins and outs of a long distance relationship, which she and her girlfriend entered into after graduating high school.

“We just decided to just go for it,” Martinez said. “Why try to break something that’s not broken?”

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