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Martin Carlino, Editor
3:46 am CST January 29, 2020

Just over 15 years ago, The New York Times launched its “Modern Love” column. 

For readers unfamiliar with the basis of the Times’ immensely popular feature, “Modern Love” is a weekly column about relationships, feelings, heartbreak and revelations. Broken down to its simplest form, “Modern Love” is way for Times readers to share their love stories — both good and bad. 

The column has since gone on to produce several spin-offs, such as “Tiny Love Stories,” a “Modern Love” mini-series on Amazon Prime and a “Modern Love” podcast, since its inception. 

While the idea of reader-submitted love stories might not appeal to everyone, I’ll openly admit my admiration for the foundation of “Modern Love.” Sure, I’ll even go ahead and say it: I’m a sucker for a good love story.

Those of you who share similar sentiments are in luck. Just as the Times’ “Modern Love” column does, we’re celebrating love and highlighting the perfect imperfections of relationships with the return of our annual How We Met Contest. 

In case you missed the details a few weeks back, the rules for this contest are simple.

We want you to write up your love story of how you met your valentine in 400 words or less and send it to us at or mail to The Northbrook Tower, 60 Revere Drive, Suite 888, Northbrook IL, 60062. 

We’ll then feature the winning entry and even some of our other favorites submissions in our Feb. 13 edition.

In the spirit of what I probably consider my favorite Tower contest of the year, I’ll share my yearly update to a certain love story that I told in this exact space the previous two years, and one that holds a special place in my heart. 

And if you remember the love story of Jane and Joe, named that for the purposes of anonymity, you’re quite the loyal and dedicated reader.

I can, with full confidence, report that Jane and Joe are still living out their love story, as happily as ever.

You might have a hunch at this point whose love story I’m referring to. Hopefully the above inspired you just enough to pick up your pens and write your own personal love story for The Tower. If not, thanks, as always, for listening. If so, here’s my unofficial — but totally official because part of this includes the contest rules — advice.

If you’re willing to share your love story with us, there’s a pretty good chance it’s a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, Northbrook-based love story. Your tale is probably unlike anyone else’s out there. So make sure to express that in your submission and share all the wonderfully unique details of your love story with your valentine. 

Submissions for The Tower’s How We Met Contest should be 400 words or less. The deadline for submissions to our contest this year is Feb. 7, so you still have more than a week to submit. Being married to your significant other is not a prerequisite for entry. Typically entries are written by married folks, but if you’re in some type of relationship, and you’re a Northbrook resident, then you qualify. 

Remember to include a phone number with your entry so we can reach you and a photo of you and your special someone. The winner will receive a special prize from a Northbrook business.

We’ve already received some great entries, and I look forward to reading several more submission from residents. 

Happy writing!