Augustine Blaisdell, 33, Paris

When Augustine Blaisdell moved to Paris in spring 2009, falling in love wasn’t on the agenda. She was researching a book about the history of feminism while recovering from heartbreak. But the City of Lights had other plans.

She texted Eric, a French-American she’d met through a mutual friend, for a Louvre excursion, figuring “he’d be a homey.” After an evening of Mona Lisa and music, he followed up with a dinner invite.

“Two absinthe sours later, he kissed me on the way back to his apartment. And that was kind of the end of it,” she says. “I was totally smitten. Lovesick crazy.”

The attraction was part Parisian magic, part Eric’s effortless cool, and part that he made her laugh until her cheeks hurt. But they both played it close to the vest.

“He said, ‘I want to take my time to get to know you. There’s no rush,’” she says. “There was a certain level of respect, but also uncertainty.”

Her visa status meant she had to return to the U.S. after 90 days, and she was torn about saying how she felt.  So she left a suitcase with him, telling him she’d be back in September. When she returned, she decided to “put both feet in.”

“When you’re young, you always have a plan B. You’re supposed to be playing the field. This is the first time I decided, I’m going to be really vulnerable. There isn’t going to be a Plan B. I don’t have an alternative, but I’ll be fine. I’m going to give it my all.”

One night, she said she loved him. He didn’t say it back immediately, but she could tell how he felt by how he acted. When he did say the words, he meant them. In 2012, Augustine and Eric married. They live on a beautiful whitewashed street in Montmartre with their first child.