1. This man who spent half his life hand-carving 6,000 steps - now known as the famous 'Love Ladder' - in the steep mountainside for his wife, so she could walk up and down the mountain safely
In 1956, 20-year-old farmer Liu Guojiang fell in love with Xu Zhaoqing, a widow 10 years his senior, in Jiangjin county nearly 100 kilometers north of Southwest China's Chongqing city. Their romance was considered taboo by locals, leading them to run away and settle on a 1,500-meter mountain.
Liu spent the next 50 years carving more than 6,000 steps into the mountain to make it easier for Xu to ascend and descend. Dubbed the "love ladder," the stairway and Liu's love for Xu was the subject of a movie last year. Xu died at the age of 87 on October 30, while Liu died in 2007 aged 72.
2. A Russian man who staged his own death in a car crash, in a surprising twist to propose to his girlfriend
Oddball Alexey Bykov faked his own demise in a bizarre proposal to find out if his true love Irena wanted to be with him for the rest of their lives.
Alexey, 30 - from Omsk, Russia - hired a movie director, stuntmen, make-up artists, and even a script writer to stage a bogus car crash so that when girlfriend Irena Kolokov arrived she would be convinced he was dead.
"We'd arranged to meet at a certain place but when I arrived there were mangled cars everywhere, ambulances, smoke, and carnage," Irena said. "Then when I saw Alexy covered in blood lying in the road a paramedic told me he was dead and I just broke down in tears," she added.
But then 'dead' Alexey climbed to his feet and proposed to Irena still covered in fake blood.
3. A son worried about his divorced mom who decided to 'sell' her on eBay to help her find love...
James Doyan was worried about his mom, Sandi Firth. After going through a divorce in 2003, the 63-year-old grandmother of four just couldn’t meet the right man. She was lonely.
So, the dutiful son decided to take charge of the situation by selling her (kind of) on eBay. Doyan posted a flattering photo of his mother alongside these words: “My Yiddishe Momma for Sale: Beautiful, Great Cook, Educated, Articulate, Family Focused, Caring, Priceless.”
The starting price? One British pound. (Doyan and his mom live in England.) The ad went on to describe Firth as being in “used condition” but in “pretty good working order [with] no real defects or signs of wear and tear.” “She is stylish and loves to wear the latest fashions (sometimes forgetting her age),” Doyan added.
4. ...while a mom worried about her son's love life decided to advertise him online by launching an online dating site called "Date My Single Kid"
Devoted mother Geri Brin adores her son Colby, who lives in New York and is in his early 30s. In an effort to help him meet his perfect match, she launched a new online effort in July 2010 with the cringe-worthy title “Date My Single Kid.” But Brin didn’t do this just for her own boy — she opened the site up so parents everywhere could extol the virtues of their single sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, nieces and nephews.
Brin and her son humorously defended “Date My Single Kid” on TODAY. “I don’t think it’s meddling at all; I think it’s casting a wider net,” Brin said on the show. And son Colby said he appreciated his mom’s support: “I don’t think I need my mom; I’m also out there in the field doing my own work. But if my mom comes across someone she thinks would be good for me, there’s nothing to lose.”
5. An English married couple who got plastic surgery in effort to look like each other
Neil Megson (aka Genesis P-Orridge) is an English musician and performance artist most known for his work in the band Throbbing Gristle. In 1993, he married Jacqueline Breyer, and the pair began a bizarre quest to transform themselves into an “amalgam,” one person in two bodies.
They each got plastic surgery to look more like the other, including matching breast implants, liposuction, tattooed beauty marks and more. Even after Jacqueline died in 2007, Neil continued to shape his body to look more like hers.
6. When this smitten man spent his savings buying 99 iPhone 6's, arranged into a shape of a giant heart to propose to his girlfriend
The programmer, from Guangzhou province, spent the equivalent of two years salary on buying 99 iPhone 6s in order to – presumably – impress his girlfriend.
Arranging roughly £50,000 worth of Apple technology in a heart shape outside their workplace, the tech worker clutched a bouquet of flowers as a small crowd gathered to watch the young man’s heartfelt proposal – and to capture the moment on their smartphones.
Granted, the girlfriend turned down his proposal but hey, it's the thought that counts right?
7. An aspiring astronaut who stole a piece of the moon for his girlfriend which landed him in prison for 100 months
“The simple answer’s to say that I did it for love,” aspiring astronaut-turned-convict Thad Roberts told CBS News’ Mo Rocca when asked about his reasons for stealing a safe containing $21 million worth of moon rocks from NASA scientist Everett Gibson. “I did it because I wanted to be loved,” he continued. “I wanted someone to know that I'd literally cared about them that much. And to have the symbol there to remind them of it.”
Unfortunately, the “someone” in question was not Roberts’ doting wife, but the 22-year-old intern who aided him in the heist, whom he had met just three weeks earlier.
The stunt landed Roberts in prison for 100 months. Not willing to let his NASA experience or undergraduate degree in astrophysics go to waste, he spent his time behind bars contemplating the greatest mysteries of the universe, and conceived a theory to explain them.livescience.com
8. “I gave him my heart a long time ago, so what’s a kidney now?”
Since 2000, Servio Mendez knew he eventually would need a kidney transplant, but he also knew the chances of a donor organ coming from his family were slim — he, his mother and four of his five siblings have polycystic kidney disease.
Yet when he was diagnosed a dozen years ago, his wife decided that she would donate one of her kidneys when he needed it if she were a match.
“I gave him my heart a long time ago, so what’s a kidney now?” Vanessa Mendez, now 40, told him. “Dialysis just keeps you alive. It deteriorates the body so badly.”
9. When this couple's touching six decades of love is like the real-life 'The Notebook'. During the man's last moments, he used his will to ensure that his wife with Alzheimer's got the best care.
James and Lauretta Burke met just after World War II, when a neighbour introduced them. Their 64-year marriage produced nine children, 23 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. "On each of his daughters' wedding days, he [James Burke] would say the greatest thing you can do is to never stop loving your children's mother," Colleen Muldoon told the Huffington Post.independent.co.uk
Shortly after the dementia began to take hold of his wife, who is now 84, James, 87, underwent a surgery to implant a pacemaker in his heart, taking him in and out of the hospital for months earlier this year.huffingtonpost.com
James Burke passed away on November 13th this year, at the age of 87 and used his last moments to write a will ensuring the best possible care for his wife's Alzheimer's. "He said he was going home, and that he would see us all again."independent.co.uk
Because sometimes when you truly love someone, you would do anything to protect them