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Rich and Jen Mildenberger

Rich, 29, and Jen, 28, were buddies for a year before she got over her fear that romance would ruin their friendship.

The bowling: Rich and I met through a mutual friend and became instant buddies. We did everything from bowling to video games to going to the pool. We were both in college – he at Central Piedmont and I at UNC Charlotte. I was in a long-distance relationship, so Rich and I hung out all the time.

The freak out: When we talked about dating, I would freak out. Once you get mushy gushy, things can instantly take a nosedive. But when we finally went on that first date, it felt completely right.

The opposites: We are definitely opposites. Rich is a landscaper who likes to get dirty, and I'm the prissy Realtor. Rich is quiet, and I'm outgoing. We started dating and shared our first kiss in 1999 and married in June 2001.

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