Our readers’ local love stories

You helped us put our city on the map by submitting your love stories.

A lake with buildings in the background and location points — featuring hearts inside — pointing to different spots around the lake.

As it turns out, Lakeland is the site of many a love story.

Image via LALtoday

For Valentine’s Day 2024, we made a map of local places where our readers have made memories and love stories. We asked for your help compiling everything from proposals to making friends. You did not disappoint.

A pink map showing the City of Lakeland, with multiple small hearts scattered around the map.

Click on the map to view and read all of the love stories.

Screenshot via Proxi

You can explore all of the local love stories by clicking on the hearts, but there are a few love stories that we just had to share:

  • ”... In 2022 I moved back to [Lakeland] for the 4th and final time. This time was different, as I went back to my home state [Delaware] to get my mother... I proposed the idea of moving back to Florida with me, and she agreed! Fast forward to today, and a mother who says she’s living her best life! Her health has improved substantially, and we’re out exploring almost every weekend! ...” — Anonymous reader
  • “My boyfriend and I first met on the school bus and started dating our 8th/9th grade year at McKeel Academy. We were each other’s first real love. After graduation, we went separate ways. I stayed in Lakeland and he joined the military. Fast forward to about ten years later, he has a daughter of his own and I have two children of my own… I take my two year old daughter to Bonnet Springs Park and while we’re on the playground I hear someone say ‘Hey’ and when I turn to see who it was, it was him... We realized it should have always been us. I truly believe that fate brought us together that day :)” — Erika H.
  • “My current fiance, Kate, and I expressed our feelings for each other at the Polk Theatre on December 3, 2022 after a Christmas performance by the Lakeland Symphony. We just got our engagement pictures done at the Polk Theatre since it was the place where everything started!” — Emily M.

Now we’re really feeling the love.

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