Couple from Stomp's Love Story contest in 2014: From $20 plastic ring to real diamond ring after 9 years

Submitted by Stomper Hermes

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It all started on Facebook.

Stompers Hermes and Irene shared their romance for Stomp's Love Story contest in 2014, saying their 13-year age gap was not an issue for them.

Nine years later, their love for each other has only grown.

From broke university student to owner of two companies

Nostalgia prompted Hermes to share with Stomp how the couple is doing now.

"Nine years ago, we were on Stomp for Valentine's Day and at that time I was still in uni and was a broke student so I bought her a plastic ring for $20," he said.


This Valentine's Day, Hermes was proud to finally buy Irene a real diamond ring from SK Jewellery.

"Although it wasn't the most expensive ring in the store, to her, it is the most expensive ring her husband has bought for her."

The plastic wedding ring (left) Hermes bought Irene nine years ago and the real diamond ring from SK Jewellery (right).

Hermes and Irene first connected on Facebook about 12 years ago through a friend when he was a student in Albania while Irene was in Singapore.

"We Skype called every day and my wife had to make sacrifices because of the time difference," he said.

"She would sleep around 6am every morning for me."

Hermes told Stomp that he did not complete his university course and gave it up to be with Irene.

"I worried that she would wait too long for me to finish school so I came over to Singapore in 2014 and we got married with no wedding dinner, no grand ceremony, just a $20 ring and a silver wedding band was all we could afford."

Photos taken when they registered their marriage in 2014.

As newlyweds, Hermes said his in-laws were not very supportive of their relationship due to their age difference so they moved out to a small rented room in Woodlands.

"She worked and I stayed at home doing some online jobs," he said.

"Life was so tough, we survived on $10 a day for our breakfast, lunch and dinner."

They overcame the odds and Hermes, who is now a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) now owns two companies in Singapore: Lion City Aircon, and Expats Coliving. Irene is a housewife.

Behind every successful man is a woman

Hermes told Stomp he would not be where he is now without Irene's love and support.

"I am now 31 and my wife is 44," he said.

"I know there will be haters and naysayers but we have been together all this time and our love never faded like what people said.

"Some said if a younger man marries an older woman, he will run away or is after her money but when I married Irene, she was bankrupt.

"Our relationship gets stronger every day like when we just fell in love.

"Although she is ageing day by day, love is not defined by numbers or looks.

"If it is, it is not real love.

"Without my wife's support, I don't know if I could ever have been able to own what I have today.

"Behind every successful man is always a woman.

"For singles, it's their mother, for married men, it's always their wife."

Now that Hermes and Irene have overcome the odds, they hope to expand their family.

"We have been trying in vitro fertilization (IVF) and hopefully, at her age, we will find success," he said.

"However, the doctor told us that we only have a 6 per cent chance but we are not giving up hope yet."

Age doesn't matter

Hermes hopes that his and Irene's story will be helpful for other couples with wide age gaps.

"Age does not matter if the love is real," he said.

"I would like to encourage those who are facing the same issue to not be afraid and to go for it.

"If you decide that she is the one, just go ahead.

"What other people say about you doesn't measure how much you love your woman.

"Build your dreams and family with her so long as you really love her."

@lioncityairconangmo #ourlovestory#happyvalentinesday #mywife #loveyou ♬ 原声 - August