Credit: Jeffrey Marini

When we put out a call to readers to nominate the most inspiring power couples they know to be featured in our Valentine’s Day issue, the question on everyone’s lips seemed to be, “What the hell’s a power couple?” We specifed that we didn’t mean like “Michelle and Barack or Rahm and the City Council (hoo-ah!),” but to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure we knew exactly what we were looking for until the nominees started rolling in.

In the past, we’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day in pretty predictable alt-weekly fashion: relying on snark and suspicion of consumerist holidays. (You should totally still come to our Anti-Valentine’s Day Party!) This year, we said screw it, let’s show some love to love, or at least to the people who make being in love seem less gruesome.

We received nearly 200 nominations, which sort of validated our suspicion that people don’t hate love so much after all; in fact, they’re pretty thrilled for friends who’ve found it. The nominated couples had one thing in common: awesome individuals who were lucky enough to find one another—something we asked each couple to recall by writing an I Saw You based on their first meeting.

It was tough to winnow our choices down to four . . . well, actually, we’d selected five couples, but one of them broke up a week before publication (which maybe makes our judgment suspect). Still, we think we’ve picked perfect partners who embody what it means to be powerfully in love in Chicago. Gwynedd Stuart

Our Anti-Valentine’s Day party—and a new I Saw You site

Is this whole “Ain’t love grand?” thing not cutting it?
Because we understand.
In fact, we throw an annual party in honor of those who prefer to give Valentine’s Day a middle finger rather than a hug.
This year’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Party at the Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie) stars the “Queen of Bounce,” Big Freedia, along with the Windy City Rollers dishing out shots to the beats of Swaguerrilla. Plus, the Bruised Orange Theater Company will be doing interpretations from our 20-year bank of “I Saw You” submissions, which is fitting because we’re launching a shiny new “I Saw You” site—I​Saw​You​.chicagoreader​.com—on which you can post the missed connections that happen to you on a weekly basis while making a trek on the Red Line or shooting pool at the neighborhood bar. You might even post one after you leave tonight’s party.

V-Day Issue: A duo that met on the dance floor

Aay Preston-Myint and Colin Dickson’s first date “didn’t just have a third wheel, it had 20.”

V-Day Issue: A power couple like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, but better

Together for 17 years, Lynn Rondeau and Katy Bird are the type of people who’ll parallel park your car for you.

V-Day Issue: Young love later in life

Eleanor Spiess-Ferris and Umberto Tosi are “male and female versions of the same creative spirit.”

V-Day Issue: Finding love in poli-sci and sci-fi

Claire and Rufus Barner intend to leave Chicago a better place than they found it.