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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Stephen and Michaela

Stephen Howe and Michaela Harkins first locked eyes waiting for class registration in a Bates College auditorium and have been together ever since. 

Harkins knew Howe through a mutual friend who had a crush on her at the time. 

“He was always described as mysterious,” she said. He was a philosophy major, fencer and pianist who kept to himself, which she thought was “very cool sounding.” 

“It was very much love at first sight,” Harkins said.

At a small college like Bates, it was easy to spot couples by where they sat in the dining hall. Extroverts, Harkins said, sat at the long tables, while couples and friend groups sat at smaller tables in a separate room. That’s where the pair sat, and without even formally asking each other out, they were dating. 

The two got married 13 years into their relationship and settled in Boston 10 years ago. Boston has become their home and the location of all of their favorite date spots, whether it’s a coffee and a simple walk around the North End or a dinner at their favorite restaurant, Ma Maison.

“They have a table in the back, it’s a two-seater on a bench. It’s actually the perfect couples table. They will even say that,” Howe said, describing the cozy spot they’ve spent many dates together.  

“It helps to be best friends,” Harkins said. The two said their secret to 33 years of love is laughing together and supporting one another in what they do. 

Because they got married after dating for so long, they said that they were able to experience different phases of life together. They went through college and early adulthood together, allowing them to grow together and individually. 

“We knew we wanted to be together because we had kind of stuck together through all that,” Howe said. 

Stephen Howe and Michaela Harkins pose in front of the candy hearts that line Christopher Columbus Park’s “Tunnel of Love.” The couple met while studying at Bates College in Maine, describing their first interaction as “love at first sight.”




About the Contributor
Annika Sunkara
Annika Sunkara, Social Media Editor
Annika Sunkara is a second-year journalism major and audiovisual editor of The News. She aspires to continue producing accessible and engaging multimedia content. You can follow her @annika_sunkara on X/Twitter.
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