"To all my friends and relatives, to all colleagues: I am giving up on everything and eloping with Wang Qin.” So wrote Chinese billionaire venture capitalist Wang Gongquan on his micro blog on May 16.
To fill you in a bit, Wang is a successful, married businessman.
As his blog post says, he plans to “elope” or run off with his mistress, leaving behind his wife, family and friends.
Many romantic young couples have sympathized with his choice.
"The greatest measure of success in life isn’t how much money you make. It’s whether or not you’re able to lead the life you want to live. Wang is a person who lives honestly,” one micro blogger wrote on Sina Weibo.
Such sentiments have long motivated eloping young couples as they seek to be together, despite parental objections.
Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo and Juliet is a timeless example of this. In the play, the young couple Romeo and Juliet falls in love. However, their families are basically at war, so the couple plans to elope and marry secretly with the help of a few trusted confidants.
The story doesn’t end well for Shakespeare’s young lovers. But that hasn’t stopped young lovers from running away together.
But, where do lovelorn young couples elope?
In the UK, one small Scottish village has become synonymous with the act of eloping.
Lord Hardwicke’s marriage act of 1753 meant that, in England, people under the age of 21 couldn’t get married without parental permission.
As a result, youngsters began eloping over the border to Gretna Green, where they could get married as long as they were at least 16.
Many infamous chases have taken place along the old coach route to Gretna Green.
But in these tales they always reach Gretna Green just a little too late to stop their daughters from getting married.
Residents near Gretna were well known for helping runaway couples. Many inns located along the route to the village could be counted on to “accidentally” delay any pursuers, allowing couples to reach Gretna safely.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that things will end “happily ever after” for eloping couples. But they may just have a great story to tell their grandkids.
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