On Jan. 25, 2012, Mr. Haire, a hobbyist poet, slipped a sonnet vowing “friendship and affection” beneath Mrs. Bryant’s apartment door with a note that said “this represents how I feel in our relationship as a couple.” He was afraid to give it to her in person.

“I was desperately trying to strike a balance between too timid or bold. I didn’t want to mess things up,” he said about the courtship. “I can attest that it doesn’t get easier even in advanced age.”