It has been that way for 47 years, since Mitt Romney — an 18-year-old student at the all-boys Cranbrook School — walked into a party and saw the nearly 16-year-old Ann, who attended Cranbrook's sister school, Kingswood.
For him, the moment was nothing short of electric.
"I caught his eye, and he never let me go," Ann told the Boston Globe in a 1994 interview. "I mean, he hotly pursued me."
The girl he set his heart on was the middle child and only daughter of Lois and Edward Roderick Davies. The immigrant son of a Welsh coal miner, Davies — an engineer and inventor — founded Jered Industries, a maritime equipment manufacturer that has since branched out into naval weapons handling and delivery systems. He also served as mayor of Bloomfield Hills.
Her mother was a cosmetics sales representative who was well into what she thought would be a lifelong career when she married Davies at age 30. After that, she became the dedicated housewife and mother that friends say would serve as Ann's model.
Ann was, in her own words, a tomboy, "playing baseball and football with the boys, and catching frogs and hunting for snakes out behind the house."
At Kingswood, she built a resume that any career-minded woman would have envied. In addition to playing field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, she reported for the student newspaper, the Clarion, volunteered at Pontiac State Hospital, served as a student adviser and was on the student council. She won a regional award for her weaving and also acted in several plays, including "Boeing My Way" and "Solomon and the Balkis."
"She had lots of depth," says Sue Brethen Lapelle, a boarding student who has fond memories of weekends at the Davies home and swimming in their pool.
And now, she had Mitt.
"They were so cute together and so happy together," says Lapelle, an Atlanta interior designer who had briefly dated Romney. "There was never one ounce of any question that they weren't supposed to be together, I guess."
Romney proposed to Ann at his senior prom, and she accepted. According to Ann, it was she who initiated her conversion to Mormonism.
Edward Davies had been brought up in the Welsh Congregational tradition; his wife described their family as Episcopalian. In truth, Davies wasn't much for organized religion.
But his daughter had been quietly searching for a spiritual home. While Mitt was away at Stanford University in California, Edward Davies agreed to allow George Romney to send some missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to speak with his daughter.
When she was baptized, Gov. Romney officiated.
In 1967, Ann entered Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. By then, Mitt Romney had suspended his studies to fulfill his missionary duties in France, and she saw him there during a semester abroad in the mountains just southeast of Grenoble — site of the Winter Olympics.
Donlu Thayer was, by her own estimation, a "nerdy, booky person" who always seemed older than her years. Ann, by contrast, was a "bubbly, beautiful thing."
One weekend, when everyone else was running off to go skiing or shopping, Thayer decided to visit Soeur Macaire, an elderly shut-in from the local Mormon congregation. To her surprise, Ann — then a freshman — offered to go with her to the dingy little apartment.
To her, that was "the essence of Ann."
"She could have been doing ANYTHING else, and she came with me to see that woman — and nobody else did," says Thayer, who went on to teach two of the Romneys' sons at Brigham Young. "Bottom line is Ann Romney is the kind of woman I would instinctively HATE. And I love her."
After her return to BYU, Ann briefly dated another student — and even wrote Mitt what the Washington Post characterized as a "Dear John" letter. It didn't stick.
On March 21, 1969, the couple were married in a civil ceremony at the Davies home. Among the 300 guests attending the reception at the Bloomfield Hills Country Club were the presidents of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., and then-Rep. Gerald R. Ford.