Home Family & Relationship “Make Sure He Is Good Looking!”: Meet The 80-Year-Old Relationship Experts Sharing Their Hilarious Rules of Long-Lasting Love for Valentine’s Day

“Make Sure He Is Good Looking!”: Meet The 80-Year-Old Relationship Experts Sharing Their Hilarious Rules of Long-Lasting Love for Valentine’s Day

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Most of us look for a partner to share life’s adventures with, and who better to get the ultimate advice when finding a long-lasting love than older generations?

To mark Valentine’s Day, care home residents across the UK have come together to share the dos and don’ts of a long-lasting relationship and reveal the secrets to finding your soulmate for younger generations.

With an average age of 85, Lottie’s care home residents share their relationship do’s and don’ts for younger generations:

  • “Have a bit of sugar now and again to keep the flame alive.” – George (88) and Mary (87)
  • “Do smack their bottom.” – Greta (84)
  • “Do make sure he is good-looking.” – Grace (88)
  • “Don’t let him get a kiss on the first date.” – Janet (79)
  • “Don’t let your husband cook, as you’ll only be eating beans on toast.” – Pauline (91)
  • “Do as you are told.” – Terence (88)
  • “Do fight through the hard times.” – Hazel (81)
  • “Don’t think it will be easy.” – Colin (84)
  • “Never go to bed angry.” – Nancy (87)
  • “Don’t get married.” –  Ray (78)

George and Mary, residents of Tickford Abbey Care Home in Newport Pagnell, are preparing to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. The couple met as teenagers at a village hall dance; it was “love at first sight”, and the pair have “never looked back” since. 

George and Mary share that the secret to a long-lasting relationship is respecting each other. They “have always stuck by each other during hardship; struggling together when we were younger made us a team.” 

The couple also believes it’s essential to keep the spark from the very beginning of your relationship alive, sharing: “The greatest thing about our marriage is that we have always been wild!”

84-year-old Greta, a resident at Pinehurst Care Centre in Crowthorne, also believes keeping the fun side of your relationship alive is key to long-lasting love and jokingly shares “smack their bottom” now and then!

Childhood sweethearts Derek and Jill, who met in 1958, bonded over adventures on Derek’s motorbike. Despite challenging times in 1960 when Derek faced a serious road accident, leaving him unable to work for two and a half years, their love endured. Jill visited him every day; Derek says: “This just drew us closer together, and since that time, we have never been apart.”

Derek and Jill’s true love for each other grows stronger each day. Jill is now a resident at Haling Park Care Home in Croydon, and Derek looks forward to visiting Jill daily. 

The couple have been happily married for over 60 years and attribute the longevity of their love to the importance of “finding someone you can enjoy your life with.”

Residents at Dounemount Care Home in Macduff, like Nancy (87 years old), believe the key to a long-lasting relationship is to “never take your partner for granted”. 70-year-old Ethel says you should always “be kind to each other and smile every day”.

Janet (a resident at Oakview Lodge Care Home) met her husband, Tom, 69 years ago! The couple met at a school leaver’s party and immediately felt comfortable in each other’s company. 

Janet says the secret to a happy marriage is to “always talk things through without rowing”. Tom adds that it’s important to be there for your partner and says he “always rushed home to see Janet after work as we hated spending time apart”.

Many older adults across Lottie’s care homes have shared that it’s important not to feel pressured to find your soulmate this Valentine’s Day. 93-year-old Erica, a resident at Hilton House Care Home in Stoke-on-Trent, shares: “Don’t get married too quick.”

Ray (78), a resident at Pinehurst Care Centre, also agrees with Erica and shares that you should “test the water just in case”.

102-year-old Winnie (resident at The Amwell Care Home) shares that the simple secret to long-lasting love is “to just love each other”.

There are lots of lessons in love we can learn from older generations, shares Chris Donnelly, co-founder at Lottie: “It’s amazing to hear the stories of love in our care homes and the fond memories sparked by reminiscing for each resident. What’s more, there are so many lessons we can all learn from older generations, no matter your age.

“Love is something many of us search for during our lifetime, and it’s often a popular topic around Valentine’s Day. Since the start of February, we have seen a surge in people of all ages looking for tips for finding their soulmate, with online searches for ‘help me find love’ increasing by 100% and ‘dating and relationship advice’ growing by 50%.

“That’s why we’ve spoken to older generations; with over 50 years of marriage, they are the true relationship experts and know the secret to a long-lasting relationship. From respecting each other, keeping the romance alive, and not putting too much pressure on yourself to find a partner, our residents have shared many pearls of wisdom in love and romance this Valentine’s Day.”

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