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Most of us look for love in our lifetime, and who better to provide the ultimate advice for finding your soul mate than the older generations?
Many older adults in our care homes have been married for over 50 years and certainly know a thing or two about finding love and the secret to a long-lasting relationship.
To mark Valentine’s Day 2023 (14th February), care home residents across the UK have come together to share their words of wisdom and ‘First Date Dos and Don’ts’ for younger generations across the globe. Along with first date rules, our residents have also shared their heartwarming stories of marriage and the secrets to a long-lasting relationship!
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Jacqui married her husband Brian in 1965 - the couple had a small and intimate wedding ceremony. Brian was a Welsh International Rugby Union player - Jacqui shares they “have been blessed to travel the world together and our favourite place is South Africa”.
Jacqui has been married to her husband Brian for 57 years and the happy couple both know the secret to a long-lasting relationship:
Jacqui’s advice for a lasting and loving marriage is “holding hands and making sure you always have a lovely day”
Brian’s secret for a loving marriage is to “love one another, respect one another and trust one another”
Jacqui is now a resident at Ty Llandaff Care Home in Cardiff and Brian visits her every day. The team at Ty Llandaff Care Home shared, “they are absolutely in love with Brian and Jacqui’s story and feel lucky to be a part of their love story”.
Here are the first date dos and don’ts from our care home residents in Essex:
Don recently turned 100 and shares that the secret to a long-lasting relationship is to “put your phone down and have a chat together".
Beryl, a resident at Billericay’s Anisha Grange Care Home, met her husband at a dance hall in Liverpool. Beryl says, “he asked her for a dance, it wasn’t love at first sight, but it developed over time.”
They got married when Beryl was 22 and her husband 24 in 1957 and were married for almost 60 years. Beryl's advice to younger generations looking for love is to “take your time and don’t rush”.
Here are the first date dos and don’ts from our care home residents in London:
“Find someone who can keep the house intact” - Dolly, 95 (a resident at Rosewood House Care Home, Stepney)
“Find someone you’re in love with” - Sarah, 51 (a resident at Rosewood House Care Home, Stepney)
Residents at Haling Park Care Home in Croydon, Barbara (81) and Peter (93) met whilst working at Whitbread Brewery at Kings Cross in the 1960s and have been married for 60 years - the pair definitely know the secret to finding your soul mate.
Barbra says it’s important to marry a caring man. She’s very much in love with Peter as much as the first day they met and shares “Peter is a patient, kind, loving man and she’s lucky to have him around”.
Childhood sweethearts Derek and Jill met when they were 16 and 14 in 1958 and shared how their love for adventures on Derek's motorbike brought them lots of joy.
The true love Derek and Jill have for each other grows stronger each day. Jill is now a resident at Haling Park Care Home and Derek shares “I look forward to visiting her every day, it’s time for me to repay her kindness to me when I was in hospital.”
John and Christine met outside a phone box in Streatham in 1973. They got married 5 years later in 1978 at the Brixton registry office and have 3 beautiful daughters - Lisa, Kerry, and Rebecca.
John is now a resident at Haling Park Care Home and the couple are in love more than ever before, as they recently renewed their vows in 2022 to celebrate 49 years of marriage!
Dolly, a resident at Rosewood House Care Home in Stepney is 95 years old and was married to her husband Ronald for 72 years!
She met her husband at a local dance hall, where he asked her for a first dance. Two years later, Ronald proposed at the very same dance hall. Dolly’s advice for a long-lasting marriage is to “always forgive and forget”.
Here are the first date dos and don’ts from our care home residents in Oxfordshire:
The couple got married on 5th of April 1952 and held their wedding reception in Alf’s parent’s front room; it was a simple but very special day. Alf and Wibke were married for 68 years and had four daughters and one son.
Here are the first date dos and don’ts from our care home residents across Scotland:
All they wanted was to get married straight away but David and his wife were told to wait until they were 19. Together, David and his wife had 2 wonderful children and they lived in married bliss for many years.
Hanny (74), a resident at Havencourt Care Home, met her husband Bert at a party and did long-distance dating at the start of their relationship. The couple got married in August 1972 and travelled the world together.
Jean, a resident at Brampton Manor Care Home in Newmarket, shares the joy of meeting people ‘out and about’. She “fondly reminisces of the local dances she and her friends attended that were close to the air base during the war - where there were always lots of opportunities to meet new people.”
Here are the first date dos and don’ts from our care home residents across Surrey:
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