‘Take It Or Leave It!’: Meet The 80-Year-Old Relationship Experts Sharing Their Hilarious Rules Of Long-Lasting Love For Londoners In Their Twenties

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 2024 (14th February), care home residents around London have come together to share the dos and don’ts of a long-lasting relationship to reveal the secrets to finding your soulmate for younger generations.

With an average age of 82, Lottie’s care home residents share their relationship dos and don’ts for younger generations:

  • ‘Take it or leave it’, shares Barbara (91)
  • Never Go to bed angry’, shares Elizabeth (79)
  • ‘Always be there for each other’, shares John (70)
  • ‘Find someone you can enjoy your life with’, shares Jill (80)
  • ‘Be yourself and don’t try to be anybody else’, shares Pamela (87)
  • ‘Be true to each other’, shares Iris (85)
  • ‘Have respect for each other’, shares Brenda (80)

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.”

Barbara (83) and Peter (93) have also been married for 60 years and share the secret to a long-lasting relationship is having “lots of laughs together and always being there for each other.”

87-year-old Pamela, a resident at Priory Court Care Home in Epsom, advises younger generations to “act natural on first dates” as you will find someone you truly click with. 

Iris, (85-years-old) also agrees with Pamela and shares, “be true to each other”.

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. 80-year-old Brenda believes “you should be friends before anything else and find the things you have in common”

Brenda went to the picture on the first date with her husband, and they married quickly after! She remembers her wedding day perfectly, especially the cake that was made by her husband, who was a pastry chef. After tying the knot, the couple enjoyed their honeymoon in Brighton.

91-year-old Barbara keeps her relationship advice for younger generations simple and jokingly shared “take it or leave it!”.

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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