Valentine’s Day can get a bad rap as a consumerist holiday invented by greeting card companies, but the stories of local couples may just restore faith in love and even a bit of appreciation for the celebrations that accompany every Feb. 14.
In honor of the big day approaching, the Shoreview Press asked readers to share their tales of romance and advice for making love last.
One Shoreview couple, who asked to remain anonymous, celebrated 55 years of martial bliss last year. In reflecting back on the early years of their relationship, they said, they realized there were many instances when they each sensed they were in it for the long haul.
“We had experienced many moments when there was a strong sense that we would be compatible with sharing life’s pleasures, leading to a long journey of love together,” the husband, a self-professed hopeless romantic, wrote.
One such moment came when splitting a candy bar. Though a seemingly small thing, it hinted at the big love that the couple’s compatibility would bring. Pearson’s Candy Company used to make a chocolate bar called “Seven Up,” which was comprised of seven different flavors of chocolate, almost like a box of chocolates, but joined together in a single bar—and, as the husband noted, only 10 cents back in the day.
“I preferred the butterscotch caramel, cherry crème, orange jelly and coconut,” he said. “She preferred the fudge, nougat and butter crème. This was a clear signal of our perfect compatibility, match and love!”
Though the Seven Up bar was discounted in 1979, throughout the years, the couple’s love has lasted, with plenty of sweet treats to split. “We continue on and share Nut Goodies, Salted Nut Rolls and kisses,” they wrote.
Another couple, Paul and Linda Thompson, fondly look back at the many decades they have spent together. They met as teenagers in Michigan in the early 1950s. Paul had a part-time job delivering newspapers, and Linda’s family’s house was on his route.
“She (Linda) caught my eye, and eventually, as the big school dance was approaching, I mustered up the courage to ask her for dance lessons,” Paul remembered. “Thankfully she said yes.”
From there, the couple said, the rest was history. After going to the dance together, they were, as Linda said, “an item” for the rest of high school and married in 1954, a year after graduating. When they relocated to Minnesota in 1960, Paul worked as a civil engineer, and Linda taught elementary school before becoming a stay-at-home mother to their three children, who attended Mounds View schools.
Now in their mid 80s, both Paul and Linda said they are “more in love than ever.” What’s the secret to their happy marriage? They say it’s ultimately communication and making time for one another.
“He really is my best friend,” Linda said. “Our relationship has evolved and deepened as we’ve gotten older. Everything is better when he’s by my side.”