Holding hands into old age, laughing at your partner’s jokes even when you don’t find them funny, and knowing when to bite your tongue — that’s true love, according to those who’ve experienced it the longest. A study of 2,000 people over 50 explored the elements of long-lasting love to unveil 50 signs of the real thing.
Kissing at least seven times a week was critical to keeping the fire burning year after year, while saying "I love you" at least nine times a week was also integral to long-term happiness, results showed. Encouraging silliness in one another, learning to get along with the in-laws, and avoiding jealousy if the other person spends time with the opposite sex were also deemed key factors in cementing a long-lasting love.
The research, commissioned by www.retirementmove.co.uk, found that on average, love blossoms four-and-a-half months into a new relationship. Only nine percent believe in love at first sight, but just under half of those polled went as far as to say they believed in the concept of "the one" when it comes to romance.
But love doesn’t always come easily; over half (56 percent) feel they don’t fall in love easily. Forty-nine percent said they would choose falling in love over winning the lottery, results showed — although more than a quarter (29 percent) would rather take the cash.
And it seems love only blossoms with age. Nearly a quarter of those retired said the best thing about not having to work was getting spend quality time with the person they loved. And two-thirds agreed that love definitely gets stronger with age, with just one in 12 thinking otherwise. Check out the full list below.
The Over 50s Top 50 Secrets To Lasting Love
- Supporting each other through tough times
- Building a home together
- Not taking each other for granted
- Missing your partner when they are away
- Remembering the little things
- Not being afraid to show weakness
- Being "in tune" with each other
- When you can comfortably sit in silence
- Agreeing to disagree sometimes
- Knowing when something is wrong
- Holding hands while in your fifties and later
- Wanting them to let you know they arrived safely after a long journey
- Being able to confide in them about anything
- Valuing your partner’s needs over your own
- Laughing at each other’s jokes — even if they're not funny
- Going for a long walk together
- Worrying for their safety when they go away
- Making tea/coffee for each other
- Feeling comfortable discussing medical or health issues
- Remembering life is for living
- Encouraging your partner in their career
- Supporting each other when parenting
- Not having to dress to impress them
- Knowing when to bite your tongue
- Having adventures together
- Suffering no embarrassment at total nudity with each other
- Encouraging silliness in each other
- Arranging surprise breaks away
- Cooking a nice mid-week dinner
- Feeling a sense of pride at how your partner conducts themselves
- Sitting through television/films you hate but partner likes
- Being able to insult them without them taking it personally
- Tidying up after yourself
- Getting along with your in-laws no matter how difficult
- Bringing home food (or cake) without being asked
- Sharing your last chocolate
- Being able to talk absolute gibberish
- Not minding them looking at other men/women
- Not being grossed out/put off by anything they do
- Recording their favorite show for them
- Admitting when they're terrible at DIY
- Finishing each other’s sentences
- Knowing what to order at the bar without asking
- Boasting to other people about your partner’s achievements
- Giving your partner control of the television
- Watching soaps together
- Getting up early to sort out the kids
- Getting nice presents especially jewelry
- Liking each other’s’ friends.
- Hating the same things.
This article was originally written by Yours editors. For more, check out our sister site, Yours.