The Ageless Path You’re On

I love to find dating inspiration in all kinds of couples. I recently found it in Lois Hjelmstad, author of the new book This Path We Share: Reflecting on 60 Years of Marriage.

Who'll share the path for your 60 years?

I was interviewing her for a relationship piece I wrote for Redbook magazine, and was tickled by Lois’ sense of humor and sense of marriage. She was almost 18 when she married her 26-year-old husband and they’ve been married for 61 years. Now, says Lois, “I am 79 and my husband will be 88 in April. We’re older than dirt!”

But what I loved most about Lois’ story was that their path to each other wasn’t identical, but their commitment and core values were. As Lois explained:

“We are very different: He was Big Man On Campus; I was the wallflower of the century. He likes sports; I hate them. He is a laid-back Norwegian; I am an anal-retentive German. After years of living in poverty, he wanted to spend every penny we earned; I wanted to keep track of everything. He lived life day to day; I planned years ahead.. I think up redecorating projects and trips; he pronounces, “It won’t work.” But our love is so deep and so passionate, that the differences have not derailed us. Our core values are compatible. We do not have a date night. . .but we go to lunch together every day at McDonald’s. It’s a good time to talk.”

It’s a great reminder that you don’t have to be the same people when you reach each other, but you do have to want the same things from life and each other. That’s what will keep you grounded to the path. As Lois said, people are shocked when she tells them “how crazy in love we still are.” Whoever your half-orange turns out to be, and however long you have together, I wish the same for you.

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Big, longlasting love,