Personal Stories

Keeping romance alive after 70 years

Still dancing together at Amica Aspen Woods after 70 years of marriage, Jan and Chris share their secrets for staying in love.

Jan and Chris share a romantic dance at Amica Aspen Woods

Despite meeting at the worst of times during the Second World War, Jan and Chris have been married for 70 years. We asked these residents at Amica Aspen Woods — which allows couples with different care needs to stay together — for their secrets to a long and happy marriage.

How did you meet?

“Even some positive things come out of terrible times: we met in our home county of the Netherlands during the Second World War,” says Chris.

What did you do on your first date?

“In a country where the number of bikes rivals the human population, we went on a bike ride together,” says Jan.

What attracted you to each other?

“He was tall, handsome with lots of blond hair,” says Chris. “She was attractive and very easy to talk to!” says Jan.

What did you have in common?

“We shared a love of the outdoors and outdoor activities—walking, hiking, skiing, sailing and travelling.”

What routines helped your marriage work?

“It’s quite simple: Be forgiving,” they say.

Falling in love is often the easy part. What are your secrets for staying in love?

“Tolerance,” says Jan. “We are two different individuals and we will be so for the rest of our lives.  We can’t always think the same. We have enjoyed 67 years of marriage because we are tolerant of our differences—and we laugh every day!”

What's the most romantic thing you've ever done together, or for your spouse?

“We took a tent on a hike and camped under the most memorable full moon.” 

What little things do you do to show your spouse you love them?

“The Dutch love flowers and I’m no exception. Every week Jan buys me a bouquet of fresh flowers. And every day I make Jan laugh!”

When problems come up, how do you deal with them?

“Talk things out. For major decisions, we have driven to a favourite spot by a creek where we have camped to be in a completely different environment for the conversation.”

What’s your advice to young couples on how to make a marriage last?

“Don’t walk away mad. Respect one another’s differences and communicate! Discuss and make up – that’s the good part!”

Find out how residents are enjoying great amenities, activities, flexible dining and personalized service at Amica residences. Schedule a private tour today.