In Rest Day/Theory

February 13, 2014

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Long-married couples offer relationship advice that has nothing to do with an obnoxious red teddy bear holding an I-love-you sign.

We’re good at Valentine’s Day. From fine chocolates to red-and-pink candies, shelves are stocked with heart-shaped everything the moment Christmas ends.

Feb. 14 allows flower stores to make a killing on roses and sweetheart bouquets, while restaurants enjoy one of the busiest nights of the year. Children in grade school pass around cards and candies, singles feel pressure to find a date, and men are expected to pay for a lavish night.

While we’re good at giving in to Valentine’s Day, we’re arguably less successful with actual relationships. The obvious statistics are those that estimate about 40 or 50 per cent of people who vow to love each until death won’t end up honoring their vows.

But some women—women who have been married for 50-plus years—believe today’s ladies are more focused on the flowers and fluffy heart pillows they receive on Valentine’s Day than they are on their relationships.

And while members of the previous generation admit they might have a few things to learn about celebrating Valentine’s Day in modern style, these elders know a lot about how to keep a marriage alive.

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