Valentine's Day advice from a 60-year-married couple and a tech-savvy prof

Clorinda and Domenico DiFrancesco, married in 1953 at Hamilton's All Souls Church, share their secrets for a happy marriage.
What's the secret to long-lasting love? Keeping each other young, says one Hamilton couple. (iStock)

Domenico DiFrancesco sometimes pauses to find the right word, but when talking about his wife of 60 years today, Clorinda, his love comes through loud and clear.

"Sixty years of marriage and we still love each other," he says. "We've known each other almost since the day we were born."

Born in Italy in 1927, Domenico's father owned the farm next door to Clorinda's family.

"We lived very close together, our two big farms. Sometimes I could see her from my window," he recalls.

They went to school together, fell in love, and when he moved to Hamilton in 1951, he brought her over to Canada with him.

The couple was married on Valentine's Day in 1953 at the All Souls Catholic Church on Barton St. W. and James St. N. Two daughters, three granchildren and 60 years later, the couple is still together and still in love, DiFrancesco says.

"I don't know where all the years have gone."

So what's the secret to a love that lasts a lifetime?

DiFrancesco says helping each other stay young will keep love alive. 

"I feel good, I'm thinking I am young again," he says, adding that knowing someone as long as he and his wife have makes it hard to picture life without each other.

"We've loved each other from the time we were children."

Digital love

Of course, in the digital age, sometimes it's not as simple as spying the pretty girl on the farm next door and falling in love. So what about advice for romance in the time of Twitter and Facebook?

Hamilton couples sticking together

It seems Hamilton couples have decided to love the one they're with. Each year, — a dating site that caters to married clients looking to cheat — publishes a list of the top 10 most adulterous cities in Canada, based on the website's users.

While Hamilton landed at number eight on the list last year, this year the Hammer busted out of the top 10.

Queen’s University technology expert Sidneyeve Matrix said relationship dos and don'ts have really changed from when the DiFrancescos were married.

"I'm wondering what would be the equivalent of 'Facebook official' 75 years ago," she ponders, referring to the new social hurdle of 'officially' declaring your relationship online by updating Facebook profile relationship statuses.

Matrix says tech-savvy daters in the digital age should be wary of the fact that their entire social history can be uncovered as soon as they accept a friend request.

"If you're going to write an online dating profile, you're going to put your best foot forward," she says. "But your social stream is more transparent."

She says this can be a good thing, in that it allows the dating crowd to learn more about a prospective partner than they would be able to glean from more old-fashioned methods, like scoping them out at a bar.

Still, as much as we can benefit from social media's role in evolving relationships, she says nothing beats face-to-face time with a person to really get to know them.

"There can be a real difference between virtual intimacy and real intimacy," she says. "You can click online but then not click in person."

How are you spending Valentine's Day this year? Send us your Valentine's-inspired photos, plans and wishes to @cbchamilton or our Facebook page.