'You really feel it in your heart': Seniors share their love and dating wisdom

Several residents of Fairview Nursing Home, near Dufferin Street and Dundas Street West, sat with strangers Monday to share their tips and tricks to make love last.

Trusting, talking and laughing are key to making love last, Fairview Nursing Home residents say

Sally Lines, right, along with other several other residents of a local seniors' home, encouraged passersby to take a seat with them Monday as they shared their relationship wisdom. 'Have a seat. Share wisdom on love,' she said. (Joe Fiorino/CBC)

When Marie McCrindle saw her first love from across the room, she knew he wanted to talk to her, but was too shy — so she approached him. 

"That's how it worked out with me," she said. "The attraction becomes stronger as time goes on." 

But it's not all poems and love songs from there, McCrindle said, and there are many hurdles couples must overcome to be happy, and stay happy. 

"Talk a lot, but also show affection, whether it be a hug or kiss," she said. 

And listen, she added, really listen. 

How do you know it's love? We asked the experts.

5 years ago
Duration 0:54
Fairview Nursing Home residents share their love tips and tricks for Valentine's Day.

She was one of several residents of Fairview Nursing Home, located in the city's west end, who sat with strangers Monday to share their love tips and tricks ahead of Valentine's Day, as part of an initiative organized by the home's parent company, Schlegel Villages. 

Sitting on a green #elderwisdom bench, McCrindle shared memories from her past. 

Everyone has their own quirks, she said, which can become extremely irritating over time. But she added that laughter is the solution to overcoming these nerve-grating habits.

"If you can't laugh at yourself and you can't laugh at them, what's the use?" 

'You have a companion for life,' says Resident Marie McCrindle, on why she still believes in marriage. (Joe Fiorino/CBC)

"If you don't have a good sense of humour, you could be doomed."

And she said while younger generations seem to move away from traditional customs, such as marriage, she believes they still hold value. 

"You have a companion for life," she said. "True love really exists in lasting love." 

'We were together all the time' 

Sally Lines met her husband when they were kids. After drifting apart for several years, she said they reconnected when she was 18. 

"We enjoyed each other, so we got married," she said. 

After 23 years of marriage, Lines now has three sons and two grandchildren. 

"I've had a good life with my husband; I just lost him a year ago."

Lines says she met her first love when she was a child. (Joe Fiorino/CBC)

Lines said she and her husband made an effort to listen to one another, and get to know each other's friends. 

"You have to share things, share your troubles with each other," she said. "We were together all the time."   

First, be happy by yourself, senior says 

But resident Carole McNeil said knowing you've found the person you're supposed to be with is more than just enjoying their company — it's a feeling. 

"You can actually feel it," she said. "Like, that's the person I want to meet, that's the person I want to be with." 

To make a relationship last, she said, the most important thing you need is trust. 

Carol McNeil says you know it's love when there's 'a sparkle in the eye.' (Joe Fiorino/CBC)

But you also have to be happy as your own individual, she added.  

"If you're not happy with yourself, you can't be happy with anybody else."  

In addition to trust, resident Bob Rook said a good relationship requires compromise. 

"You have to work hard at it," he said.  "You have to know when to be a little more understanding."  

Chocolate, wine, or flowers? 

Rook met someone at his nursing home, and says they "hit it off." 

He decided flowers are the best Valentine's Day gift, which he plans to give her Thursday. 

Bob Rook says he will deliver flowers for Valentine's Day to his 'companion' at his retirement home. (Joe Fiorino/CBC)

He's not the only one who thinks flowers are a classic choice. 

"I love flowers — a bottle of wine would be nice with it — and [to] sit and enjoy each other's company," Lines said. 

And when asked if she'd prefer chocolates or flowers, McCrindle put it simply: 

"Flowers. I'm on a diet." 

With files from Julia Whalen and Metro Morning