Sunday, 31 March 2024 04:44

Married at 100: What this couple says is the key to love and longevity

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I’ve written a lot about what makes love, and life, last. Over and over again, those who are in happy relationships or have lived many satisfying years, cite the importance of positivity. 

Harold Terens, 100, and Jeanne Swerlin, 96, are no different. The two SuperAgers, who met three years ago, are getting married in France this June. Though they’ve both experienced loss and grief, they continued to put themselves out there and even in their advanced age were able to find joy in one another. 

“The secret to longevity is to minimize stress,” Terens says. “We have two words that are part of our vocabulary [and] those two words are: ’So what?’ What if it rains today and we were supposed to go out and have a picnic? So what? Tomorrow, it will be nice.”

Swerlin echoes her soon-to-be husband’s positive outlook. “It’s a good life,” she says, “but you’ve got to make it [one].”

The idea of a good attitude being key to a long life always seemed far-fetched to me. What about genetics, or access to good health care? Surely those are better predictors of lifespan. 

But reading their story I will say I’m a bit more convinced that a good attitude is key to love and longevity. If Terens and Swerlin were more jaded, they might not have even made it to the first date, and would have lost out on the chance to find love once again.



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