Love is not about Valentine’s Day - it’s about being thoughtful every day of the year.
That is the message and advice from a 70 year-old Dunloy woman who is looking forward to celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary in April.
While couples across Northern Ireland will exchange gifts of roses and chocolates on what is designated the most romantic day of the year, Marilyn Gale will enjoy another “precious day with my best friend”.
Marilyn said she is more in love with her husband Norman, 72, than when they were first married back in 1964.
The retired personal assistant said while Valentine’s Day is nice it has become commercialised and over-rated.
“I think the supermarkets and the florists cash in,” she told the News Letter. “Long and happy marriages are about give and take - not the odd romantic gesture on a certain day of the year.”
Marilyn recalled the most romantic thing her husband had ever done for her, something she said meant more than any Valentine’s Day gift.
“I had lost my engagement ring and I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “Some time later I saw a ring that I loved and mentioned it to Norman. It was completely out of our price range. Nothing more was ever said and our wedding anniversary came and went.
“Then that Christmas Day, in the afternoon Norman said ‘Oh, Santa left another present on the tree’ so I looked and saw this small box.
“It was the ring. Norman had been paying it off every week since I first saw it. That is romance.”
The couple, originally from England, moved to Northern Ireland seven years ago to be near their son David who is married and living in Portadown.