John and Phyllis Cook fell for each other in their shared assisted living facility
A senior couple is proving that it’s never too late to find love, even if it comes many years after your first.
According to NBC 24, John and Phyllis Cook have been dating for a year after meeting in their shared assisted living facility in Ohio. Their love blossomed over the course of their courtship, and on Wednesday, the two sealed the deal and secured a marriage license, making their union official.
“It wasn’t the plan, but we got here, and they said we could marry you here,” John, a World War II veteran at a ripe 100 years old, told the news station. “I said, ‘Good, let’s get it over with.'”
Both John and Phyllis, 102, are widows, the news station reported. They say their affection for one another grew as they spent more time together, and because Phyllis is a devout Christian, marriage was the natural next step for their relationship, she said.
“To tell you the truth, we fell in love with each other,” said Phyllis, who turns 103 in August. “I know you think that may be a little bit far-fetched for somebody our age, but we fell in love with each other.”
“Well, we were just compatible in a whole lot of ways, found ourselves enjoying each other’s company,” John added to NBC 24.
According to a 2018 report from the Institute for Family Studies, John and Phyllis are a part of a growing number of seniors who are marrying or remaining married far into their Golden Years.
The report says the number of married people over the age of 65 has been steadily rising since the 1960s, while the amount of married people ages 18 to 64 is declining, with the younger group reaching a record low of 48.6 percent in 2016.
The rise in married seniors is partly because people are living longer than they did 50 years ago, and where there used to be only 64 women for every 100 men ages 65 and older, now there are 80 women of the same age per every 100 men.
When it comes to people 75 and older? The number of women per 100 men is now at 68 compared to 48 in the 1960s.
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So, what’s the answer to making marriage work after becoming a centenarian? While John and Phyllis like to eat and sit outside the facility together, they explained that one of the keys to their relationship is keeping their independent space.
“What we do, we keep both of our apartments,” Phyllis told NBC 24. “He’s upstairs and I’m down.”
When asked what his preferred thing to do with his sweetheart is, John left no debate the fire still burns hot when they’re together.
“Well,” John said of his favorite thing, “I probably shouldn’t talk about that.”