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Seniors open up about secrets of a successful love life

Age is More project attempts to bridge the intergenerational gap by sharing stories through short films.

Reel Youth director Mark Vonesch (left) watches some of the footage filmed by Farangi Masumova (right) with Doug Peters and his wife Joan Thomas.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

Reel Youth director Mark Vonesch (left) watches some of the footage filmed by Farangi Masumova (right) with Doug Peters and his wife Joan Thomas.

At 89, Doug Peters still enjoys a good wisecrack, especially if it’s directed at his 75-year-old wife Joan Thomas.

“You know, the joke in our family is that Joan always loved to care for elderly people, which is me,” he said Sunday as he glanced at his partner of 12 years.

“That’s just one of his dumb jokes,” Thomas quipped.

Dumb or not, the couple says those kind of lively interactions are part of what’s kept their relationship going. They are among 19 other seniors opening up about the secret to a successful love life through the Age Is More initiative.

The project is a partnership between The Revera, a retirement home, and Reel Youth, a local charity working with young people to tell stories through film.

While the project intends to bridge the gap between the old and young, it’s also an attempt to break down stereotypes about ageism.

“Their age amazes me,” said Farangi Masumova, a 20-year-old psychology student at York University who is filming and editing the couple’s story. “They still have such passion for life. I want to be like them.”

It’s as if both Peters and Thomas were meant to be together. They both grew up in India and were married to other people. But life brought them together after they lost their partners around 2000, and they married each other in 2005.

Through the initiative, the couple shares insights on how avoiding too much technology, developing common interests and doing things together make a recipe for a successful relationship. They spend time dancing and going to karaoke as a couple. They even go to the choir, where Peters is a renowned clarinet player.

“You’ve got to make time for each other,” said Thomas. “The problem is that there’s just too much stress for young people now. It’s really sad.”

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