When we’re young, “love” is pretty simple, as we discovered when we interviewed kindergarten students at Beulah Elementary School in Escambia County last year.

This year we posed the question, “Does love change as we mature?” to the “experts” at Niceville’s Bluewater Bay senior living community. And it does.

Marty Shearer has been married to her husband Joe for 69 years. They met in church and both say it was practically love at first sight.

“Love is having someone by your side, telling you he loves you,” says Marty.

Joe agrees and adds, It’s having somebody I can confide in, part of me, makes my life complete.”

Marty and Joe say their religious faith deepens their love. “Without the spiritual bond, I don’t think we would have as strong a foundation,” says Marty.

Faith in each other is critical to Mack and Liz Gay, married 38 years.

Mack says, “One of the things that we both need is trust. To be able to completely trust each other.”

And, like the kindergartner who told us that love makes your heart go “boom,” Judy Haugen says regardless of your age, it doesn’t hurt if there’s a little chemistry going on.

“He was in his uniform and I said to myself, ‘not bad!’ And he said to himself, at the time, we wore miniskirts ‘nice legs!” says Judy as she laughingly remembers the first time she met her future husband.

And, it seems that “boom” factor can last a lifetime, if you work at it!

“We go to sleep holding hands and we sit in our recliners and every so often he’ll stick his hand out and hold mine and say ‘I love you.’ Just romantic things like that,” says Marty.

I asked Marty what’s the secret to staying happily married for 69 years?

“Saying ‘yes, dear!’” laughs Marty!

If you’d like to see Drexel’s full report with the kindergartners from last Valentine’s Day just click here.