ROBERT and Hazel Makins serve as a wonderful reminder that true love still exists.
The couple are preparing for their 60th wedding anniversary on September 11, with family coming from around Australia to celebrate.
"You have to ensure that you like the person for who they are before you fall in love — I think that's why we have had so few arguments"
Meeting through mutual friends on a picnic at Nielsen Park in Sydney's eastern suburbs, the two gradually grew a strong bond and began to date.
"We sort of lapsed into it: we became close friends before we became lovers and I think that's the foundation to a lasting relationship," Hazel said.
"You have to ensure that you like the person for who they are before you fall in love — I think that's why we have had so few arguments."
On her 21st birthday, Robert, now 81, proposed to Hazel, 82, beneath a marquee.
The couple wed at St Mark's Church in Darling Point on September 11, 1954.
"We love each other as much as the day we were united"
They initially lived in Ryde and had two children before moving to North Rocks and finally retiring to their current home in Carlingford in 1991.
"We love each other as much as the day we were united," Hazel said.
And what's the secret to their success?
Almost in unison they reply: "honesty".
"Trust, faithfulness and clear communication all stem from honesty," Robert said.
And what about the current dating landscape of Australia?
"I think people are too impatient," Hazel said.
"They want quick results, quick chemistry and are quick to make judgments.
"If it's meant to be, it will."