Dick and Sue: The secret behind fairy tale love.

March 30, 2021
By Lori Bender - American House

When you hear about a love that lasts, that’s stood the test of time, you want to know more. How does it happen? What’s the secret…and, of course, can it happen to me?

Before you hear the story of Dick and Sue, forget all the fairy tales of love at first sight and being swept off your feet. These two lovebirds have proven without a doubt; real love, the love of a lifetime, doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow, meandering, sometimes bumpy ride. It’s a fairy tale, with a twist. 

Dick and Sue’s love story didn’t begin right away. It was years in the making. Like many couples, they faced challenges, not the least of which was Dick’s age. You see, he was in seventh grade, Sue was in eighth. Believe it or not, that was a bridge too far.

“Girls didn’t date, younger guys. They always dated their own age or older. And so, I never paid any attention to Dick,” explained Sue.

Meanwhile, the torch had been lit for Dick. He’d found his girl. 

“I would see her walking, but she wouldn’t walk with me. She wouldn't go with me anywhere. I was attracted to her, but it didn’t work. So yeah, that’s where it stayed until I was in high school,” he said.

But he did not sit idly by. He was smart. 

“Dick got more acquainted with my mom first. He started walking his dog around the block and she would invite him to come up on the porch with the dog. I didn’t know all of this was going on. I was too busy with my own social life,” said Sue.

Perseverance won out, and eventually this kind, well-mannered boy caught Sue’s eye. She recalls, “It wasn’t until I was ready to go away to college, and he was going into senior year in high school before I paid any attention to him.  And then I did, and then our love started to develop and grow.”

But even then, there were detours on the road to romance. Parents pushed college while they pushed back until, finally, five-and-a-half years into their love story, Dick proposed. “What took you so long?” Sue remembers asking. Yes, seventh grade was a long time ago.
Fairy tales gloss over the challenges of real life, and like many young married couples, Dick and Sue had their share. They sacrificed, pinched pennies…even did home haircuts! With a solid foundation of caring, support and respect, love conquered all.  

Sue explains, “Through nine years of college, I helped him while he earned a master’s and a PhD. We were still in school when we had both of our children. I was teaching and going to night school and working on my master’s degree. It was a tough time. But we never questioned each other’s love, ever. And that pulled us through. I guess it’s a very rare kind of love.”

Dick simply glows when he talks about Sue, “I’ve always found her a very attractive person, very smart person, very helpful person, very kind to others, very understanding of others...all of the things that you would want in someone.”

Dick and Sue are the perfect example of lasting love, standing the test of time. Do they believe in their own fairy tale? You bet! On this their feelings are mutual:  

“I think when you’re talking about relationships, no matter what kind of a relationship it is, respect is a really important ingredient. And that’s something we know; we have always respected each other,” Sue explains. “My husband is a very kind man; you can see it in how he deals with other people. His kindness to me and my kindness to him make a big difference in our daily lives. So be kind to each other.” 

Thanks, Sue. 

We all have a story. A story that taught us something, changed us and helped define who we are. Our seniors have amazing stories that hold a wealth of wisdom. At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way.

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