28 March 2009, 00:00


Many of us forever retain fond memories of our first love, certain that those faraway feelings were the most

Many of us forever retain fond memories of our first love, certain that those faraway feelings were the most pristine and real thing that has ever happened to us. That’s, by the way, exactly what happened to Jack Ross and Win Cushman, an Arizona couple who said they had finally married more than 60 years after they first fell in love as high school students.

Narrator: Jack and Win, both 80 now, said they fell in love as high schoolers, but their relationship ended when Cushman moved to Iowa for college and Ross moved to New York with his parents before joining the armed forces to fight in Korea.

They both married other people, had children, became grandparents and were eventually widowed.

Jack Ross, now a photographer, lived in Schenectady, New York until his wife died.

In 2006, Ross, who had previously been married for 48 years, discovered an address for his long-lost love on the Internet and sent her a Christmas card. The address turned out to be wrong and the card was returned to him, but it turned out Cushman had arrived at the same thought and sent her own Christmas card to her childhood sweetheart.

Ross received the card and immediately re-initiated contact.

"He called, and I just about fainted away," Cushman said. "I think the both of us went right back to the way it was in high school." The pair recently tied the knot and hopes to live happily ever after…

Scientists say that first love can be joyful, passionate and intense, but if you’re looking for happiness in later life, it’s best to avoid it altogether.

A book called Changing Relationships, a collection of new research papers by Britain's leading sociologists, edited by Dr. Malcolm Brynin, principal research officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, England, holds that the euphoria of puppy love can damage future relationships.

"Remarkably, it seems that the secret to long-term happiness in a relationship is to skip a first relationship," Brynin said adding that "in an ideal world, you would wake up already in your second relationship.”

While searching for the ingredients of successful long-term partnerships, Brynin found that intense first loves could set unrealistic benchmarks, against which we judge future relationships.

"If you had a very passionate first relationship and allow that feeling to become your benchmark for a relationship dynamic, then it becomes inevitable that future, more adult partnerships will seem boring and a disappointment," he said.

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