The secret to a long and happy relationship is to never marry, a couple claimed – after a marathon 32 year engagement.
Soul-mates George Brown and Glynis Johnstone have been madly in love since 1977, but believe they would split up by now if they had tied the knot following their engagement in 1980.
Instead, George, 58, and Glynis, 55, who have children Pamela 23 and Alexandra, 17, are still happily courting and can’t wait to retire together.
Council clerk Glynis said: “It’s not really bothered us that we’ve never married.
“There have been occasions where I’ve thought to myself that I’d like to finally be married, but to be honest more important stuff has always turned up.
“And people keep asking me when I’m going to get married, but we must be doing something right as we’re still together.
“We’ve lasted much longer than most marriages, so it’s probably the fact we’ve not got done it that means we’re still here now.”
George, a gardener at Dundee City Council, proposed to Glynis in May 1980 after he was made redundant as a caster.
But before buying Glynis an engagement ring he nearly blew it all on an expensive carpet.
He said: “I got made redundant in 1980 and I had all this money to spend, so I thought why not buy her a ring – but first things first, I bought a new carpet for us before that.
“I can still clearly remember the night I proposed. I was very nervous, but I’d had a few sherbets, so I suppose I was fine.
“The place was absolutely packed, they stopped the music and I got down on one knee and she said yes.”
Glynis added: “We’d been together for about three years at the time.
“All of a sudden I was pushed into the middle of the dancefloor and George got down on one knee proposed to me. I was so embarrassed, but it was lovely.”
George has tried to set a wedding date a number of times since the proposal, but has never managed to see it through.
He said: “I remember about 15 years ago Glynis’s brother was about to get married and I thought that might be a good time to ask again, so I suggested a double marriage.
“And you know what she said. ‘You’re not spoiling my brother’s wedding’.
“But to be honest we’re quite happy the way we are. The longer it went on it’s just become normal to be engaged, it doesn’t really matter that we’ve never married.
“We think it’s quite nice just to live together as a couple and we’ve never really got round to settling a date for marriage.
“One thing or another would turn up and it would just take a back seat.
“We see our situation as a normal one, it doesn’t bother me. We’ve settled down, got two kids together and life’s good.”
But neither George nor Glynis would rule out the possibility that they could walk down the aisle sometime in the future.
George said: “You never know. Perhaps when we’re retired we’ll find the time to do it, but we just take each day as it comes.
“If it did happen though, it would certainly be a big one as everyone would want to come.
“We’ve got two big families and lots of friends so it would be a massive do.
Glynis said: “I dreamed about getting married when I was a little girl, but things happen in life, something would always get in the way.
“But I’d never say never, maybe in the future we will do it.”