When it comes to love, the best people to ask for advice are the elderly.

They know how to keep love strong, and being together for all that time will teach you a ton of lessons. And those lessons can be passed on to someone else.

At 86, actor Alan Alda has been married to Arlene for 65 years.

The M*A*S*H actor is madly in love with Arlene and has been since they met in 1957. Really, 65 years of marriage don’t lie.

They’ve got something special and we’re eager to know how it all started.

The popular story involves cake. The story goes that Alan met Arlene at a party during their college years.

They supposedly met after a rum cake fell on the floor, and the two of them were the only ones who didn’t hesitate to eat it.

But that wasn’t really how it went. Or at least, the story gets the context wrong.

According to Alda, they had already met and felt attracted to each other prior to the cake incident.

The rum cake was just another moment where they realized how much they had in common.

Alda clarified what really happened. It wasn’t the cake incident or anything at that party that started their love for each other.

Rather, Alda says, it was how Arlene kept laughing at his jokes and made him feel appreciated. We always hear about people who love partners that are funny. Though when do you ever hear the same love for partners who let you know you’re funny?

“But I was captivated by her even earlier in the meal when I heard her at the end of the table laughing at my jokes.” – he said in his own words

He married Arlene after his graduation and the two have been inseparable since.

Other sources state that their shared love for music and board games played a big role in their love as well. Arlene is a capable musician. She played clarinet in an orchestra in the early years of her career.

Look at any number of photos of the two, and you’ll find them smiling from ear to ear.

I would say there’s magic in their marriage, but Arlene has a much simpler explanation. Upon learning that people “want what they have”, Alan cited his wife’s own words.

“The secret to a long marriage is a short memory.”

Alan also said that while their marriage is a wonderful thing that he’s very thankful for, they’re not the only ones making it work.

He knows many people who’ve been married just as long, if not longer, than they have.

The reason, he believes, is that he’s famous and they aren’t. But perhaps it’s just because love lasting that long is impressive to us younger people. All we hear about on the news are breakups, divorces, cheating, and every other way to ruin a romance.

Call it a generational gap, luck, or something else. But a love like Alan’s and Arlene’s is still something most of us can’t help but want ourselves!