WILMINGTON -- Valentine's Day is right around the corner and for one local couple, love is definitely in the air. From the start Jean and Mario Mariani had a lot in common. When they were children both of their families immigrated to the US from Italy. They ended up living right next door to each other in Philadelphia, and found out they were born on the same date. But there was a little problem. When asked if it was love at first sight, Jean said, "No. Because I had another sweetheart." Mario said, "She used to be shy, very shy." After those hurdles and a long courtship they got married in 1941. "We had a long romance, we went together for four years before we were married and my father god rest his soul, did everything to keep us apart," Jean said. And soon there after their relationship faced another test: Mario was drafted into the Navy for World War II. "We had our ups and downs, there's no question about it like any other family, but you take it and go on," Mario said. The Marianis say there are a couple of things to keep in mind to make love last. "You can only do it if you really love each other, nothing should be more important than the fact that you love each other," Jean said. "Be patient and tolerant," Mario said. For this couple those are words to live by. The Marianis have four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The happy couple will be celebrating their 67th anniversary next month.
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