Couple finds love at GR retirement community

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Jim Stephens and Connie Doorn’s love story may sound like many others. They met, became friends and started spending a lot of time together.

“I said, ‘I think I love you,” Doorn said.

Stephens added that it didn’t’ take him long to agree those were his feelings too. Now, they’re engaged, planning a summer wedding in Grand Rapids in the presence of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

They are both over 85 years old and met seven years ago at Covenant Living of the Great Lakes, a retirement community off Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids.

These two were both married for decades when they lost their spouses who both told them before they passed to remarry one day.

“When we first met, I said it would be nice to have a girlfriend, someone to go out to eat with, go to a show, but never dreaming. I wasn’t even talking about her at the time,” Stephens said

He joked that living in the same complex made dating easy since he only had to cross the hallway and go down a couple floors.

Like most couples, they enjoyed being able to talk about anything with each other or talk about nothing at all.

“We had talked one week, and I used the word if we get married. A few days later, she says you never really asked me. So, then I asked her, and she said yes,” Stephens said.

For anyone wondering, he didn’t get down on one knee because he didn’t have the ring yet.

This couple is also working out some compromises as they plan their future together. Stephens has a one-bedroom unit, and Doorn has two bedrooms. He plans to move in with her, but his furniture “doesn’t match the décor.”

So far, the big item he will bring along will be his favorite chair.

Stephens is getting used to something else, although in this case, it’s been an easy adjustment.

“She has invited me to all of the family birthdays and everything. When I have gone, they are so friendly, I get hugs like I’m one of the family,” he said.

He was never a hugger before, but Doorn says they are teaching him.

They both agree that God has good plans, and this is one of them.

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