Finding Love in Later Life


David Hillman and Ellen Millar are about to celebrate their third anniversary, after a meeting at their retirement development in Eastleigh started a whirlwind romance. What started as friendship, soon blossomed into love when they discovered their shared mutual interests.

Ellen Millar who had been widowed for several years, was one of the first homeowners to take residence in Catherine Court in the summer of 2012. Moving from her three-bedroom property in Fair Oak with her husband Malcolm, the pair embraced retirement living to the full and helped to create a fun and friendly retirement community.

Sadly just a year later, Malcolm passed away. ‘It was a very difficult time, but I was so grateful to my friends and the staff here at Catherine Court for their support. It was comforting to know that I had people nearby, especially at times I felt lonely.’

Ellen continued to enjoy her retirement at Catherine Court for a further six years, until one day David, an 83-year-old fishing enthusiast happened to visit the development with his son, Alan.

David says, ‘My son was encouraging me to move closer to him and his family, so we decided to view the retirement development around the corner. Ellen was one of the first homeowners I met. She was in the office and very cheekily suggested I purchased an apartment near hers. So I did just that!’

Seizing the moment

In February 2019, David moved into a one-bedroom resale apartment on the same floor as Ellen, but just around the corner.

‘Once I’d unpacked, the first thing I did was invite Ellen over for a coffee. I knew I enjoyed her company and thought life was too short, so I decided I’d just go for it.’

Commenting on their first date, Ellen says, ‘After 56 years of marriage and a further six years on my own, I never thought I’d meet anyone I’d have a romantic connection with. I was very flattered when David plucked up the courage to ask me out.’

Soon they discovered they shared the same cheeky sense of humour and a thirst for life.

‘We didn’t stop chatting the whole time. Later, David invited me to dinner which he cooked and from there the rest is history.’

David says,’ I thought Ellen was just wonderful. She is a very kind and caring person, with a great sense of humour. I knew quite early on I was falling in love with her.’

Since their first date, the pair have been inseparable, David has shared his love of fishing with Ellen, who was a first-time angler.  

They went to Bournemouth beach together and they are planning future trips away together, making use of the Guest Suites available at McCarthy Stone’s nationwide networks of retirement developments.

Ellen says, ‘Since David came into my life, I’ve never been happier. I feel like a teenager again!’

‘Our friends and family are delighted for us both, they say it’s the happiest they’ve seen me in years.’

Making it official

In May 2019, Ellen and David celebrated becoming an official couple by hosting a party for staff and friends at Catherine Court. The pair treated guests to a wonderful evening of food, drinks and live entertainment in the communal lounge.

‘We want to be together, so my pet budgie, Kevin and I have now moved into David’s apartment. It doesn’t make sense for us to have two properties, so I’m considering selling mine through the McCarthy Stone resales service.’

To celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020 and to mark their anniversary in March, David gave Ellen a ring personalised with her birthstone.

‘He’s literally swept me off my feet.’

Ellen adds, ‘I can’t thank McCarthy Stone enough for bringing us together.’

Why not search for a McCarthy Stone retirement property in your area? Who knows what might happen!

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