They met over a curry.
Juta Cooley was in her twenties and studying art in Newcastle when a friend dragged her to a top Indian restaurant in Sydney.
Future husband Dennis was also invited to the small gathering.
"When you have a curry you have a bit of an Irish dirge and I just really enjoyed talking to him," she said.
"When I went home to Newcastle I thought to myself, 'I'm either going to have a short passionate affair with him or a long enduring one'".
It turned out to be the latter.
Juta moved to Sydney soon after and the pair regularly socialised together.
"We started going out for more curries," Dennis joked.
What was he attracted to? "She was exotic and very beat (bohemian)," he said."She smoked Black Russian cigarettes and she was such good fun and so warm."
The couple dated for four years before marrying in 1973, the same day as the Opera House was officially opened.
"The planes were going overhead and they had a 21-gun salute and my typically European father exclaimed, 'Look what I do for my daughter'," Juta said.
Two children, Yasmin and Brendan, followed. They now also have a granddaughter Madeleine.
While they enjoy a lot of similar interests there are differences too.
"He is quite methodical and organised and I am more chaotic," Juta said.
"She is an artist," Dennis points out.
All these years later they still flirt. And banter. But they readily admit they also argue too.
"We argue about anything and everything - life, kids, he thinks I am too easy going," Juta said.
"I tend to talk over him because he tells me things that I have heard so many times and I get in and he says, "But I haven't finished!'".
But the secret they say is to be good friends with each other first.
"When you are friends first that is a good basis for marriage," Juta said.
"If you just like each other for the physical attraction it is not enough. We really enjoyed talking to each other, we have similar tastes and interests."
They also advise to retain "your individual interests and friends" and "don't be afraid to speak your mind about what annoys and upsets you".
But most of all be kind.
"Dennis is intelligent and you can't beat that," Juta said.
"But he is also very generous and nurturing. He makes beautiful teas after dinner, he cooks very well."
Dennis maintains you must control your ego in marriage too.
"Don't be too selfish and instead always consider the interests of both partners," he said.
For Valentine's Day they will do what they love to do. "Go out to dinner and enjoy a wine."
And their advice for singles struggling to find a love match this Valentine's Day?
A prayer apparently doesn't go astray.
"I prayed I would be happily married and I personally believe that has something to do with it," said Dennis.