68-year-old Jeanne Gustavson recently reunited with her college sweetheart after 42 years of separation, and they now live together. The couple’s interracial romance was forcefully ended in the past, but their love endured.
Gustavson took a leap of faith and tracked down her first and true love, Steve Watts, last year. Despite facing opposition due to their racial differences, Gustavson and Watts dated in secret for seven years during their time at Loyola University Chicago. However, the pressure and family disapproval eventually led Gustavson to break up with Watts over the phone.
“I regretted it from the time that I did it," Jeanne Gustavson said about breaking up with her first love. https://t.co/FfqkuAjyYe— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) October 6, 2021
Regretting her decision for the next four decades, Gustavson and Watts went on to marry and divorce other people, but they never forgot each other. In 2020, Gustavson made the decision to find Watts, and after months of searching, she finally located him in a nursing home.
Fifty years ago, Jeanne Gustavson met a man she believes would have made the perfect husband. But her family objected, because his skin was not White. So, she broke up with Steve Watts – but she never forgot about him. Decades later, Jeanne found him again https://t.co/kuLjVoHLeS— Pe-sh (@SisterMomGranny) January 16, 2022
Despite the physical toll time had taken on Watts, Gustavson was determined not to lose him again. They spent time together, realizing that their love was still strong and that neither of them had remarried.
“A day didn’t go by that I didn’t think of him.”— BBC World Service (@bbcworldservice) November 9, 2021
Jeanne Gustavson and Steve Watts were students when they fell in love.
Work put a strain on their relationship and they broke up but decades later they reunited: https://t.co/nPx2MRPQV4 pic.twitter.com/3KM3Zb0JKU
Gustavson invited Watts to live with her, and with the help of friends, family, and kind strangers, she arranged for his transportation to her home.
For most of her adult life, 68-year-old Jeanne Gustavson has suffered from chronic regret for breaking up with her college sweetheart. https://t.co/QYa5M429Qe— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) January 15, 2022
On August 8, after a 36-hour trip in a medical transport van, Gustavson and Watts were reunited and began building a life together. They cherish the opportunity to make up for the 42 years they lost, finding solace and happiness in each other’s company.
Jeanne Gustavson fell hard for Steve Watts. But her family didn’t approve because she’s white and he’s Black. They couldn’t make it work. Now, having come through marriages, divorces, retirement and serious health problems, they’re back together once more. https://t.co/3seOAsM2H7— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) October 15, 2021
Watts expressed his deep love for Gustavson, describing her as beautiful, wonderful, and the person who holds his heart and soul.
Their enduring love story serves as a testament to the power of reconnecting and never giving up on true love.