Love is not just for the young, but also for the young at heart. It can happen at any age and still be the most joyous of celebrations.
One of the problems that results in mismatched couples is that when people marry in their early twenties, and even into their thirties, they don’t always know the right questions to ask before “taking the leap.” Most often, the older you get, the wiser you become.
Of course, this can be a double-edged sword because it may also be harder to find and commit to a life partner because you know too many questions to ask. What you must remember is that no matter how many answers you have, there will always be more questions. Love, commitment, and marriage are, in the end, all a leap of faith. If you have true love, respect, and a willingness to work at a relationship, then the impossible becomes possible.
Many who are in their fifties and sixties are distraught at the idea of having to search for new love just at a time when they thought they would be walking into the sunset holding hands with their prior or late partner. If this is the situation and mindset in which you find yourself, what is needed is a change in perspective.
Would you be willing to consider yourself lucky to be searching for a new relationship at an older age?
Think about it ….
Once you hit the 50 mark, you are probably past the point of child rearing; your career has been established; your priorities have been readjusted and are in order; that nasty mid-life crisis is over; and the next relationship you have can be a “couples only” relationship where the major focus is on each other and the enjoyment of life.
Consequently, for those of you who are on your own at a mature age, try not to feel frustrated by your circumstances. Look at it as an adventure and a time to start life anew. As Robertson Davies so aptly stated: "As a general thing, people marry most happily with their own kind. The trouble lies in the fact that people usually marry at an age when they do not really know what their own kind is.”
Let’s discuss 10 appropriate elements that can help you determine “your own kind.” I also suggest some questions for you to ponder.
1. Rhythm of life. Life becomes a little more challenging when one partner is a tortoise and the other a hare. When the pace at which you experience life is similar, more synchronicity is attained.
2. Sense of ease. You are comfortable to be yourself, which includes the good, the bad and the ugly.
3. Desire to share activities. It’s not necessary to be joined at the hip, but research shows the more leisure activities that are experienced together, the closer the bond between partners grow. These shared moments go into a memory bank and can be pulled upon when experiencing a difficult time.
4. Health priorities. No one knows when illness may strike, but are both partners doing everything in their power to remain healthy? This can include eating healthy and staying physically fit.
5. Political views. This becomes very important if one of you is an activist and the other generally opposes every idea that you hold close to your heart. Can you agree to disagree or would you rather be with someone who holds your belief system?
6. Aspirations. What’s your passion and purpose in life? Do you want to sit on the couch and watch television (and the world go by) or do you still have a burning desire to make a difference in the world?
7. Family considerations. Love is grand, but practicalities do count. Where do each of you want to live? Will there be children at home? Is there a chance you will be caring for grandchildren? How will holidays be spent?
8. Intellect. Stimulating conversation is an important part of a relationship. Each partner doesn’t have to be an expert on every subject. Sometimes it’s nice to be the teacher and at other times the student. What’s more important is the openness to learning from each other.
9. Importance of affection/intimacy. If this is at the top of your list, you don’t want to be with a person who has no interest in it. Of course, there exists a myriad of ways to express affection and intimacy. Find the balance that’s right for you.
10. Religious belief system. Are you religious or spiritual? Is going to an organized service each week a must for you? Without having to embrace it, can you accept that others may hold a different belief system?
If you're preparing to Internet date, the preceding are topics upon which you can base your essay or open up conversations.
The information presented is a partial excerpt from "Love After Loss: Writing the Rest of Your Story," which is available as a Kindle or Nook book, as well as a soft-cover at the following links.
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