Thoughts on Romance 2013
By T. Myers
When you are a Baby-Boomer or an older senior, romance is not all hearts and flowers! There might be hearts (often displayed openly and even desperately on one’s sleeve) and occasionally there are flowers (most often received for a birthday from a close relative as opposed to an admirer) for one occasion or other. Rarely are there boxes of heart shaped chocolates and bouquets of roses given to you for Valentine’s Day or even an Anniversary unless you are one of the lucky few who always believe in the value of giving these types of gifts to the ones they love.
When you look at life after 50 and examine the changes to the average American who reaches that age, love can be even more important than ever! For those of you who are happily- or even unhappily married, but with a significant other, it is not so much of a challenge. For the rest of our age group, finding someone to love and share with can be a real quest and a risky one at that! How do you identify a person you can trust and invest in these days? How is dating at our age? Does the act of loving get better with age or experience? Is online exploration to find a mate a good thing? Where do you go? Who do you open up to? How do you begin?
In the movie Dance with Me, featuring Susan Sarandon and Richard Gere, Susan’s character is having her husband followed by a jaded private detective who can’t figure out why anyone would marry. They are sitting in a bar talking and she tells him- in answer to his questions about marriage, that “We marry so that we have witnesses to our lives!” She goes on to explain that we all go through life and without someone there to share with you and care about what happens to you, who will know about what you thought and what you experienced and what you believed? A spouse does all of that for you. A significant other comes close.
As we approach retirement age we face other concerns, too! Recently I had two friends- a couple; divorce each other so they could get better benefits from Social Security. They had to do this in order to stay in their home and continue to have a life together. Was it hard? Terrifying, according to them both. But, necessary so they did it. They still live together today, but it isn’t the same. Reduced to significant others in their lives together, they no longer have many rights and have had to craft powers of attorney and other agreements to protect their assets and their relationship.
What does love have to do with it? Tina Turner thought that the physical attraction and fulfillment part of love was the thing- but only as a part of something much bigger. We all know that there are different kinds of love and all of them make us feel whole. In February, the real romantic kind of love is a dream that most of us share- to find that one person who completes us and makes life worth living. Do we look? Do we take a chance? Do we wait until love finds us?
Make sure that your friends know that you want love in your life. Pay attention to being ready for love and keep yourself open to the idea that a romantic ideal might not be very real. Find a place where you can meet people that like to do the same kinds of things that you like to do (dance, ski, fish, help a charity, take care of animals at a shelter) and let those folks know that you are actively looking. Dr. Phil says Match.com is a good place to start. But whatever you do, before you begin, is be sure of what you want and what you do not want in your future and stick to it (don’t settle because you are lonely).
Love is very important to our self-esteem and can make the difference in how we can live a long and healthy life. So, go for it! It might be that love has everything to do with it!
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