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Love and Age: An Essential Asset

Love can be omnipresent. Love can be transcendent. Love can provoke and create unprecedented things. Love can be fluid with no restrictions, and can change lives. Love knows no boundaries of age or race. Sometimes I wonder is love and/or sex (which are 2 different topics), can vary depending on one’s age? Does love and anything associated with it get easier with age? The older I get will it be better?

Many would argue that love is like fine wine….it gets better with age. Love will find you. It will leave you. It will find you, leave you and come running back again. This is its nature. This is what it does. Your job is to discern the difference between love worth fighting for and the kind of love you need to walk away from. You’ll start to figure out how to ask for what you want, demand what you need and forgive when the situation dictates there’s nothing left to do. You will also start building a rather formidable relationship with the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with (go on and take a look in the mirror, I’ve got time). It will be a lonely journey and a rather frustrating as well, but it’s going to be one of the best relationships you’ll ever have.

Love, like hope, springs eternal. It knows no age limits, no retirement dates, no physical or mental infirmities. Indeed, most who have lived and loved long enough would say it only gets better with age. Our youth-obsessed culture pays little attention to the love affairs of the elderly and certainly doesn’t champion them. But they’re there, they’re more meaningful and committed than anything the passion of youth can create, and they show the rest of us how it should be done. Here are some of the benefits of love in old age. Dating in youth is all about sex and ego. You’ve lived through that and put it behind you (well, not all of it, hopefully, but the annoying parts). Courtship and relationship in old age are about what they’re about: love and companionship. There’s nothing like the feeling of falling in love all over again after 70. It’s a reminder that anything is possible, that new beginnings are all around us, and that there’s still someone for everyone.

To enlighten and educate myself, I chose 5 people from different backgrounds who are over the age of 30. I presented them with the question: In looking at your current age vs. when you were in your 20s, has your view or experience with love changed? If so, how?

Person 1: Love has definitely changed because life and experience has taught me what love really is…love for myself and how to love someone else…I learned to look past exterior and divulge into the soul whereas my 20s self was all about getting a nut. (W.R.)

Person 2: I think first and foremost love takes on different levels for different people. At 19 I really only knew love from friends & family. Today those expectations are different...I believe it as more reciprocal in nature with regards to love with a potential partner....Am I wiser? I would not say wiser...much more cautious...Do I enjoy it more?...I say, I more so enjoy the possibilities...It is a feeling that is always a work in progress for me. (S. M.)

Person 3: I am much wiser. With all the experiences that I have been through. A divorce (got married way too young)…Unsuccessful relationships…from each one I got wiser and wiser. I made the decision after my divorce in 2006 that I was going to stop having casual sex and meaningless relationships. I have maintained that and have been celibate since then. Do I want to get married again? Absolutely! But I had to be careful who I brought around my daughter especially. (S.C.)

Person 4:It's made me wiser for the fact that when I was 20 I became a mother and spent time having relations with my abusive cheating first love. Then I thought it was love and I stayed until my son was three accepting the fact he had two kids during our relationship and now I feel as though I was the biggest love sick female ever. Now I know being abused isn't love. (A.J.)

Person 5: Well it was better than in my 20s. I really didn't date then. Now I am wiser and more set in my ways. I require more from a man now than I did in the past. (C.L.)

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