Finding long-lasting love at 50Plus
Why is it that almost every love story I’ve read or seen on tv/movies starts so well and ends tragically? Falling in love is “sexy”, especially ill-fated love.
Relationships require work and that is the stuff of therapy sessions, not hot, sexy love stories. If you are in a fairly new relationship and looking for some practical advice on how to find longer-term happiness, even if you have lived a great deal of your life, this is the place to start.
Ego is ugly- grow up.
It’s no longer about being the fastest and the richest and the prettiest! I sabotaged relationships in my First 50 years because I thought I could do better. Better equaled “hotter.” If she/he is attractive enough to fall in love with, he/she is attractive enough to STAY in love with.
Value the values.
If you and your partner consistently care deeply about the same stuff, you are blessed. I’m not talking about golf, yoga, and Chinese food. Without the same values, there is not a lot of trust. And without trust, there is no future, comfort or peace. `
Have a date night.
Keep the date night. Don’t be late and break the date night. It’s in every movie and sitcom, but how many couples really do it and stick to it?
It’s always partially YOUR fault.
The disagreement, that is. Not forgetting to make morning coffee. I’ve been in relationships where everything was 100 percent my fault. It’s a draining, daunting, and harrowing way to live. When your partner says, “Sorry. I could have done better on my end….” you feel liberated. And you feel as if you are living in reality.
Your bad day is your bad day.
Don’t blame it on her/him. The key here, as in so much of this stuff, of course, is knowing thyself. If you feel like everything is someone else’s fault because you ‘get it’ and no one else does, your relationship will have challenges.
Even if you are not procreating. But it is different, in that bodies are no longer perfect and conquest is not the objective. It’s about a need and mutually derived pleasure. If the frequency abates drastically after the first year, it’s a red flag that should be discussed. Pronto.
I hate the cliche “older and set in my ways”. Why are you still reading if this is the case? Drastic change- that you go from a slob to a neat freak or a nerd to a jock is NOT the prescription. But if you meet a neat freak-super-jock fitness nut, this may require fine-tuning. The right relationship should foster a willingness to change, not to resist it.
Claim and cherish independent free time.
We all need it, no matter how in sync we are with a partner.
Drastically cut interaction with negative people.
Retain and nourish all meaningful relationships and cut the negative naysaying narcissists whenever possible. They bring you down in ways you may not be aware of. I treasure my friendships, and try to maintain them, but am starting to cut them back.
Family should no longer be a minefield.
There are always exceptions here, but as we are no longer starting our own family, much of the pressure is off. As any surviving parents are super-seniors, that influence is minimized as well. The trickier part remains dealing with teenage through young adult kids. And, for the most part, as long as you are out of their hair and in a relationship, they are happy – or at the very least, tolerant.
The bottom line
The moral of your love story is that if this advice sounds like BS to you, you are with the wrong person or incapable of change and adaptation. While there are complications and challenges with every age, family, and situation, relationships starting late in life tend to be a lot easier and more satisfying than the disappointment and idealism faced by young lovers. You definitely can find love at 50Plus.
Finding someone at a point where you’d almost given up and were resigned to spending the rest of your life unaccompanied, is a most satisfying and gratifying way to live. I cherish my good fortune and try to refrain from wondering why it took as long as it did.
About the author:
Michael “The Onion Peeler” Lubell
Following an NYU MBA, Northwestern BA, a modest business career with practically record-setting job changes, Michael left the world of sales and marketing for the freelance creative side to write in 2018. No longer beholden to the whims and politics of the corporate world, he found solace and satisfaction writing for Next Avenue on subjects as diverse as Latecomer Comedians, Zoom Reunions, and Bi-polarized Friendships.