Yesterday I was standing in the bathroom putting on makeup , or something similar. Dan walked by and I could see him in the mirror. I looked at him and broke out into this big smile, thinking, “That man loves me.” (I love him too!)
That little moment stayed in my head for awhile, and I began to think about relationships, at least new ones, that begin later in life, as this one has. What the differences are between this one, and say, the one with my ex that began when I was 18.
I think a huge difference is that the expectation we have for the relationship. When we are young, the relationships are often laced with those hopeful expectations for our future. Weddings, children, home buying, all that stuff. The dreams we have in our youth fully contribute to what we’re looking for in a partner/spouse. Of course.
It seems that for a lot of us, those dreams make us gloss over the red flags in a relationship. I know that is true for me. The thing was, is I was committed, and the commitment meant a lot to me. I stuck it out for way too long, 30 years, trying to make it work. Some people do make it work, for a lifetime. I give them kudos for that. But just because it doesn’t work for whatever reason, doesn’t mean you will live out your life alone, unless you choose to. Which is a very viable option.
Now…..I am finally, after a false start or two, am in the kind of relationship I want. Exactly what I want. The thing that’s different, really different at this age, is that we have no expectations of the future except that we will be together for as long as we can be. We enjoy each other’s company, and we no longer have the added pressure of starting out a life. We each have our lives, and those lives have melded us together. Differences between us don’t divide us at this age, because we know what’s important now. Life is so much more relaxed now. The only work is that which we choose to do. The only biological clock that ticks for both of us: How much longer will we be here? How can we make the most of it?
Our children, instead of being a glimmer in our eye, are grown, and independent and living their own lives, even though they include us as much as they can from 2000 miles away. The joy of grandchildren takes over.
In our 60’s, most people have finished with the games people play. I moved to Florida as a geographical cure, a term I learned from Dan. That geographical cure solved a few problems for me. Like, a place I could live that I could afford so that I could retire, a climate that didn’t include winter, and gave me the distance to end a terrible relationship. The cure took some time to work, but I managed to bring into my life what I wanted and let go of what I didn’t want here.
I believe it’s a function of age, maturity, and clarity to finally know what you want, what you can accept and what you can’t in a relationship. If you’re lucky enough to meet someone who also knows those things about themselves, a relationship at this age can be every bit as exciting and fulfilling as one when you’re younger. But it can also be more even-keeled, steadier, relaxing, and wonderful.
Take it from me. Life can just keep getting better.
As always, love and light to all.