Falling in Love at 49
“Love is lovelier the second time around. Just as wonderful, with both feet on the ground. It’s that second time you hear your love song sung, makes you think perhaps that love, like youth, is wasted on the young.” Lyrics, Sammy Cahn; Music, James Van Heusen
And so it is. Falling in love later can be quite the challenge, but when it does happen, it feels just like a miracle! To me it felt like winning the lottery.
And in a way, it was.
When I think back to all the reasons why Mike and I should not have met, it boggles my mind that we ever did. Although we only lived ten miles apart, without the Internet we most certainly wouldn’t have met. Our backgrounds were quite different and we shared no social networks. In addition, I was getting gun shy of meeting new men through the Internet because of the way they kept vaporizing after our first date. I was beginning to feel mighty hopeless!
And besides being a shy, private person himself, Mike was also fearful of bringing another into his off and on struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome. Then there was the fact that we didn’t really match up on paper. I came from a background that emphasized academics, and Mike went to the Navy instead of college. His specialty is mechanics and electronics. Mine is counseling, research and writing. But what we did have in common turned out to be much more important. Mike and I had camaraderie of spirit that I have never found in another human being. We both realized later that we had been trying to connect with others in this way for most of our lives, but had somehow missed until the day we met.
From the very beginning our souls spoke to each other in a unique and wonderful way, a spontaneous familiarity, a synchronicity of body, mind and heart. And the most amazing thing is, we both realized and appreciated that fact immediately. No backing away from it, no denying it. We both completely trusted our intuition and feelings and simply went with it.
We spoke for ten hours on our first date, and took a short trip together less than two weeks after we met. This great line at the end of one of my all-time favorite movies, "When Harry Met Sally," describe our feelings for each other best: “When you finally meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible!”
\We both had been through so much in our lives, so we recognized immediately when something unique and wonderful had fallen into our laps. I also learned about a key component of compatibility that I had never thought about before. Besides the usual requirements, the deal breakers, etc., I learned how important it is that your partner comprehend things at a rate comparable to yourself. In other words, Mike and I think at the same rate, and often come to the same conclusions simultaneously. This can be quite a gift in a long-term relationship!
My own theory of love and attraction came through loud and clear when I first met Mike. My theory is: "You get what you are in love." As much as you have worked on developing into your best self, that is the kind of person you will attract to yourself.
So keep working on self-love and self-respect, feel daily gratitude for the life you now have. My favorite poet Marge Piercy said it best in her book "The Moon is Always Female": “Love is plunging into darkness toward a place that may exist.”
Laura Lee Carter, MA Counseling Psychology, is the founder of MidlifeCrisisQueen, where this post originally appeared. The blog is dedicated to helping others turn their own midlife crises into important opportunities for personal change. Besides working as a psychotherapist specializing in Midlife Psychology, Laura Lee writes for national magazines and has also authored books on love and midlife change. Follow her on Twitter: @midlifequeen.