How Is Love Different as We Age?
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
My husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this week.
Looks like we’ve finally made it past those dangerous first five years, but there has never been any doubt with us.
Why is that? Maturity, I guess, and lots of previous experience with divorce and living alone. In other words, we may be slow, but we are trainable.
When you fall in love at age 49, and especially the way we did,* you know when you’ve met your match. We both feel mighty lucky, after decades of trying!
We both had finally learned the most important lesson when it comes to marriage: choose a partner with similar core values, someone you naturally share genuine friendship with. Find a partner you would choose as a friend, a BEST friend!
Ask yourself, if we weren’t in love, would we still be friends?
When the excitement and passion we all experience when we first fall in love wears off, what will there be to keep us together? Romantic love is short lived and generally insufficient to maintain a long, successful marriage. The love you think you feel when you first meet is often a mirage, for deep love develops slowly with each shared joy and challenge.
After the intense physical attraction wears off, will you share similar activities and interests? Will there be that dependable friendship and intimacy that comes from years of shared laughter and tears? What will you be sharing for a lifetime with this person you care so much about now?
One thing you should share is feeling more concern for your partner’s well-being than yourself, in a healthy way.
*Editor's note: Click here to read Laura Lee's blog on ThirdAge about how they met: http://www.thirdage.com/blogs/falling-love-49
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. Please also visit http://www.howtobelieveinloveagain.com/