How romance changes over the years, according to seniors
By Linsey Knerl for Five Star Senior Living | See the original article here.
“The heart that loves is always young.”
We’re not quite sure who first said this notable quote, but the truth it shares is universal. For many adults, the desire to have companionship and romance doesn’t fade over time. We interviewed some of the community members at Five Star Senior Living to get their thoughts on dating, true love and what they wished younger people knew about passion as you age.
How love changes over time
All of the residents we spoke to admit that love is possible in the later years. How romance differs from love as a youth, however, depends on who you ask.
90-year-old William M. Stewart Sr. explains it this way, “The man and woman are like two magnets attached to each other. However, over time, the passion may subside, and they can drift emotionally apart.”
Not everyone takes this view, however. Some of the residents claim that more time together results in everything from “more laughing and enjoying each other’s company” to a “more mature, less selfish” love. Having the kids grown up and out of the house was mentioned, too. With fewer parenting responsibilities, there’s a chance to learn more about their partners and work on the relationship.
Dating without a smartphone
Whether the seniors we interviewed were in their 80’s or 90’s, many still had an interest in dating. Their ideas for meeting like-minded singles ranged from chatting up co-workers to mingling by the pool. Some mentioned parties and bars as good opportunities to find companionship. A few, however, admitted that they had stopped looking for love after their long-time spouses passed away.
No matter where they hoped to meet others, however, technology wasn’t mentioned as the tool they relied on to break the ice. More than a few of the seniors we talked to claim a good, old-fashioned face-to-face is the best way to get a relationship off the ground.
“I walk right up, introduce myself, and have a conversation,” recommends Patricia Fyfe.
Despite their confidence in where to find love, most admit that dating doesn’t get any easier. Like the rest of us, those who have tried it have had mixed results. “Been there, done that, not interested,” says Fyfe.
Dispelling myths about senior love and dating
Seniors know a thing or two about relationships. With many having marriages of fifty years or more under their belts, they know what they want, as well. One aspect that is misunderstood about relationships in the later years is sex. When asked what people get wrong about love and romance for people over a certain age, more than a few we talked to mentioned physical intimacy as an important factor that they still enjoy – but that younger people might assume isn’t relevant. One of the ladies we spoke to thinks younger people should know that they do look to have sex at least occasionally.
“They think just because there are gray hairs on the heads, there isn’t a fire inside,” agrees a man who prefers to call himself “Mr. Wonderful.”
Finding true love – again
When you live to be a healthy age of 80, 90 or even 100, it’s possible to love many times. When asked about the concept of a one, true love, most of the seniors we talked to admit that they had found it at least once. Some claim to have found it more than that. Their responses include:
“70 years with the same man is true love,” shares Fyfe.
“I had it two times in my life,” says Selma.
Marie Whelan says, “I wouldn’t stay married if it wasn’t true love.”
“I have been in love two times,” shares Elaine Mitchell. “Hard decision to choose one.”
“If it lasts 58 years, it’s true love,” admits Mr. Wonderful.
And Vivian Solomon states that she “has had many ‘true loves.’”
If you’re feeling discouraged that you haven’t been lucky in love, know that you have a lifetime to get it right. With some of the seniors we interviewed having found it many times – and others enjoying decades of spark with their one true love – it’s a reminder that you should never give up. If they find reasons to keep looking, so can you.