To all those over 50 who are looking for love and uncertain of the dance steps; the following “New Rules for Love Over 50” might be helpful.
I met a man the other night who described his life as complicated. I found the statement odd because life is complicated. No one gets past 50 without complications. Whether it’s your partners, ex-partners, children, aging parents, illness or unthinkable losses and the necessary adjustments, the list could fill pages.
As you go through complications, you choose between cutting off from life and resigned hopelessness or you acquire depth, compassion, integrity and passion.
What are the new rules for keeping yourself safe, realistic and passionate while building new love in the second half of life?
1. Don’t get too enchanted with your own drama/story. Make a life spreadsheet to simply deal with problems as the inevitability they are. Don’t allow them to be an excuse not to fully commit to what you are creating with your potential partner now.
2. Have fun. Hopefully by now, you’ve learned how to have a great time alone, and if not , you need to, otherwise you risk losing the pleasure of your best life partner – you!
3. Evaluate your hunger for love. Contrary to romantic lore, love needs reason, especially before you get into a relationship. What are your needs and desires in love?
4. Look both ways before crossing!! Big lives – and everyone over 50 has a big life – take big efforts to merge. Before you enter the game make sure that you want to play and allow the other person their own time to find their sea legs.
5. Know what you want and be responsible in not engaging in dynamics that do not lead to what you want.
6. His/her body is ALSO droopier that it used to be!
7. People don’t change. If you can’t live with what you see, don’t engage thinking that the image will shift. Cut bait.
Mature love can be the most powerful, passionate love you’ve ever experienced. It involves taking risks, being vulnerable and allowing yourself to love to the fullest.
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
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