When Seniors Look For Love
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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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When Seniors Look For Love

OK – right off I have to admit that I am a senior.  That is the demilitarized zone between middle age and elderly.  This is but one account of love in a life well lived, and the hope for love yet to come.  Life has bestowed many blessings on this old man.  Good women have come into my life.  Some of them hung around to become significant relationships – those wonderful experiences of great joy and great sadness.  Is the joy worth the pain?  Well, we submit to joy because we convince ourselves there will be no pain.  I stand at that crossroads again today.  What is love?

My values have changed over the years.  The first of the significant women in my life was just eighteen when I was twenty years old.  She was a stunning beauty, a kind and gentle woman.  We have three children.  What more is there?  As beautiful and kind and gentle as she was, we were not compatible or at least I thought not.  Frankly, I was an unaware and insecure male chauvinist. Her beauty captured me. Unaware of my insecurity I found a beautiful woman to give me the appearance of confidence.  We have not been together in over twenty-five years but she remains a person to whom I admire and respect – a woman who is a fine mother and grandmother. What lessons did I learn from her?

There was a brief interlude between significant romance. Even those women of short relationship duration had an impact on my view of love.  I believe I genuinely loved one – but she was unable to commit to me – she moved away.

My second long term sanctuary was with a woman I continue to admire today.  Less physical beauty but powerful pragmatism and responsibility.  More aware of my chauvinist tendencies I submitted to her desires.  We were together long enough to be worthy of life changing experiences.  The relationship was more of a practical cohabitation.  My realization was that simple practicality is not sustainable with expectations of intimacy.  I miss her and her children – but we were never right for each other.

Failure in relationships can be a powerful motivation for reflecting on one’s own character.  My character left much to be desired.  I tried several more short term romances but felt unfulfilled.  Then I met a woman who had reassessed her character – had battled in the trenches of conflicted relationships – someone like myself – someone looking for a soul mate.  We were together for ten years.  That is a long time.  The past several years have found us going through the motions of sharing expenses, sitting through family outings, drifting apart, recognizing the differences in interest and no longer motivated to compromise.  We are done.  Another great sadness visited my life.

So what is next?  Is there love for a senior?  Somewhere in my life I formulated a dream of love and happiness with a life partner.  Life has been brutal.

Is there hope?  Perhaps.  Is there a circle of life?  As a senior I recognize my time is running out.  Will true love ever come my way?  Also as a senior I am cautious, fearful, weary.  Grief has visited me too many times.  Grief comes along whether we want it or invite it – so setting the stage for more grief seems to be an absurdity of mega proportions.  Can a senior with a history of terminal relationships learn to trust love?  Can any senior trust enough to love again?

Love is a scary thing.  Like faith, love does not require proof – it is a sensation of emotion not rooted in practicality.  But being the practical humans that we are we cannot escape the fears of the past.  We assess the troubles of past experience and vow to never again suffer that pain.  We become healthy skeptics.

But we long for love.  We long for the love of Cinderella or Snow White.  We want the fairy tale to be true.  We question everything.  When we bump rears in the crowed kitchen will we feel that old irritation or will we smile at the inadvertent touch?  Are there words that have become off limits?  A past experience might say words like ‘disappointed’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘idiot’ are show-stoppers.  Past experience can be very powerful – and probably should be.  We have come to know those irritating little behaviors or words that become infectious and fester to grievous pain.

So here I sit.  returning to the dream of love.  Can it be possible?  Is there hope?  Can true love overcome the hard experiences of the past?

Are humans capable of true love?  I submitted to you a hopeful definition of what I want.  It was better said in the Bible:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

That is the love I speak of.  Can we do this?  Can two people love each other in a way that there is no envy or fear or hurt or resentment?  Keeps no record of wrongs?  always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres?

I want nothing less – I have settled for less and was not happy.  The biblical definition of love might also be the definition of maturity.  Is life such that we can justify not loving anyone?

If we followed the biblical definition we would not have to warn about bad words or showstoppers.  If we were truly in love might we never fear again the hurts of the past?

Anyway – I hope for true love one day.

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres’ I absolutely love these words from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13: 4 thru 7. This is the standard for us to reach and once again we creatures, who are formed in God’s likeness, often fail, even though the message is simple. Love between men and women is a natural phenomenon. Like rivers, streams and oceans. Ebbing and flowing for long periods of time, as regular as clockwork. Yet, all are hit by heavy rains or earth quakes, hurricanes etc. Each entity responds uniquely to every situation most with destruction and redirection and some with fertilization. All of us are changed in different ways by the storms. So, some grow to love even the tempers and stubbornness of their mates, while others are broken by the merest of slights, unable to find there way. Love of the relationship and the commitment to it are fundamental and must be practiced by both parties. So, when the storm ceases we can carry each other through. The term “Be friends first and lovers next” is another simple way to see a relationship. Most of us accept our friends in all their imperfectness. Yet, don’t apply that to one of the most important relationships we will ever have. Now, that’s the way I see it. My Mother who was widowed twice with kids to care for never even looked for another husband or date/mate. Her idea was that somehow her judgement was impaired and had let her love men who were destined to leave this world early and neither were very good fathers or husbands,anyway. She stayed single nearly forty years and,though life was still a struggle,she managed fairly well on her own. She often commented that she had enough problems without bringing a man into it.