How many of us, especially when we were younger, have looked at our parents or grandparents and shook our heads, not understanding how they could possibly still be together? The thought of them actually loving each other probably didn't even enter our minds.
The still common perception about "old" love is that it's mostly turned into a habit. After 20 or 30 or more years together, couples just seem to co-habit instead of LOVE living together, instead of LOVING each other.
It turns out that the rose-coloured glasses we wore in our '20s and '30s are not giving us the vision that we need. And it turns out that all kinds of older men and women are so fantastically in love with each other, that they make the Notebook seem like kid's play.
Have a look at the photos here at this website, Love of a Lifetime, by Longevity Alliance. Will you look at the joy on their faces? But there's more than just joy, isn't there? I see an amazing comfort, ease, well-being, contentment and pleasure. I see a joy that can never happen in a relationship 10 or 20 years old because it needs 30 or 40 years to ripen, to bloom and flourish. And I think I see a poignancy too, perhaps from remembering their youth together or from remembering the million experiences they've shared together.
Seniors are setting the record straight -- love and romance aren't just for the young. In fact seven in 10 seniors over the age of 75 say they're never too old for love.
The Revera Report on Romance, compiled by the Revera chain of retirement residences, surveyed older adults aged 75+, Boomers and Gen Yers, to find out about their expectations and experiences with social interaction as they age -- including love, romance and companionship. The report found that just as many seniors have romantic partners as 18 to 30 year-olds (approximately 50 per cent for each group).
I have a dear cousin who died a couple of years ago. When I was interviewing her for a profile to be published locally, she said "Chuck and I hold hands every night when we go to bed." Betty was 92.
Even if we look at "new" love found after the age of say 60, but it could be after the age of 80 too, we'll find lots of activity, and I mean every kind of activity. What challenges our sex drive in older age is, I think, the pain in other parts of our bodies. I'm sure that if we apply ourselves even physical challenges can be adapted to an active sex life at any age.
I can speak directly to finding love and sex after 60 because for me, aged 68 and closing in fast on 69, both have never been better. Trust me.
When we look at a woman's face covered in wrinkles, we see far more than her wrinkles, we see her wisdom, her experience, her love of life. We need to continue looking past the outside and looking into the inside.
©Marcia Barhydt 2012