Finding Love at Forty
Like everything elusive and precious, love is also not easy to find — especially in your middle age. But when life turns magical, it has to be shared!! So here's how I found the love of my life at 40 and how you also might give it a go! I hope my experience after a loss will help you too. Here's how I have distilled it.
Keep Your Mind Open
You may have had many experiences and/or relationships which might have made you cynical. Also by this time you are probably independent and happy to be on your own. Yet as time passes you need someone by your side. Remember there are good people in the world and you might still meet someone who is just right for you.
That’s how it started for me. At just 39 I was a widow with a young son. My relationship with my husband hadn't been a fulfilling one to start with and I was not ready to consider a second chance as life and love had been inimical to me since I had got married 18 years ago. It had been rough sailing till the time I met this man and then things took a smooth turn.
Connect and Reconnect
Don't isolate yourself. Neither age nor any circumstances should make you disconnect with friends. Friends help you see the world in a friendly perspective. They help you meet new people and sometimes older ones that you had once dreamed of. Now how many people meet their first crushes after more than 25 years, fall in love all over again and find it wholly reciprocated.
We reconnected on social media as his sister who was a good friend told him about my loss. He thought it proper to send a condolence message first rather than call and we exchanged numbers. He was a friend’s elder brother, a school senior and my first schoolgirl crush all rolled into one and I couldn’t believe that I found him again. So keep trying your luck!
Don't drown yourself in grief or regret over a loss or break up. Be responsive. Respond to people. Attend social events. Say hello to strangers. I found many suitors but was selective yet open. In my case he kept calling and I kept responding. Initially I was too wrapped up in my grief to pay much attention. Time went on and I gathered my wits back and started a new chapter of my life. Life was an unending struggle with no one to support and nothing to look forward to. His calls and messages were like a soothing balm.
Share and Listen
Your bond will develop when you share your life and listen to others too. By this time in our lives we have all had certain experiences which are defining. Its difficult to break the mold but has to be done to start afresh. When you listen to others with empathy you realise how everyone needs a little sunshine.
Under a shadow of immense grief and anger myself, I never thought that there were people who were even more aggrieved than me. In the course of my infrequent conversations with him I realized how rough his life had been yet he was standing strong, having gone through two painful divorces and taking care of two special needs children whose natural mother had abandoned them.
To top it off, he was a serving army officer; tough life, far tougher than mine at least. Our bond developed and became stronger when we both shared our lives and realized how we had been crossing similar hurdles around the same times of our lives.
Companionship Is a Goal in Itself
Be open to the idea of companionship. At this age you cant be looking for frivolous relationships. We both had immense voids to be filled and jagged edges to be smoothed. We both needed love and companionship. And yet we both had our own sets of responsibilities.
We had this realization and innate need of being together but couldn’t yet commit as we were afraid. Life makes you cynical. We couldn’t believe we had found happiness yet it was right there waiting to be grabbed with both hands. .
Don't dither. Time is not on our side. As such you'll realise that everything has to be telescoped. Very soon in the course of the relationship I could see that we had a certain intellectual chemistry which for me had never existed in my earlier relationships. I had longed for a man with whom I could actually converse and who would listen to me.
He is caring, attentive and very loving. He respects me as an individual and does not conform to the traditional man woman roles which I had chucked long ago. We had initially decided that we would get married in at least 5 years but the yearning was such that we brought the date ahead and were married within the year.
Do not worry about people, nosy neighbors, ratty relatives et al. No need to mention that except close family and friends people are generally critical and non-supportive. The usual questions like a widow marrying again and his being divorced twice were raised by people who didn’t even matter in the scheme of things.
But as the saying goes love conquers all; your concerns, your worries, questions, people and society. It makes you believe in each other and that’s exactly what happened. Today I see that it is not a road traveled by the timid but then again only the brave win.
Believe in love, magic, goodness and yourself. Now I believe that it’s never too late to find love and companionship. The people who are meant for you will gravitate towards you. Life has to run its course but it’s never unjust. Just believe in the magic of love, life and soul mates.
© 2017 Neha Seth