Newsweek once claimed that a single woman over 40 years old had a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than she did of getting married. 20 years later they retracted this story.
Elated is the only word to accurately describe the emotion that came over me when my very vibrant and fabulous 50+ year old aunt announced to our family that she would be getting married for the first time in her life this fall. While some looked at her skeptically as if she had certainly lost her mind, I couldn’t keep from smiling. It was the outward reflection of my heart, which I was sure was doing back flips and leaping for joy inside of my chest. My grandmother gave birth to nine children, so I’ve been blessed with a host of loving, motherly and nurturing aunts. However, this aunt in particular devoted most of her life to being the backbone of our family and helping those in the community. Prison ministries, local shelter programs, implementing programs for New York’s elderly, and so on. She cared for my grandmother throughout much of the latter part of her life, practically moved in when my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer back in 2007, and has been nothing short of a second mother to my cousins, as well as my brother and I our entire lives. I’d always wondered how a person could devote so much of their life to others. This is why I was particularly over the moon when I learned of her engagement. She’d been single most of her life, but deep down inside, even when I was the chatty and opinionated little girl that she dressed up in poofy dresses, white lace stockings with frilly white socks and dragged to Sunday school each week, I always secretly wished she would find a love of her own.
Many women reach a point in their lives where they feel like their better years are behind them and they’ve experienced all of the good that is going to come especially when it comes to love. This simply is not true. An increasing number of men and women seem to be stumbling across their Mr. or Mrs. Right a little later in life. These “late-blooming” relationships even seem to come with some extra perks. In a 2009 interview with the US News and World Report, Washington Post columnist and author, Abigail Trafford, discussed those perks. Some of which included:
- “You already have a love story inside you.”
- “You have a kind of confidence that comes with experience. You are freer to define the kind of life you want to lead.”
- “You put a premium not on scoring with someone, but on connecting with someone and being who you really are.”
Some other benefits to finding love later in life include:
- No longer having the pressure of racing against a biological clock.
- Many (not all) people are financially secure at this stage in life.
- Many experts suggest that being in a loving and committed relationship is not only beneficial to ones mental and emotional health, but can even extend a person’s life.
Society leads us to believe that it’s all downhill over 50 (love life included). Hell, they sometimes make you feel that if you haven’t walked down the aisle by 35 and started a family, you were probably going to be a spinster. This however, is a fallacy. There is so much more to be felt, learned and experienced. Many things in life will discontinue with time. Love, however, knows no expiration date. In the words of Frank Sinatra, “Love isn’t just for the young.”
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