Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Romance in the Sunset Years

This is a valentine thought for my retired and soon to be retired friends.  When you watch television or the movies, you could come to the conclusion that romance is only the stuff of those in their teens or 20s.  As though somehow once someone reaches full adulthood, much less retirement the concept of romance is completely out of the question.  This may be more a function of the fact that more people in those age groups go to the movies than any grounding in reality about romance.  But we know for a fact that romance at all ages is not only is possible, it might be the sweetest romance of them all.
Part of the confusion may lie in another misconception or “myth” about us that we are not capable of sexual activity.  There are two levels of error in this misconception.  The first is the idea that people over 50 are sexually inactive. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Sexuality is a healthy component of adult life at all phases of our maturity and we are just as capable of sexuality in our relationships as your most randy teenager, but not as careful if the research into STD’s in seniors is to be believed.
The second misconception that is good to confront and put to rest is that even if sexuality is not part of the mix, we are not romantic people.  This misconception is without a doubt held people who don’t spend any quality time with our age group.  If anything, the opposite is the truth.  If anyone tracked our movie rental patterns or downloads or streaming activity they would witness that we have a healthy appetite for romantic comedies and have a healthy interest in romantic relationships.
Retirement very often is a time of tremendous rebirth of the concept of romance between couples.  Married couples who may have seen the romance fizzle in their relationship during the child raising years often see that element of their relationship blossom and become even sweeter and exciting than it was when they were dating. 
Adult life before retirement is often packed with pressures of raising kids and getting them “launched” as well as work and social pressures.  This kind of thing can take away the emotional and mental energy needed for romance.  So, when a marriage matures into retirement years together, it's common to rediscover why they fell in love in the first place and experience a new era of romance that is fun and thrilling for both.
But retired people who find themselves single are perfectly capable of looking for romantic times with others of their own generation.  If we have managed our finances well, we may be well equipped to enjoy an active dating life and enjoy romantic evenings with each other that enrich our lives and keeps us upbeat and looking forward to our next romantic experience. 
Moreover, we have the time and the leisure to nurture their romantic relationships slowly.  So, the suspense of building a romance makes that romance full of excitement of discovery is easily afforded for those who may not be as “eager” to see the romance “go somewhere” as a youth looking to start a family.  But dating and enjoying romantic times with the opposite sex also provide much-needed companionship and deep friendships can evolve from romance at any age.  If you have lost a spouse, these times with others can fill a gap left by that spouse and help ease the transition and the grief and help you to can move on to single life successfully.

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