Healing the Midlife Love Crisis
All I wanted was to fall in love and live happily ever after. The End.
Except it wasn’t that simple. At forty-something, I was hardly “on the shelf”, but I was the veteran of two divorces. That gave rise to plenty of self doubt.
It gave rise to another more sinister, subtle symptom too: I didn’t trust the opposite sex not to hurt me again.
And guess what? Since the women I was meeting were in a similar age bracket, and also veterans of some painful emotional history, their fears echoed mine.
Result? An almost cast iron guarantee that love cannot flourish! You might as well scatter seed on concrete and expect a wheat field to flourish.
The internet is peppered with such walking wounded. Dating sites abound and literally tens of thousands of people from all over the computerized world are looking for love. Naturally, there are success stories with happy endings. But the vast majority are frustrated individuals.
Join these sites for a while, (I did for 3 months and ended up staying for 3 years), and you will seethe same faces come round again and again.
They are not ugly or evil or dangerous people. They are ordinary people like you and me, and yet somehow love is just eluding them.
To answer that you have to first ask yourself why anyone wants a relationship in the first place. The answer is not obvious, but it is simple. In just about every generation up to about the 1950’s, people got into relationships because it was inevitable.
Sooner or later, procreation was going to take place, and pregnancy meant the mothers needed economic support which was, of course, provided by the fathers. Roles were clear, nature played a big part
Whether relationships were “happy” or the couple were “in love” were secondary considerations. The relationship itself was primary, and at all costs was made to survive until death did them part.
Add in social and religious pressures, and no wonder our grandparents and all of their forbears stayed together for life.
Nowadays we have a completely different agenda. It boils down to this: we will only stay in a relationship, or even enter into one, if it feels better than not doing so.
In other words, relationships have to make us happy or we’re out.
That’s a big agenda, but the biggest problem with it isn’t its size; it’s that it goes unacknowledged. Society, from government to the church to our neighbors, tends towards the old values and we still measure ourselves by them.
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