I am admittedly a late bloomer when it comes to the traditional idea of partnering and Love having met my soulmate when I was 44 (the husband kind). But to be honest I would not have accepted the possibility of that in my earlier years, say my 20s and 30’s.
When I was 20 a 44 year-old woman was, in my eyes (please forgive that young me!) old and en route to drying up. I had no idea I would be at the beginning of the best years of my life (which I am loving even more NOW) at 44, nor did I understand the work I had to do to truly be alive and ready to be a good partner.
I used my outer life experience as a way to measure my worth which was determined by whether I was partnered or not. You may not identify with this but I had a real drive to meet THE ONE since I was a teenager. The ONE was going to make everything all better! But that was only part of it. Being rescued by a prince was part of the Cinderella fairy tale I bought into but the truth is I had a lot of love to give, I just had a distorted and dysfunctional map of Love to follow.
Without going into the details of my experimentations in the Love department before my 40’s I’m going to stick to the topic of discovering a later love and what that could mean.
No matter how much I said I wanted to have a family and settle down, I attracted lovers who could not offer that to me. In fact, the more unavailable, inappropriate and just plain wrong they were the better. I could never see that at the time, preferring to label myself a victim of my sad despairing romantic failures (I could sing you quite the sob story!).
Deep down I knew I couldn’t have kids which was confirmed in my late 30’s so that normal “let’s meet fall in love and start a family!” was not to be anyway and the men I was attracted to were hard-wired for betrayal anyway.
I look back on everything I was in denial about, my early long-term relationship, my first marriage in my 30s that ended as soon as it began, the myriad of ways I looked outside of myself for love.
By the time I hit my 40s a different kind of maturity set in. I was clean and sober 15 years and I had achieved some pretty wonderful things in my career. I never stopped pursuing my dreams because I couldn’t “find a man”!
As you get older, if you are on a path of self-evolution and a commitment to being as spiritually aware as you can you will notice the story you tell yourself about love, and what it means, changes as our vantage point changes too.
How I see things today is very different from the way I saw them back then. I mean I might have been entertaining myself with my running soap opera but it was only when I got sick and tired, of being sick and tired, that I began to see different forms of love that were just as, if not more important, than the romantic kind.
But even without a story fraught with lots of heartache you are going to change as you grow older. Your priorities change and while in your 20s and 30s you might have wanted to start a family as a core value of partnership perhaps in your 40s companionship and a different kind of love becomes the heart of the matter. As does the ability to love your life as it is – even being unpartnered is rich and amazing brimming with Love in a myriad of forms.
When you find love later you come to the table with more experience and perhaps consider the fact that even the disappointments of unmet love plus the stretches of happy singlehood (all that living you did) helped shape you into the person you were destined to become anyway? The truth is that in every phase of our lives Love mirrors our needs and helps us grow. When we discover the essence of Love that works for us later in life we discover that the experience of it really is like a fine wine that just gets better and smoother, richer and more valuable with age.