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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Late Blooms

Dating after 40. There are few three-word combinations that contain such stark dread.

It's something that a large segment of our population has to face. With about half of all first marriages ending in divorce, even if you don't end up as a 'later dater', someone you know will.

The truth is, though, that it's not all bad. It's just different, and on the positive side, there are some later-life events you won't necessarily have to face alone if you have a significant other. Like, colonoscopies...you and your date could schedule yours for the same time, make it a bonding experience.

No? Well, it was a thought.

Anyway, here are a few of the factors that tend to change the rules, and how to make them work to your advantage.
  • Changed expectations - when you're twenty, you probably felt that the right person would change your life forever, sweep your heart away to a place of perpetual happiness. That this isn't true is far and away the major underlying cause of divorce. Now, twenty years on, you know that life doesn't get drastically better through any 'external'. You know, at some level, that it's up to you, and that finding the right heart companion isn't the be-all-end-all to joy. And when you release this expectation...you make it possible for a relationship to carry you far further up the mountain of happiness!
  • Physical changes - in a word, hormones. Men reach the peak of hormonal intensity around the age of 20, and begin a sharp drop soon thereafter. Since a twenty-year-old male is interested in pretty much just one thing, this carries the good news and hope that 'aging's speed bump' can actually allow what's truly interesting in a man's personality to come through. For women, 'baby hunger' diminishes as the end of fertility approaches, and men can begin to lay aside the fear that, at least on some level, they're primarily being seen as a provider and sperm donor.
  • Spiritual maturity - relationships hopefully include God, and getting past the impetuousness of youth can bring a person to a place where a stable relationship with the Almighty can begin to form. Our kinship with God is always a work-in-progress, and the more miles we've walked with God increases the chance that we can find someone of a similar heart, so that you can walk the future years together.
It would be easy to get 'jokey' about this subject, but that only obscures the issue - that it's not that daunting, and that there are some opportunities in a relationship that mature and come available, with maturity.

Of course, these changes are not measured on a rigid yardstick, and some of them tend to drag people kicking and screaming into their own future.

Why, yes, I was talking about the 'testesterone drop' that men go through. However did you know?

These are flowers that bloom late, and grow in their time. But what a bouquet they can become, if nurtured.

Perhaps even a wedding bouquet.

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