Why Do We Seem to Think that the Desire for Love/Companionship Ends at Age 35?

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seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,819
432
83
#1
Hey Everyone,

I admit that when I found myself very unwillingly divorced around 25 years old, I was in panic mode and thought that if I didn't find another possibility very, very soon, my life would be over. At that time, I couldn't fathom waiting until I was 30... and then 35... and somewhere along the line, 40 blasted right past me and here I am... still searching.

I suppose the biggest thing for me was the good old biological clock--the time frame for having a family was slowing ticking away, and even at 38, I thought there still might be a possibility. However, when I look at things realistically... Even if I met someone today, we'd probably date for a year or two... then hopefully be married for at least 3 years (that's what my Mom always advised me to do, so that you have time to get to know each other), and that would mean I would right around 50 years old--and supposedly looking at having my first baby, if at all possible.

I'm sorry, but I'm not a Hollywood celebrity--I don't have a fortune and an entourage with which to raise my kids, and I really can't see myself chasing after toddlers full-time at that age. If God has other plans, so be it, but I also think it's important to stay grounded in reality.

This has led me to really pay attention when some of our more experienced single peers here on the forum express a desire to meet someone special--people in their 40's, 50's, 60's, and even 70's. I have noticed that sometimes, the younger members (and I fall into this trap, too) seem to be surprised that anyone "at that age" might still have the desire to find love and someone to share their life with.

* Why is that so surprising?

* Why does there seem to be this belief that if you don't find someone by, let's say age 35 (I just used that as an arbitrary example), that a person's potential and longing withers and dies, and anyone past a certain age should just give up on romantic love?

* Is it because they are at an age that's nearly, or well past the biological prime of having children, and that's what most people see marriage as being geared for?

* Is it because 99% of Hollywood movies showcase romances between young, otherworldly good-looking people?

I often wonder what love would look like if I found it at this stage in life, because it's not going to be about graduating from college and buying our first house ever together and starting big careers and bringing forth brand-new bundles of joy.

I would imagine that love now is sharing children with parents and families who have already had them for quite some time, settling into things like caring for aging relatives, putting kids through college, and maybe talking about future retirement or travel.

I honestly have no idea what to expect or what possible plans and dreams slightly "older" love might ignite.

But, I would very much like to think that I'm still all geared up for the adventure (shenanigans galore!), and that it's still out there waiting for me.

What about you?

* How long do you think the desire to find romantic love lasts, and why?
 

Rachel20

Senior Member
May 7, 2013
1,622
75
48
#2
I met an older woman at a flight this weekend. She looked great at 65. She honestly and happily discussed all the procedures she had done - botox, juvederm, false lashes and what she ate and exercised.

It was very fascinating and we got to talking a lot about our lives, our spirituality and our hopes and dreams.
I have a penchant for having great conversations with strangers.
Or perhaps they find me, I can't say.

As she talked about her life, she mentioned that it was her second marriage to a much older gentleman than herself.

Her first marriage lasted 12 years and ended at age 40. The reason for her leaving the marriage was that her husband did not want to have children.

She mentioned her despair at having reached that age and having lost all hope of having children of her own

However, as she looked towards her husband she smiled and said "Well it all worked out well, because then I met Bill."
They had been married for 24 years.

"I never thought I would have children, but now I have grandchildren, " she said.

Bill's first wife had passed away and this woman stepped in to play a maternal role in their family. From everything she had told me, she was living life to the fullest, happy and content with her family.

Her story just seems to fit in with the context of this thread. Life can be unpredictable but we must trust that God is working all things for our good. We must not lose hope.

(This woman was not Christian, but I got to share my faith with her. I think both of us were blessed by our encounter. :) )

[HR][/HR]

I don't think the desire for love and companionship ever ends however I believe it changes once someone already experiences it and moves forward in their life.

I know someone who lost her husband in her mid forties but resolutely refuses to ever remarry. It was Paul's advice to singles and those who had been widowed, if they could bear it, to remain as they were.

Everyone has different thresholds. I think it is harder for people who have experienced true love and very deep companionship to ever shift their mindset from their "mate" to someone else. It is then that the rest of their families should step up - children should take care of their parents.

For others, the loneliness is too much to handle. It just depends on their life experiences.
 
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JonahLynx

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2014
1,017
26
48
#3
Here's some wisdom which helped me. Take it or leave it ;):

Isaiah 55 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Deuteronomy 31 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Matthew 6 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Philippians 4 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
 

Lighthearted

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2016
1,017
74
48
#4
If it's a desire of your heart, you're never too old.
 

Stranger36147

Senior Member
Jun 13, 2015
700
48
28
#5
Honestly, I've never heard that the desire for a partner goes away by a certain age.

Certainly, as you get older, you become more set in your ways. So maybe it is true that you begin to feel the need for companionship less and less as you get older if you're still single. But I doubt it ever goes away completely, no matter how old you are. Assuming you had any desire to be with someone to begin with, of course.
 
Aug 2, 2009
20,604
772
113
#6
I don't think the desire goes away, but I think that a lot of people simply get jaded by that age because they've been hurt in past relationships and either can't or won't trust anyone with their heart again.

Some people do get over the hurt/mistrust and start dating again, but I think a lot of people tend to push away those who want to get close to them because they're afraid of falling for the wrong person again.

It's a battle between loneliness and the desire to find a partner.. Even with trust issues, the loneliness might be strong enough to convince someone to put all their fears aside and start dating again..
 
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Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,522
455
83
#7
The family isn't looking like what it use to. I never thought I'd be divorced, let alone, looking for a Mrs. Tommy.

We still have this romanticized image of young love in our society. It was great, but time stands still for no one.

I never thought it was strange for the older folk to pair up. When I say older, I mean well into the medicare years. Everything else is still pretty youthful.

I remember when I was really new to my job, I got a call for a sex offense at the nursing home. This actually kinda funny. I go down there, told by staff, they found two residents in bed together. Oh no, the humanity. The director of the facility was beside herself. It was a man and woman, both widowed, in their 90s. He said she was his girlfriend, she said he was a stud. I told the director I wasn't going to charge people in their 90s with fornication. She wasn't happy. Apparently, I'm supposed to do something about everything. I disagree. I'm not going to get in the way of old love.

I was 21 back then. It clicked with me, it's always going to be this way. Never wanting to be alone for too long.

I always feel like time is ticking away, but I'm not too old. I'm still looking for a prayer ninja to fight back to back with, against the forces of evil. Plus my cat doesn't talk back.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,892
542
113
#8
Beats me. I never have heard of this age limit thing. I know lots of elderly people who find themselves alone in life and find a new spouse.

Where did you hear about this age limit and how is it enforced? Should this be a law on the books or is it already? Maybe it's just not a law down here in the South, because I don't know of anybody around here who ever has heard of it.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,522
455
83
#9
Beats me. I never have heard of this age limit thing. I know lots of elderly people who find themselves alone in life and find a new spouse.

Where did you hear about this age limit and how is it enforced? Should this be a law on the books or is it already? Maybe it's just not a law down here in the South, because I don't know of anybody around here who ever has heard of it.
The fine is 7 dollars for every year over the limit, plus court cost.
 

seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,819
432
83
#12
I told the director I wasn't going to charge people in their 90s with fornication. She wasn't happy. Apparently, I'm supposed to do something about everything. I disagree. I'm not going to get in the way of old love.
Your post reminds me of when some family members of mine used to live near an infamous Retirement Wonderland in Florida. It was huge--literally its own enclosed city, complete with shopping centers, doctors, and even heart specialists, and you could go everywhere in a golf cart. Some people didn't even have a car.

A few of their shopping centers were open to the public and were set up like "town squares" with dances and social activities that were held regularly. There was even a local "saloon" where it was said that the senior singles would to go if they wanted to pick up a date--it was their version of going to the bar or a club. I remember hearing the DJ's on the local radio station joke about "the golf cart ride of shame"--referring to when people had one-night stands and would drive back home in their golf carts.

This place was also known as having the highest STD rate in the state. It cost a lot to live there, so the residents generally had time to kill, money to burn, and eyes to find someone to spend it with.

A former pastor of mine was telling us that older, divorced, and widowed singles (in his experience) were some of the most challenging to witness to, because they would tell him things such as, "Abstinence is a fine teaching--if you're 17. But I'm an adult, and I can do what I want."

It's kind of funny that while the desires may never go away...

Neither do God's mandates for them.

(I am NOT criticizing Tommy's decision to not charge this older couple with a "crime", lol. It's just that his post reminded me of this whole scenario in FL. :))
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,522
455
83
#13
Your post reminds me of when some family members of mine used to live near an infamous Retirement Wonderland in Florida. It was huge--literally its own enclosed city, complete with shopping centers, doctors, and even heart specialists, and you could go everywhere in a golf cart. Some people didn't even have a car.

A few of their shopping centers were open to the public and were set up like "town squares" with dances and social activities that were held regularly. There was even a local "saloon" where it was said that the senior singles would to go if they wanted to pick up a date--it was their version of going to the bar or a club. I remember hearing the DJ's on the local radio station joke about "the golf cart ride of shame"--referring to when people had one-night stands and would drive back home in their golf carts.

This place was also known as having the highest STD rate in the state. It cost a lot to live there, so the residents generally had time to kill, money to burn, and eyes to find someone to spend it with.

A former pastor of mine was telling us that older, divorced, and widowed singles (in his experience) were some of the most challenging to witness to, because they would tell him things such as, "Abstinence is a fine teaching--if you're 17. But I'm an adult, and I can do what I want."

It's kind of funny that while the desires may never go away...

Neither do God's mandates for them.

(I am NOT criticizing Tommy's decision to not charge this older couple with a "crime", lol. It's just that his post reminded me of this whole scenario in FL. :))
I'm sure the couple in my case would have gotten married if the meanies at the home had given them a ride to the courthouse for the license.
 

seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,819
432
83
#14
I'm sure the couple in my case would have gotten married if the meanies at the home had given them a ride to the courthouse for the license.
Lol!! It's awesome that you have such a heart for people, Tommy.

Actually, this raises an excellent point--I've heard many times that older couples don't get married because they will lose certain benefits or would have to pay more in taxes, etc., than they could afford. They literally don't have enough to survive in order to get married, and it's not like they can just go out and find jobs.

I don't know what the solution would be for that. I know everyone would say, "Just trust God to provide," but I can't judge anyone because I'm not facing that dilemma (at least not yet.)

I know it would certainly be a heartbreaker if I wanted to get married--but would lose my means of survival if I did so.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,522
455
83
#15
Lol!! It's awesome that you have such a heart for people, Tommy.

Actually, this raises an excellent point--I've heard many times that older couples don't get married because they will lose certain benefits or would have to pay more in taxes, etc., than they could afford. They literally don't have enough to survive in order to get married, and it's not like they can just go out and find jobs.

I don't know what the solution would be for that. I know everyone would say, "Just trust God to provide," but I can't judge anyone because I'm not facing that dilemma (at least not yet.)

I know it would certainly be a heartbreaker if I wanted to get married--but would lose my means of survival if I did so.
What makes a marriage to God?

I know we must obey the governments, but the state being involved in marriage is a new thing. Virginia didn't have marriage licenses until reconstruction, to keep whites and blacks from marrying. Before that, any question about two being married involved the questions of:

Did they affirm an oath in accordance with their faith?

Did they lay together?

Do they cohabitate?

Alabama is floating a law to get rid of marriage licenses. Will God see a marriage made in Alabama as invalid?

Im going to end up paying way more in taxes not being married.
 

Susanna

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2013
2,588
70
48
#16
The family isn't looking like what it use to. I never thought I'd be divorced, let alone, looking for a Mrs. Tommy.

We still have this romanticized image of young love in our society. It was great, but time stands still for no one.

I never thought it was strange for the older folk to pair up. When I say older, I mean well into the medicare years. Everything else is still pretty youthful.

I remember when I was really new to my job, I got a call for a sex offense at the nursing home. This actually kinda funny. I go down there, told by staff, they found two residents in bed together. Oh no, the humanity. The director of the facility was beside herself. It was a man and woman, both widowed, in their 90s. He said she was his girlfriend, she said he was a stud. I told the director I wasn't going to charge people in their 90s with fornication. She wasn't happy. Apparently, I'm supposed to do something about everything. I disagree. I'm not going to get in the way of old love.

I was 21 back then. It clicked with me, it's always going to be this way. Never wanting to be alone for too long.

I always feel like time is ticking away, but I'm not too old. I'm still looking for a prayer ninja to fight back to back with, against the forces of evil. Plus my cat doesn't talk back.
You should have charged the director with stalking.
 

NewStuff17

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2017
137
5
0
#17
Does it end in your mid 20's. My love and desire gauge must be broken then. hahaha The only reason it decreased for me at all is because I haven't found anyone that matches me like my late husband did. I want to believe that is possible again but it isn;t looking good.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,522
455
83
#19
Does it end in your mid 20's. My love and desire gauge must be broken then. hahaha The only reason it decreased for me at all is because I haven't found anyone that matches me like my late husband did. I want to believe that is possible again but it isn;t looking good.
I'm sorry. Your husband must have been a great guy.