I have finally finished my first novel. And, of course, I wonder if anyone will want to read it. Its not about the typical couple; the hero is in his early forties and the heroin is in her mid-late forties. Will anyone believe you can find love for the first or, even, second, time around?
I’m in my forties and I have many friends in their forties and fifties asking the same question. Will love be there for them? To find out if my book is realistic I asked the experts, my friends.
One friend, divorced at forty-six, found love with a younger guy, thirty-eight, within months of her separation from her husband. Another friend, divorced in her late forties after twenty-seven years of marriage, found true happiness with a man twenty years her junior. And yet another, divorced after five years of marriage, found love with a man twenty years her senior.
Not all relationships have faired so well. One other friend who divorced at forty, three years ago, has been struggling just to find a decent date. And one other has yet to find that special someone after attempting to get married multiple times.
Is love any easier later in life? After watching my friends I think its just as difficult as in your twenties except you know more of what to expect. If I’ve learned anything in the last twenty or so years its to be honest and up front from the beginning. Life is short and we don’t have time for games and players. In most of the relationships I’ve been exposed to those that are fairing the best are the ones that aren’t afraid to say what they need from their partner. Just because we’re older doesn’t necessarily mean we’re much wiser. Sometimes we need direction.
So, in light of my research, my book appears valid and plausible. Once it hits the internet (ebooks) I’ll let you know. You can give me your opinion.
Gals, this one is for you.
Remember as a child, reading stories about the knight in shining armor saving the princess and then riding off to live happily ever after? Then being in your teen years, waiting on your knight to take you away to your own special place to live blissfully content forever? How’d that work for you?
I know, I sound cynical. I’m not, just a realist. I looked for that knight. And each one I met I thought would take me to his kingdom and euphoria would be the result. But to no avail….Each knight had flaws, some worse than others. I began to see that we had been duped as children. Why weren’t we told the truth? Relationships can be ugly, scary and no fun sometimes.
You may be asking, what about you parents? Were they an example of bliss or chaos? Why didn’t I expect my adult relationships to be the same as theirs? Oh, I don’t know, I was told I would have it different, that life could be what I wanted it to be. I wanted the knight! Who wouldn’t?
I finally realized that the knight was a very tall tale used to confuse little girls into having dashed dreams. So, I got a new dream. I decided my knight could have a reasonable amount of flaws, ones I felt I could live with, and we’d figure out a way to live, somewhat happily ever after. The plan worked!
So toss those old fairy tales and write your own princess story, one with real life characters with real lives. Your knight may not have unlimited funds or even a decent car but maybe he works hard and treats you like you’re special. It may not always turn out like you plan but at least you walk into it with your eyes open and expectations realistic.
You see a handsome guy at a party and you want to talk to him, but you don’t. You’ve been dating her a month and you want to tell her you love her, but you don’t.
Why don’t we just jump in with both feet? Take the plunge? See what happens? Fear! Where does that fear come from? Past experience.
Remember when you were a kid and you’d try anything? I remember climbing chain link fences. I was brave until my jeans got caught at the top of a fence once and I couldn’t get down. That was the end of my climbing days. Or how you wrote notes to the guy/gal you liked, “I love you, do you love me? Circle yes or no”? Even when you received “no” you persevered, wrote a note to your second fav and moved on. I was brave until forth grade….Not only did I get a resounding “no” but “your fat” came along with it. No more notes after that!
Rejection is probably one of man’s (and woman’s) greatest fears. Who wants to be shot down? The problem is if you don’t put it out there you’ll never know if your fear is unfounded. I know, easier said then done. In my twenties fear of rejection was probably my number one fear, heights being the second thanks to the fence. But in my forties I’m not so worried about it. Granted I’m not out looking for dates but there is rejection, and fear of it, in all areas of our lives. I have come to realize I’m not getting any younger and if I want life to be at its best I have to step out of my box. I have to take rejection by the horns and give it a shake!
Life can be as exciting and fun as we want it to be if we are not afraid to grow from a bit of rejection. Rejection can be good. We learn from it and move forward. Look at it as stepping stones to greatness. Fearing it only holds you back. Yes, sometimes the rejection isn’t polite, friendly, or thoughtful. Sometimes its ugly and hurtful. Take a step back, shed a tear, regroup, put on your big girl thong and get back out there. Fearing the unknown and not facing that fear puts life on hold. Do we really have that kind of time?
Remember the beginning of your relationship? Every time he walked into the room your stomach did flip-flops. Just the way she looked at you made you weak in the knees? What happens to that feeling? Where does it go?
Life happens and we start to take each other for granted. You might have children and they take all your focus. Or you just get too comfortable with each other: pass gas around each other, share the bathroom at the same time, or just stop wearing makeup while your home. All these little things make us forget why we fell in love originally.
Remember how you tried to look your best, even when it was time to go to bed? How do you get that back? Are you still in love or just in a routine?
I have seen many couples divorce after many years of marriage because they just don’t have passion for each other. Are those who are still married, feeling a bit stuck in a rut, settling? Or is love just that way? Does passion have to end? It’s such a high and makes you look forward to a new day. Why can’t that be something we feel all the time?
I don’t have the answer. I wish I did. Is moving on to a new relationship the answer? Will the passion eventually fizzle out of that one too leaving you to hop to the next? Is passion love? Does love have passion? Hmmm….thoughts to ponder.