For someone who writes about relationships, it is pretty risky to make the statement that age matters; however, I believe in speaking the truth. I also believe in voicing the concerns of the those that visit this site. From this vantage point and with respect to love and heartbreak, age definitely matters.
Here is the reason why: we each have a grand plan for our life based on age. It goes something like this:
• In my teens, I’ll get into a good college or get a good job.
• In my early twenties, my career will start to take off.
• By my mid-twenties, I will meet the person of my dreams.
• In my thirties, I will be married and have 2.2 beautiful children.
• In my forties, I’ll be running the company for which I’ve been working.
• In my fifties, I’ll reflect back on my life and my grown children and smile.
• In my sixties, I’ll retire and travel the world.
Sound familiar? Give or take a few years and interchange a couple of details and these types of age confined dreams are quite universal. So what happens when things don’t go as expected? What happens when instead of two kids in our thirties, we end up with our heart in two pieces? We feel broken; not only is our heart shattered, so too is our self-perception.
It is critical to understand that the pain one feels after a break up is only partially due to the separation from our mate. What causes equal, if not greater agony, is dealing with our crushed dreams. Our dream to be a certain age and have accomplished certain things has been stolen. To overcome the challenge of heartbreak based on age related fears, we must face them head on.
Fear: I’m getting older and will be alone. So you are 35 or 45 or [insert your age] and you are alone. You are scared. This is natural. Many people have a fear of aging – period. Heck, the entire beauty industry thrives on our distaste for more age. When you mix the panic of being alone with an aversion of getting older, the combination results in a very potent fear.
Hope: On this website there are thousands of visitors (no exaggeration) in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and yes, 60s that are looking to get over an old love in order to find a new one. You are not alone. The times have changed and people are looking to be in a healthy, loving relationship. As such, there is no dearth of available men and women. After you have gone through the stepped process for recovery and you are ready, you will begin dating again. Regardless of your age or whether you have had it in the past, true love will find you.
Fear: I am damaged goods. Almost all of us have had experiences which have left us feeling less than perfect; however, they are experiences, not who you are. I have always been puzzled by the statement, “I am divorced.” If this is your situation, remember, it is not a I am statement, it is an I have gone thru statement. No one is fundamentally flawed – especially not those who work actively to heal their wounds.
Hope: Absorb the power provided by an example. Find someone around you who has triumphed over adversity in their life. Find someone who has been dealt an unexpected hand and turned it around to their benefit. Ask them to tell you their story. If you don’t see anyone that fits the bill in your immediate surroundings, pick up a Chicken Soup for the Soul book and read hundreds of inspiring stories. You will find that people do not become their bad experiences, rather they work through them and come out stronger. So will you.
Fear: This just was not supposed to happen to me at this age! This is a negative idea that races through the minds of many who endure a break up. The thought is rooted in the break from your grand life plan. Remember, you created that plan, but the universe has something better in store.
Hope: I have never, ever seen a case where someone who has embraced the changes in their life did not end up happier. You will too. Keep in mind that your past relationship(s) were not a waste of time. For many, they provided growth, sometimes beautiful children, and although it may not seem so, some good memories. Everything that has happened has made you who you are today and ahead awaits an even greater experience.
Remember: Please, please, please do not restrict your dreams. Your visions do not wish to be bound- especially to the confines of age. Paul Gaugin didn’t start painting til his mid-forties, Granda Moses in her seventies, Charles Darwin published his first book in his fifties, and Colonel Sanders founded KFC in his sixties. Age only matters if we allow it to matter. Dream bigger. Dream brighter. Set your dreams free today.