Think you’re too old to fall in love? Well, here is Enduring Heart to prove you wrong and debunk some myths about older people. Read her experience of love and sex at 60.
How do we older people view our own bodies, if we view them at all?
With the reunion of R and I looming on the horizon, I’ll admit it, I’m nervous. Not just about how this romance will hold up after all these years but about the reality of revealing our 60 year old selves to each other.
We are not the teenagers we were. By current standards, we’re not even middle aged. And honestly, given how sexually charged our long distance relationship is, my fear isn’t just about when R and I see each other for the first time, it’s really about when we see each other naked.
I mean, I get it. Older bodies… who wants to see them? I can barely stand to look at what age and disinterest have done to my own. Because believe me, I am not one of those 60 year old women who has been hitting the gym for the past 30 years.
I’ve warned R repeatedly – I am not the 16 year old girl he remembers, I’m not even the 40 year old he probably imagines me to be but won’t admit to.
I don’t look like one those gorgeous senior supermodels with that perfect bone structure that has enabled them to remain ‘classically beautiful’. If there is anything classical about me, it’s my resemblance to a painting by Rubens. I’m older, I’m wrinkled, I’m out of shape, I sag. There, I said it.
Will R reject me? Be turned off by the pounds and wrinkles, breasts that aren’t perky, thighs that aren’t firm? This, I know, is the real reason I’ve taken so long to agree to an actual meeting ‘in the flesh’. What will he think of me, and what will it mean to this relationship?
I’m not concerned how I will view R. I’ve seen his current photo. I know what older men look like, and I’m fine with all of it.
Men seem to age better than women. The media reminds of us of that constantly. How often do we see 60 year old male celebrities dating partners of the same age? Rarely, if at all.
On the whole men are just luckier genetically, or at least it seems that way to me. Their bodies change, of course. I’m sure plenty of older men have equally negative self images of themselves as their female counterparts.
But men don’t seem to be subjected to the stigmatism that women are. And even better for men, most women aren’t as concerned that a man’s body may sag a little, may be wrinkled, may not look like the 25 year old he was. Most of us simply don’t care. And, I hope, there must be some older men out there who truly don’t care if a woman’s body has been ‘seasoned’ with age.
I know that the fear of how our bodies might be accepted or rejected by a new romantic partner can make so many of us afraid to allow ourselves to reawaken to passion. I’ve had that fear myself, for a long, long time.
I’m wondering how many others have the same feelings? We are not 20, nor 30, not even 50. Let’s face it, male or female, 60 or 80, our bodies aren’t the same as they were when we were younger.
Maybe it’s time we accept and celebrate that fact. Cherish our sagging flesh and rejoice in our wrinkles and those of our partners. After all, they are just outward manifestations of our life experience, and isn’t that really the best thing we can bring to any relationship?
Love doesn’t have to be blind…just accepting, of ourselves and others. I can only hope R feels that way, too.
Catch up with Enduring Heart:
I’m sure my story is not unique so please respond if you find anything strikes a chord. Or if you have an alternative experience of love and relationships in your 50s, 60s and beyond, please share it – it can only help everyone. Perhaps together we can dispel some myths and gain the confidence to enjoy a part of our lives that is not usually publicised.