In love, age-related wisdom typically applies. Long-term relationships teach you things about love you wish you'd understood sooner. These teachings can help you find love.
You may be married, but you want to deepen your relationship. You may be happy being alone but want to be prepared for love.
Women over 50, both single and in relationships, shared what they wished they had understood about love when they were younger and what advice they might give others.
While each person's love journey is unique, you can use any gems that resonate with you to build healthier connections.
• “I wish I'd known that expressing oneself wasn't the same as nagging.” I wish I'd set and enforce limitations. My family's women advised me to let him be a man to get along with him. A "man" will always be a man without my help. My grandparents, mother, and aunts raised me to please men, which led to emotional abuse and a monogamous relationship. I wish I'd known success didn't require a male role model. My second marriage was successful after two failed ones.
• “Understand partnership principles.” What you want determines what you need.
• "How many stages will we go through together?" – It's been 25 years; we're 54 and 58."
• "I wish I'd learned that if something wasn't quite right, it was okay to shake things up.’ Occasionally. I desire a tranquil marriage, but I've been hesitant to speak up. Simply to prevent trouble at home. I didn't know I could share my concerns while still being his pillar of support."
• "You're not it." Younger people are more likely to be dissatisfied, unhappy, or furious when a crush doesn't return their feelings or they find someone else. They may do things for "them" but not you. You weren't 'the one.' Unsuitable partners aren't enough. Let people choose if you want to know what they like.
• “The hardest thing was loving myself.” Traditional relationship advice often promotes low self-esteem. People encourage [that] you should love yourself to preserve a relationship, but they also say the opposite. My self-esteem was low and I always wanted a relationship, so I prioritized relationship health over self-love. Self-sacrifice, forgiveness, and flexibility were taught to women. Being with the wrong person makes you feel unimportant. Due to how I was raised, I placed my personal needs on the back burner until it was too late.
• “Talk about love.” Everyone defines love differently. Expecting someone to exhibit love the way you desire is a recipe for heartbreak.
• “Love is a decision, not a sensation.”
• “I married for the first time at 50, and I encourage my friends, young cousins, etc. to get rid of guys faster.” We women take a while to realize someone isn't right for us. Not engaging out of fear of losing out, being labeled a b—h, or having one's body count mentioned is understandable. Too tolerant. If he annoys you on the second date, dump him. Only move forward. Don't bother proving he's lying if you can't. Move on! Another will come. Don't talk about your ex-boyfriends when dating. You're not your dating traumas. Instead of asking why the relationship ended, discuss your goals and interests. I have a question. Men love to brag. Show them you're whole."
• “In love, put yourself first.” You can do what you love and make a living. Don't settle with the wrong man.
• “It's okay to say no to marriage, even if you've been together for a long time.” I decided to marry after a long romance. ' I mailed the invitations even though I wasn't ready.
• “Love should uplift, not drag down.” I wish I'd spotted the subtle signs of narcissistic manipulation earlier in relationships. Too often, we accept that someone has already shown themselves. Women are educated to care for the male ego at their own risk, and society promotes this. A woman is told, "That's why you're single," as if she is the problem or being healthy and single is terrible. "You're single because..."
• “You can do things your way.” Many people will tell you the rules, yet there are none. If you and your partner want separate bedrooms or homes, do it. Do what you and yours want.
• "Mr. Feels Nice" isn't "Mr. Right." – Love and lust differ. I wish I'd dated more instead of having a dead long-term relationship. I've wasted my youth waiting for this fool to sow his wild oats. Last time I saw him, he'd been single for 30 years. I should've listened to my mom more. She warned, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Date everything! If he doesn't uplift you, move on. "You'll meet the proper person."
• "Loving requires work." Since falling in love is easy, I wish I understood how much work it is.
• "Forgive ourselves for what we allowed in relationships since we did not realize what we were doing.” Separate our desires from our needs in a relationship. Love begins with the self.