Yesterday I realized a part of me had decided what was left of life to experience was that of slowly becoming “decrepit with old age and die”. It was sobering to realize such a view had developed to be a fairly robust assessment of my life possibilities. Clear in thought as I write now is the belief that is NOT what I want. Instead, the concept “decrepit with old age and die” was a notion I was trying to sell myself because…. here it comes: “The belief was growing in me that no beautiful woman I was attracted to would ever find me attractive again”.
Where the hell did that come from? Actually that is not a mystery. It was spoken to me by a man I know from London whose life experience is similar to mine who, like me, was being divorced by a younger woman at the time. Both of us had, for a while, had wives 15 years our junior. While I would hesitate to go through the pain of it all again, I would still have the relationship in my past life if I had the choice. Why? I would not be where I am without it. The strife of it all smoothed me and helped hone my thinking and feelings in ways nothing else but pain could.
After a mental wrestling match with “decrepit and die”, I concluded with confidence what I hoped for was someone I could love and who could love me. However, there was still hesitance of truly accepting that because of the fear it would not happen. With a little help later in the evening I was able to move past my flawed thinking.
What crazy little mental games we play with our selves in our thinking that spins like a hamster running on a wheel 24/7. When usually I can intentionally see my self-induced BS to be what it is, BS, that faulty philosophy gets put away or at least greatly diminished. This time I needed help to accomplish that.
With some renewed bravery about the possibility of love, I went skating on the internet yesterday to see what the “experts” had to say about the subject. Boy is there a bunch of stuff on-line which tells me I am one of millions who daily do a search on a subject like “falling in love”.
A portion of my search on-line comforted me concerning my “old guy” image I had of myself. Here’s a tidbit that helped from Professor Arthur Aron of State University of New York at Stonybrook. He was asked how does our appearance factor into the equation of falling in love. His response was we have found that if you are very unattractive, it can hurt you a lot in forming romantic relationships. However, being attractive doesn’t help that much. OK, I felt a little better after reading that as I think I look “decent to pretty good” for my age.
Professor Aron was then asked “how do you explain that” and then he said We have found that two important characteristics, kindness and intelligence, are extremely important in the process of falling in love. And attractiveness is not connected to these things. These two attributes are things that people learn about someone from knowing them over time. Intelligence is important in all aspects of life, especially in love. But kindness is the strongest indicator for a successful long-term relationship.
One of the best effects to come out of my life experience is today I value kindness, both getting and giving, as one of the best possible behaviors of a human being. That combined with being decently intelligent aided even more my move beyond my old concept of things as I read the thoughts of Professor Aron.
While the “decrepit and die” conviction was not completely erased by yesterday’s search and related thoughts, I do feel much better today. Remember I said “I had help”? There is another major reason I feel differently today than just 24 hours ago and it is a “she”. Someone beautiful who is interested in me told me I was wrong to think that way. And even better news is she is one I believe given time I could probably fall in love with. Amazing how a little bit of reality from someone else can shift the thinking going on in our heads beyond just information and show how erroneous our take on things can be.
Noted sociology Professor Francesco Alberoni states the theory that falling in love is a process of the same nature as a religious or political conversion. Alberoni believes that people fall in love when they are ready to change, or to start a new life. He goes on to say it is a launching of oneself towards the future and change, and fundamental to the formation of a romantic partnership. Falling in love transforms their whole world; it is a sublime experience, an act of folly…the discovery of one’s own being and one’s own destiny.
Now I can see that falling in love can happen at any age and am grateful to have had my view amended. Frankly, I am ready for my “conversion” and it may have already begun…
Love is… born with the pleasure of looking at each other; it is fed with the necessity of seeing each other; it is concluded with the impossibility of separation! Jose Julian Marti Perez