It can be easy to lose faith trying to find love as time passes. We're tricked into thinking you're required to meet someone then marry young, that they're the only happy stories worth telling. In reality, the older you are the bigger the lead you possess over your younger counterparts because you've had experience. Wisdom. Growth. You know what you want and what your time is worth.
Romance is only meant for the young? Please.
Reddit user, u/arcedup, wanted to hear the amazing tales when they asked:
Happens When You Least Expect It
I came from a domestic violence background. Divorced my husband of nearly 20 years back in 2003. I was in my mid 40s at the time. The state we lived in revoked his parent rights because of DV and I ended up with full custody of my 2 daughters with permission to relocate out of the state. Left in early summer 2005 without saying goodbye for obvious reasons & moved 1600 miles away to New England and he never knew where we went. I rebuilt our lives over again from scratch, as we couldn't bring anything with us - just what few belongings we could pack in our car to make the trip to NE.
I was a single parent & alone for the first 14 years I lived up here in New England, but didn't mind it at all. New England Rocks! Totally love this place - it's home - like REALLY home. Super nice people, very kind - though mostly quiet - unless you're visiting Boston, LOL!
In Nov. 2018, when I was 57, I went to a local small live music venue - not looking to meet anyone in going. Just went by myself to enjoy the music - great live jam band on stage. When I walked into the venue, this guy at the bar looked at me and it was like he did a double-take. I remember thinking it was odd at the time, but thought: "Hey, probably just my imagination." Walked up to the bar to get a drink and he strikes up a conversation with me. We chatted & danced the entire evening. When the band finally packed it in around midnight, he gave me his business card with his cell phone on it, but didn't ask me for my contact information - just totally left it up to me to decide whether to contact him or not. Plus his business card with his name on it gave me the ability to check if this guy really was who he said he was. (He was!)
The next morning I decided I'd enjoyed myself and felt comfortable texting him back, thanking him for the fun I'd had the previous evening. He responded in kind and asked me out to dinner for that following evening. I said yes.
We've been together since. Having a blast with this guy! We both just really clicked. Sometimes, it happens when you least expect it.
Ha! True "Digital Love."
After six years as a non-dating single mom, I went on Match.com. I emailed a few guys and went out on one date with four of them. Met the last guy at a coffee shop. He compared kids to hidden co-processes running on a computer that will eventually crash your system unless you restore your RAM in the form of coffee.
I kinda fell in love right there.
"How old is he?"
I had been married for 27 years when my husband unexpectedly passed away. Took a while to get back on my feet and get adjusted and content with my new normal. Had lots of good friends, a good job, great dog, and a beautiful home.
And then I went to the Holiday Party at my fathers nursing home. My dad and I sat with one of his fellows residents and her son who was so funny, attentive and charming, he was married, but I thought I'd like to meet someone like that.
During the entertainment, a residents daughter came up to me and said that there was a guy who wanted to meet me, So I agreed to meet him. First thing he did was introduce me to his mom and show me a picture of his daughter and new granddaughter.
Gave him my number and he actually called a couple of days later. That was 8 years ago. He's funny attentive and charming, Still together.
When I called my kids, or any friends to tell them I met someone I liked at the nursing home Holiday Party, with out fail, there would be a pause and then everyone asked the same question, "how old is he?"
You Already Know What You Want
I met my current wife when I was 36.
I'd been divorced since I was 33.. single dad with a daughter. Moved back in with my parents to kind of get back on my feet. About a year later, my dad passed away.. so I stayed there a bit longer than I probably would have otherwise so my mom and I could be there to support each other.
It was hard to find someone to date seriously. I had no interest in having any more kids, but many of the women I met either had kids and wanted more, or hadn't started a family and wanted to start their own family at 35+. I also met my fair share who didn't want to date someone who already had kids or who lived with their parents.. or both.
I decided to try online dating and met my now-wife on OkCupid. According to their metrics, we were actually the most compatible people for each other in the whole country.. and we only lived about a 20-minute drive from each other!
She was totally opposed to the idea of online dating and, really, the only reason she had a dating profile was because her coworker had created one for her to "get back into the dating scene". I met her after her deciding to finally take the site seriously for a few days. I guess the timing was perfect for that!
Well, we chatted online and on the phone for about a month, we had a lot in common but also a lot of different interests. She had kids too. Neither of us wanted more. Perfect!
I work evening shift so our first date was actually a lunch date. We met at Panera during her lunch break, but really hit it off.. so I took off Friday night from work and we went on a "proper" date. To this day, both of us still say it was the best date that either of us had ever been on in our lives.
We've spent most days together since then.
She had always maintained that she had no interest in ever getting married and never did.. but apparently I was special. :) We've been together for 8 years and married 4. Still going strong!
Bonded Through The Land Of Westeros
I'm 51 now and I was married for 13 years to a wonderful woman and we had a 10 year old daughter together. We live two houses down from her mother and step-father (we bought them a giant wooden spoon and fork for the wall even ala "Everybody Loves Raymond") and they were a huge part of our lives and the life of my daughter.
My wife struggled with acute pancreatitis since before we met but the attacks slowly became more frequent and more intense. We went to specialists, we went to the Mayo Clinic out of state, and every test came back negative. She gradually got sicker. Our lives slowed down and became a daily question of, "Can we do anything tonight or is she in too much pain?" On Mother's Day weekend in 2017 she had her last attack and she passed away from complications from the pancreatitis on the morning of Mother's Day. (Hereafter referred to as "Megan's Day")
Slowly we put our lives back together. My in-laws helped out immensely and we worked together to support each other and my daughter. I tried dating a couple of times but I wasn't in a good place for it mentally. I decided to just focus on myself and my daughter and moved on. I wasn't going to "settle" for someone who wasn't right for both of us and just kind of went about my life for a bit.
Last year I started noticing this woman in a Facebook group. My late wife had been my "Game of Thrones" co-pilot and with the final season coming out, I was bummed to not have anyone to share it with. I noticed that this woman also watched GoT and was going to re-watch the series before the final season came out and I asked if she'd want to watch it "together". She lived 1,000 miles away but we agreed to try. We'd get it set up and then count down together (I'd say 3, she'd say 2, I'd say one, then we'd both say "GO" and hit play) and send snarky comments back and forth. When the season started we graduated from messenger to phone calls and kept watching together and we'd keep talking in text afterwards.
Soon we were talking every night, until after midnight and all during the day. About everything. She's gorgeous and nerdy and she was also in a place where she was never going to "settle" for someone again. We fell in love over the phone before we'd ever met and it's been the most amazing relationship of my life. We got married last September and she moved here with her youngest son in October and we're making a new family together.
Something New Slowly Turning Into Something Grand
Having been suddenly widowed in my early 40s, dating again was not something I had envisioned in my life. My late husband and I had been together for 20 years and wow is dating now different than [it] was then! I spent a few years thinking it wasn't going to happen - who would want a 40+ year old woman with 2 kids and a dead husband? That's a lot of baggage, but to anyone else out there solo parenting, let me tell you it's possible. I met my boyfriend on the apps and we've been together for close to 18 months now.
I realize this may not (yet) be the long term relationship asked about in the post, but I just wanted to give hope to others like me. I am with one of the kindest, most thoughtful men I've ever met. He loves me and my kids and we're doing well! He is not threatened by my late husband's memory or the fact that I will grieve him for the rest of my life. He understands that is part of what makes me, me. We don't live together, so we haven't been able to actually be together (except a few distanced drop offs) in over 7w due to Covid and that really sucks bc I miss him.
Never Say Never...
Not quite 35, but around then.
I'd just gone through a truly hellish breakup. I did not think I would be able to trust another human behind again and was genuinely comfortable with the idea of never being in another romantic relationship.
Then there was this woman in my building who just seemed to materialize out of nowhere. One day she moved in and became a constant presence. I started noticing her all the time, in the building, local stores, it was like when she was in a room her presence alone drowned out all the other people. She was totally impossible to ignore. I know this sounds cliche, but there really was just something about her.
So I decided just because I wouldn't ever have another romantic relationship didn't mean I couldn't have female friends, so I got to know her. I waited for an opportunity to introduce myself, when she was moving something heavy up to her place.
We became fast friends. There was obvious attraction on both sides but I fought it at every turn because I was so determined to never hurt like I had been hurt in my previous relationship. We talked about it on and off but I always hid behind "relationships end, friendships are forever, and I want you in my life forever." She was definitely frustrated, but eventually she stopped pushing it and started dating other guys.
Then after a long while of being very, very close friends, I got sick. Not cold or flu sick, very seriously hospital sick. She completely stepped up to the plate without my even asking her to. She helped me coordinate my leave of absence from work. She helped me find specialist doctors. She took over the cooking of meals and made sure my apartment didn't fall into total disarray. She listened to me when I was scared, and she gave me space when I needed to be alone.
It was around then that I realized I had a real life partner on my hands, and I could risk being hurt by entering into a relationship, or I could guarantee hurting myself by allowing fear to deprive me of sharing life with this woman.
We are now are over a decade happily married.
Experience Means Knowing What You Want
Was a single dad for upwards of 10 years, mostly raising the kids on my own. Didn't date much in the early years because I was focused on home life and work.
Dating in my 50s with teenage kids in the house was difficult because most of the women in my age demographic were already done with raising children and weren't keen to return to it.
I was facing the possibility that I may not find someone when I met a lady near my age with a [son] who was a few years younger than my youngest.
A good thing about dating when you're older is you have a lot of time to reflect on who you are and what you want in a SO. Sue checked all the boxes - intelligent, shared values, integrity, honesty. And beautiful to boot. We dated extensively, did weekend outings when schedules allowed. Made time to spend together to know this was the choice we wanted to make.
In 2018 we sold our respective houses and bought a new one together, where we live with our 3 kids (2 in Uni, one in high school). We were married on my 60th birthday.
A Complete Surprise
I met my wife at work. Falling in love with her was a complete surprise.
The prior year, I ended an engagement with a woman I dated for several years. That's another story. It's enough to say that at that point in my life I decided a bachelor life would be great. I was enjoying dating, no commitments, etc.
My wife and I didn't cross paths at work. But, one day, she stopped by my office. I can still see her standing in the doorway, chatting with me. After she left, I thought . . . "That was interesting. What's going on there?"
A few months later, we were at a company retreat and there was a band playing after dinner. I worked up the nerve to ask her to dance (up to that point everyone was dancing in a group). Funny thing, I waited so long that the song was "Last Dance" by Donna Summer and it was . . the last dance of the night. We always laugh when we hear the song.
She didn't match the description of who I was looking for in a partner and I was terrified of commitment. But, I am delighted that she stuck with me while I figured out "my stuff." It's still strange to me how much she complements my blind spots. I guess the relationship developed because we treat each other with respect and we talk about everything.
I love her more today than ever.
Thanks for asking.
The Beauty Of Online Connections
I was 39, he was 43. We met by chance online. We lived far from each other, in two very different parts of the world. Cut to 18 months later, after a few visits to each other's homeland, we decide to make a life together. A visa is granted and away I move, across the world, to be with him. We are now married. A modern romance :)
Meeting In The Most Obscure Places
I was 33, he was almost 34...We met at a renaissance Faire. I was dressed up, he was not. It was the first time I had ever been to a renaissance Faire, and he hadn't been since he was a kid. We got to chatting, and at some point I took a picture of him and his friend, he asked me to send it to him (very sly way off getting my number). He texted a few days later, we went on our first date a week later, and now we've been together for almost 8 years!
I will say that this relationship was different, in that he didn't play games. He answered texts and calls right away, but wasn't needy or clingy. It was refreshing after dating guys in their 20s that were always being shady, and making me feel like I was crazy. (Turns out those shady 20 year olds were cheaters, so I wasn't crazy)
Twitter Actually Did Something Good!
My husband and I were 33 and 40, respectively, when a cat introduced us on Twitter. My husband had a Twitter account for his cat, Stripe, that was cute and clever. From Stripe's tweets, I determined that his owner was male, and because he ordered takeout a lot, probably single. So one day I asked Stripe if his human was as cute as he was. My now husband introduced himself on his own account, and he was!
I was in Texas, and he was in Ohio. We were Twitter friends for awhile, but I was crushing hard. He never took my hints, so I just came out and told him how I felt. He said he had lots of vacation time and could visit if I was serious. We decided to talk on the phone that night, both agreeing that it would probably only last five minutes. We talked for five hours. I messaged a friend to start looking for bridesmaids dresses, because I was going to marry this man. A year and a half and three visits later, I did! We've been married for seven years now.
You Keep At It And Never Give Up
I was a single father for many years. Ex and I split when my kids were 4 and 2. Relationship was toxic and I left it after years of emotional abuse.
It seemed that almost every woman either wouldn't date me because I had kids already (and couldn't have more) or wanted to date me because they thought they could 'save' me and help me with my kids. It was very frustrating and honestly stopped trying.
Then went to a wedding. A woman asked if I wanted to dance. I was drunk so I did. Thanked her for the dance and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Wedding shut down and getting ready to leave and I see her sitting alone at a table. Not sure why, but something drove me to go talk to her. We chatted for a few minutes then decided to go down the street to a coffee shop to talk more. We talked for a couple hours. She was a relative of one of the people who got married, in from out of town for the wedding. I was friends with the other person who got married. Turns out we were both going to the day after party the next day. So after talking for hours, we said we would see each other tomorrow.
Got to the day after party the next morning and I had my kids with me. She had her daughter with her. The kids were roughly the same age and got to playing with each other. We talked more as it seemed the rest of the party was nothing but background noise. She was staying at a hotel close by and asked if my kids would like to go swimming later that afternoon. My kids enthusiastically say yes, so yes it was. We are poolside watching all the kids playing and knowing they were going back home the next day I asked if her and her daughter wanted to join me and my kids for dinner at a nearby restaurant. They said yes and we all went for dinner.
After dinner we all went to our respective places, but not before exchanging phone numbers. It seemed like a polite jesture on both our parts as she lived 2000 kms away.
She was catching an early flight the next day and I was awakened to her calling me to say goodbye. We talked for a bit and before she had to board I told her to call me when she got home. She did and we spoke twice a day for weeks. I wasn't sure what this all was, but I knew I looked forward to us talking daily.
During those weeks, a friend of a friend whom I had been social with asked me out on a date. I turned her down as I felt it would be cheating on my phone friend. It was at that point I realized I felt more for her than I realized. I kept that inside as to me it was insane that I was falling for someone I had only met in person for a total of about 12 hours. We continued to talk on the phone and one day she said she was thinking of moving to the city I lived in. She felt the same about me and she wanted to see if there was a relationship there. And she rationalized that her moving to where I was would be easier as her ex lived a few hours away and it would be easier for him to see his daughter.
Well she moved up here and got her own place. We started 'dating'. Months later we moved in together. Years later we got married. A decade later we are still together and love each and every day.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.