Question: Dear Luise: Today, with 10 months of a wonderful, but also at times very emotionally challenging, relationship…I looked up on the Internet “relaciones mayo-septiembre,” (Spanish for may – Decemberaaa.) But doesn’t September feel so much more full of potential? I think that today I was ready to admit that I need advice from others in similar situations to help manage my emotions with my relationship with a wonderful 68 year-old man. I am 34. I have had many relationships. I have always been searching for something, I don’t know what, and I still am. I like to say that people are people, and I am attracted to the person within. As much as I have a great circle of loving friends, friendly students and lovely colleagues, people generally have made me feel weird for my unusual way of thinking, my ideas of life, etc. I’m a natural philosopher and psychologist. However, people of my age tend to zone out after I make a thoughtful comment. I never get to have a decent interaction with anyone at the level that I think at, feel. Except my boyfriend… or rather man friend. It is the first time in my life that I have felt understood. He says it is the first time that someone has been interested in his stuff, (the same sort of philosophy that I think through). It feels as if we have souls that have known each other over many lifetimes. But life is not all philosophy…there is also the physical. I panic thinking “what the “%&* am I doing?” My friends all say, “live life, you could get knocked over by a bus tomorrow”, and “take love while you can.” Even my mother, worn down through years of being sad about my relationships, hasn’t complained and actually asks about him, (instead of the silent disapproval). I’ve not told my dad, (he didn’t speak to me for a year when I dated someone he felt was inappropriate.) The physical side is totally acceptable right now. Our sex life is great. This summer I have learned to do things alone, (I am actually very solitary,) such as going trekking in the mountains for 5 days. I feel with him that I am developing into the person I want to be. I am gaining in confidence in myself and I feel happy and loved. I feel “me.” Even magazines are starting to write articles about how we are all changing as a society, and that May/September and September/May relationships are becoming more popular. But deep down, something makes me feel that I am being silly…very, very silly. Should I go with this fear, (fear being a blockage to love,) and break up a relationship that is all that I dream of and find difficult to find elsewhere? Thanks for your time in reading this, I would deeply appreciate any comments. J.
Answer: Dear J. Risk is everywhere. We never have any guarantees even if we get into a relationship with someone we think is the perfect age. All young couples don’t grow old together. Fear is normal…it comes from knowing about risk. Most of us just go ahead and have a life anyhow. And we do what we do for as long as we have the opportunity…with as much courage and presence of mind as possible.
Any fork in the road has compensations and disasters, no matter what we choose. If you stay with your guy you will get a mix and if you don’t, you will still get a mix. My husband is ninety-seven. Am I sorry I married him? No, we have had, and are still having, a very rewarding relationship. Will it go on forever? Of course not, nothing does.
Let go of future tripping, if you can, and have your present be your focus. You are aware that you have found something rare. Why would that bring anguish? What’s the point? There is no safe road. There is no way to live a risk-free life. Trying to create that is a huge waste of time and energy. Weigh your feelings and your options and accept the fact that you will never know what was wise and what was silly until after the fact. Also keep in mind that life is usually a combination of both. Pass on further analysis; it is all hypothetical, and get on with living. Blessings, Luise