“Don’t Take Dating So Seriously”: Relationship Advice From 3 Older Women

My grandmother has developed a habit of falling on her way home from Bridge Club. Her most recent tumble took place while she was carrying a bag full of fresh berries; as her body hit the pavement her precious cargo went catapulting into the air. Sitting upright on the New York sidewalk, her tiny frame shaking post-fall, she only had two questions for passersby: “Is my fruit bruised?” and “Can you call my husband?”

Certain human attributes simply can’t withstand the test of time — the precision of our vision, the strength of our bones, the synchronicity of our limbs. But as we grow seemingly weaker on the outside, my grandparents have demonstrated that, internally, we often tend to grow even stronger in our convictions. My grandmother’s body may be battling the adversary of time, but her adoration for my grandfather (and berries) remains an ally. Love, it seems, can age quite well.

With that in mind, I spoke to three women over the age of 70 to hear about the first time they fell in love, the ways love transforms over time, and their thoughts about all things romance-related today. Their wisdom has both inspired and resonated with me — all three perspectives are vastly different, and yet rich with history, emotion and nostalgia. I learned that experience in the present may be transient, but some memories are more powerful from a distance. And when revisiting the past, love is a lens that adds both color and clarity.

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