Falling in love is a heady thing no matter your age. The feelings of giddiness, butterflies and hope when you fall head-over-heels in love at forty can be as powerful as falling in love as a twenty-something. But there are differences between love at twenty and love at forty.
In our twenties we are learning who we are, what we like/love/hate as well as navigating newfound independence. In my twenties I was too busy being the woman I thought the guy I was dating would like and too insecure to just be myself.
Bad boys were my ego-crushers of choice. Those emotionally distant, unavailable men who are fun to hang out with but are not partner material. I fell hard and more often than not ended up with a broken, or at least bruised, heart.
While most of us won’t have everything figured out at forty, we know ourselves better than we did in our twenties. Knowing what you like, love, and even hate brings both experiences and baggage. The experiences can help shape who we chose as a partner, but our baggage can hold us back from being brave in new relationships.
Hopefully by forty, we can break out of the bad habits and quit making the same mistakes when it comes to love. Of course it’s still fun to lust over the rockers, the bikers and the unattainable men, but we enjoy them from afar. Love at forty means knowing what you can put up with and live with as well as what you won’t.
For me I learned that love can come in a surprising package, someone I may have overlooked or dismissed because he didn’t fit my “ideal” vision of what I thought my type was. I learned the best relationships are based on being able to laugh together and work through the tough stuff. And most of all, I learned that falling in love can happen over and over again with the right man.
I channeled this learning into my novel, Geoducks Are for Lovers. The 40-something heroine fell in love at twenty and it didn’t work. Now at forty she’s presented with a second chance at love. She knows what she wants, loves her life and won’t give it all up for a guy. But like many women who are single at forty, she also can be her own worst enemy when it comes to being open to love and allowing someone into her life.
Her lesson (and mine), no matter your age, try to love with the abandonment of twenty, but chose your partner with the wisdom that comes with being forty.
Daisy Prescott is the author of Geoducks Are for Lovers, her debut novel that focuses on friendships and love at forty. When not writing fiction, Daisy is a freelance writer, avid gardener, sometimes baker, and foodie. She and her husband live near Boston. Connect with her on Twitter @Daisy_Prescott.