Monday, August 15, 2011


There's something comforting about seeing elderly couples walk down the street holding hands.  I am in awe of couples that have been married 50 years. Maybe jealous is the correct word. I would need to live to at least 102 to make that happen, and that would mean getting married this year. At this point, I think the likelihood of either is pretty slim.

What I have noticed though is how many couples who were couples in high school, college or just years ago are getting back together. With social networking sites working overtime connecting people with people from their past, marrying your childhood sweetheart seems a bit more commonplace.  If you juxtapose meeting someone new on a dating site like eHarmony, JDate, Match, Chemistry, or Catholic Match, it's a bit like going to the grocery store and looking for what you want...and whom you find attractive, not necessarily about shared interests.

There's no history or no reference of youth. There may be pluses to that, but it seems that when couples from the past reunite or even those couples who have been together for a long time, a rose-colored glasses phenomenon takes place. The extra 15 pounds or laugh lines or bald spot that have occurred over time aren't noticed quite so much. If you're over 45 and not looking like your 25 year old self, and a bit reticent about injectibles, looking back might bring you into the future.

A friend of mine's mother used to say after the announcement of a couple's divorce, "well, they didn't grow up together." Years later I've come to understand her words more fully - the couple's frame of reference is greater, there's a foundation that only happens over time, and there's a better understanding of why your spouse is the way (s)he is, and maybe there's a patience and tolerance that's learned after a few decades together.

1 comment:

  1. A thoughtful piece of writing. I must say, though, that when I see an elderly couple holding hands as they walk down the street, I sometimes think each is making sure the other doesn't fall.