Now that Valentine’s Day hype has faded away, it seems appropriate to focus on what love is beyond the candy and flowers and the significance of True Love in retirement marriage. Jenny Kanevsky skillfully points out attributes needed to love another person in her article, What It Means to Truly Love
Her ideas are especially important for retired couples. We all change throughout our lives, and if we want to be in a loving relationship with our partner, it may be time to reflect on those changes and one another’s needs.
To love the right person, you have to be the right person.
It’s essential for each partner to be clear on what we bring to the relationship and what we need in the relationship. Things may have changed over the years. Have you become bitter or angry over your retirement situation? Has one of you moved ahead in energy or enthusiasm for life or has one of you developed habits that your partner cannot understand?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, it’s probably time for each of you to be clear about what you want in the relationship and determine how you can meet one another’s needs. That doesn’t mean you have to change who you are, but it may mean that compromises may be in order.
And that leads us to the fact that….true love also means healthy communication. In conversations about retirement struggles with retirees, I’ve learned that a major cause of stress in retirement marriage is the absence of communication. Since we often believe we can read one another’s minds, we may not take the time to really discuss an issue. It’s essential to recognize that our mates may view a situation differently than we do— sometimes, we might even wonder how he or she could be so far off track on a particular issue. This could be a situation where, without healthy conversation, stress or anger grows and makes it even more difficult to resolve differences.
Over time I will share more of Jenny’s targeted thoughts on What it Means to Truly Love, but you might want to read her full article now. We can never learn too much about loving ourselves and our mates.
Recently we were with friends celebrating their 48th anniversary. Their joy was contagious. Spread your joy in the comment section below and tell us what it takes to truly love your mate and why that’s important for you.