Mature Love: When First Loves Don't Come in the Right Order
First loves don’t always come in the right order. There are relationships that happen at a mature age to allow us to discover magical and unexpected people in whose arms we love to take refuge, because they smell of home and their kisses taste of sugar and fire all at once. Because mature love does not understand age and is dignified, dynamic and energizing.
It’s common in relationships between older individuals that one of the members of the couple thought the doors of love had already closed for them forever. Sometimes, we store up sentimental failures so heartbreaking that we feel as if our heart has turned to stone and fallen to the bottom of a pit.
Mature loves are found in the mid-afternoon of life. They are free people with calm hearts and rich thoughts, because on their faces dance smiles and the will to continue loving. Because sometimes, the first great love doesn’t come in the right order.
We also need to point out something important. Not everyone, just because they’ve reached 50 or 60, is capable of building a mature, conscious and happy relationship. There are many bitter hearts that have not purged their sorrows, that have not been able to make that inner journey to forgiveness or to turn those past experiences into renewed paths to walk with hope.
Because personal maturity is not the result of age, but rather of attitude and emotional wisdom, a field in which not everyone has gained their PhD or their masters. We invite you to reflect on this.
Mature love, building a perfect present
When we reach that age at which the decades have etched more stories in us than we could possibly tell, sometimes we see ourselves as those ripe fruits that are a bit bruised around the edges. But we must never forget that ripe fruits have a much sweeter and more pleasant flavor than those which are under-ripe, too hard and slightly bitter.
Our experiences are not a burden. That’s why, mature love adds a dose of wisdom to feelings, to be able to build what is really important: a happy, dignified and passionate present where we can discover each other.
Neither of the members of the couple renounces their past, they simply accept each other, as they accept their skin with its scars, the occasional wrinkle left on their faces by time, and those perfectly imperfect bodies where neither the decades nor disappointments are of importance. Only the pleasure of the here and now.
Wise artisans of love
Francesco Alberoni is a well known sociologist who is a specialist in relationships and has written some very interesting books including “Falling in Love and Loving”. According to him, humans still haven’t understood the mechanisms of authentic, lasting love. Many of us get carried away by the chemistry of falling in love, by passion and the need for each other, but few come to understand that, above all, loving is knowing how to build together.
Love is ageless, because the heart doesn’t get wrinkles, because if love is intense and pure, it is always young.
Mature lovers already know more than enough about falling in love, which is why what they really long for at this stage of life is something much deeper and at the same time delicate. They long for intimacy, the complicity of two gazes that understand each other without the need for words, for enjoying shared space but respecting each other’s individuality. They long for a strong and noble link where they can work and invest each day to reach an implicit but fully present pact: love.
Erich Fromm used to say that loving is an art. It is not just a pleasant relationship, which is what falling in love gives us without a doubt, that feeling where you don’t need to do anything, just feel, go with the flow, breathe, dream and let yourself fall into the deep recesses of desire.
Loving is an art because it takes effort, it’s like shaping a sculpture or a painting where each brush-stroke is essential to give perspective, body and beauty to the work. Mature love, that which happens when we’ve left our youth behind, is entirely capable of tracing each movement with subtle perfection because it is a good artisan of emotions. Because it no longer needs to prove anything and it knows exactly what it wants.
Because authentic people build authentic, whole and satisfying relationships. So it doesn’t matter if the first love didn’t come in the right order. Life, at the end of the day, always has some marvelously chaotic touch, where we have no better option than to go with the flow as we walk on with hope and a brightly lit heart, always young.