I am a firm believer that meeting and falling in love with someone, no matter the life stage, is just the beginning of the journey. The real challenge lies in nurturing and maintaining that relationship over time.
Let me elaborate: Throughout my experience as a matchmaker for individuals in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, I've introduced many compatible partners who have gone on to build fulfilling relationships.
However, I want to be honest and transparent about something: Approximately 30% of these pairs find themselves single again after a year, often because they haven't taken the necessary steps to reevaluate their lives and adapt to the changes that come with time, especially after decades of marriage. One crucial aspect of this process is understanding your love language.
When I first encountered the concept of love languages years ago, I admit I was sceptical. I initially dismissed it as total woo-woo/woke and frivolous, but I was mistaken. Over time, I've come to realise that love languages, along with attachment styles, play significant roles in our dating and relationship experiences, even shaping our past experiences.
As someone who tends to be sceptical (to say the least!), I'll be real with you – the idea of getting ready for a successful relationship at this point in life seemed kind of crazy to me at first. But guess what? The more I dug into it, the more I saw that it's actually really important. We need to figure out who we are now and what we're all about - if we skip this part, we're basically setting ourselves up to fail.
Let's be honest, getting back into the dating game, connecting with someone, showing them the real US, exposing our inner feelings – it's all a lot of effort. So why let it all fall apart just because we didn't put in the work before we thought about dating?
Love languages, as well as attachment styles, can change over time due to various factors, such as major life events like the loss of a partner through death or divorce. Essentially, our preferences for giving and receiving love may shift.
Here are a few ways you might recognise that your love language has evolved:
1. Reflecting on Past Preferences: You may notice that what once felt crucial or deeply fulfilling in terms of emotional connection no longer resonates as strongly. Your past ways of expressing and receiving love might differ from your current feelings.
2. New Emotional Needs: Following the loss of a long-term partner, your emotional needs and priorities could undergo significant changes. You might find yourself desiring new forms of connection or ways to receive affection that align better with your current circumstances and emotions.
3. Exploring New Interests: As you age, you might explore new hobbies and activities that influence how you perceive emotional connection and love. Engaging in new experiences may lead you to discover fresh ways of feeling cherished and valued.
4. Receiving Support from Others: Your friends, family, and support networks can play a pivotal role in helping you identify shifts in your emotional needs and preferences. Their feedback on how you express and respond to affection might provide valuable insights.
5. Trial and Error in New Relationships: If you embark on a new relationship journey, you might discover that certain gestures and actions resonate more deeply with you than others. These experiences can be powerful teachers, revealing what truly makes you feel loved and appreciated in your present circumstances.
It's crucial to approach these changes with self-compassion and an open mind. As life evolves, so do our emotional needs and ways of expressing affection.
If you find yourself in this situation, taking time for self-reflection, seeking support from friends and professionals, and remaining receptive to new experiences can all contribute to understanding and adapting to potential shifts in your love language.
Remember, this journey is about growth, understanding, and embracing the unique path that later-in-life relationships offer.
For our new ‘Love Languages Workbook, designed for mid-life daters, go to www.select-connectiosn.com.
Have a lovely evening.
The UK’s Leading Dating Expert only for singles in mid-life & Later-in-life