Happily so, several older adults in our church have found new love—friendships, marriages—to replace the possible isolation of divorce, a spouse’s death or illness. At a stage in life when it might seem unlikely, love re-emerges as a wonderful part of their lives. I’m glad for them, and also wonder, “What’s there to love?”
That question is not necessarily out-of-hand. In today’s hyper-sexualized environment, it’s too easy to connect love-worthiness with physical attraction. Mass media tempts us to think that attractiveness is the same as bodily perfection, so it’s hard for most of us who are older to measure up to those false standards. It might seem like it would be hard for us to be lovable.
For those who, in their later years, find lovable others with whom to share life, the question elicits a resounding, “Of course there’s lots to love about older people!” They enjoy their attractiveness and desirability. They know they’re lovable!
So what’s there about older adults that might be lovable?
What comes to mind immediately is the enduring quality of our smiles. Perhaps framed by wrinkles, our faces remain eye-catching. We may have polished our positive personal traits to perfection. Our lives contain delightful stories. If we’ve been humbled beyond arrogance, we’re approachable and pleasant to be around. We know and accept who we are. We value each day and each relationship. We’re good at giving and receiving attention and regard. We’ve stopped trying to impress others. We’ve matured into generous, kind and caring people. We’re lovable, all right!
Why bring this up? So none of us thinks less of ourselves than we should. So we remain aware of the possibility that someone close-by may find us attractive, fascinating or desirable. So we can be both lovable and loving!
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