June 6, 2013


By Eloise Graham


A couple of months ago, a friend asked me why I didn’t write an article about love after 50. I pondered that for some time. What is love after 50? Well, what is love before 50? More pondering… What is love?

“Love” is a word we probably use everyday. “Oh, I love your new red shoes.” “I love the smell of the lilacs.” “Don’t you just love this weather?” And so on, but do we know what love is?

I did the educated thing and consulted the dictionary. LOVE – noun; 1) a strong affection for another arising out of personal ties; as in “maternal love for a child” 2) an attraction based on desires, affection and tenderness; 3) affection based on admiration or common interests, as in “The love for his old classmates.” 4) an assurance, as in “ Give your family my love.” 5) a warm attachment as in “The love of the seas.” 6) the object of attachment, as in “Baseball was his first love.” 7) an unselfish concern for others, as in “Brotherly love.”

Okay, that did it as a noun, but what about the verb. LOVE – verb; 1) to hold dear, cherish, 2) to feel a lover’s
passion, devotion, or tenderness, 3) to like or desire actively, as in “She loved to play the violin.” 4) to thrive in, as in “The rose loves the sunlight.”

Well, the dictionary told me what love is… but how about what love is not. You may not be Christian, and perhaps you know nothing of the Bible, but you have probably heard about the “Love Chapter.” It is often used either in its entirety or in parts at weddings. Sometimes it is used at funerals.

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 “… Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil…” So, now I have what love is and what it is not. But I am still on my quest as to the difference between after 50 and before 50.

So, love is something we need, like the rose needs sunlight. Love is something we give to others, and others bestow on us. We love others because we are loved, we are happy in who we are and accept ourselves as who we are. When we can love ourselves, even with our faults, we can love others, even with their faults. When we can love others for who they are, their shortcomings, and want the best for them, they in turn will love themselves and us.

I decided love after 50 is much like love before 50. The hormones aren’t raging at 67, 77, or 87 like they did at 17 and 27, but the desire to love and be loved is still there. We need the kind word, the caress, the pat on the back, a helping hand. We need that smile and that compliment that makes us feel wanted and important. And yes, maybe a little giddy. We need to have meaning in our life. This is a desire we had at 17 and younger, and will continue to have until we breathe our last breath. No matter what your age, go out and love!