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Does Older and Wiser Apply to Love?

For most aspects of life we like to believe that we gain wisdom as we get older.  We learn by observing, doing and of course making mistakes, so it makes sense that the more years we spend living and learning the wiser we become.  Of course in many aspects of our lives we can logically apply what we have learned so that we can make better decisions; but when it comes to relationships, our hearts are involved and they are not guided by logic.  Here are some of my main discoveries as I set out to find if “older and wiser” applies to our relationships.

Marriage Age and Divorce Statistics

We all know that decades ago couples often got married straight out of high school and they stayed married.  Divorce was not socially acceptable back then, so it is not really fair to go that far back because there were probably some very unhappy couples that stayed married despite their misery.  If we move forward to 1980 back when the divorce rate was roughly at the 50% rate that it is at now, the average age for a woman marrying was 22 years old.  By 2006 the average age for a woman marrying was up to 27, and some 2010 numbers indicate that it is probably closer to 28 or 29 years old now.

Despite the marriage age increasing, since the divorce rate did not decrease, we could argue that older and wiser doesn’t apply to our love lives.  One statistic that does indicate that age may make us a little wiser though is that women who marry older do have marriages that last years longer than their younger counterparts.  This brings us to the question of whether divorce is really a fair measure of a relationships success or failure.

How Do We Define a Successful Relationship?

If we only look at divorce as the measure of success or failure in a relationship, then we would declare a 2 year marriage and a 42 year marriage to both be failures if they end in divorce.  If you have a 42 marriage that is miserable for 40 years, then I would say this is true, but what if you had 35 wonderful years during which time you had children and maybe grandchildren that mean the world to you.  Would we really call that relationship a failure just because it ultimately ended in divorce?

Blinded by Love or Blinded by Logic

When we think of people getting married young, we often picture a couple who is blinded by love and not wise enough to understand all that marriage entails.  Yes, it does seem foolish to let love make you overlook the fact that you are not compatible or maybe even have totally different goals in life.  Of course I have some friends who married when they were older whose decisions were terrible because they were instead blinded by logic.

I had a good friend who was dating a guy who was on a very similar career track to hers, and they both loved traveling and playing tennis.  When they got married she admitted that there were no sparks, and no real chemistry, but they were very compatible and they were getting to be that age where they felt that they should be married.  Is thinking that you can build a lifetime together based on similar careers and a love a tennis any less foolish than thinking that you can overcome all obstacles based on being madly in love?  I think that they are both terrible reasons, but for some reason many people would view the decision of the woman blinded by logic to be “wiser” than the woman who is blinded by love.

So no, I don’t really think that the phrase older and wiser applies to matters of the heart in the same way it does for other aspects of our lives.  We can definitely learn from our previous relationships, but love will always leave us vulnerable to not acting wisely.  Of course when we look at how empty life would be if we tried to base our love lives strictly on logic, it is probably better that we don’t try to become too wise for our own good.

What do you think? Does older and wiser apply to our love lives?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

4 Responses to “Does Older and Wiser Apply to Love?”

  1. Suzanne

    I agree with Anne. I think it really depends. Some people grow into emotional maturity easily. Others, not so quickly (and in some cases, not at all). In my case, marrying later in life was wise. But, I’m not so sure it would have turned out terribly if I had gotten married (or loved more) earlier. A person’s emotional age is what really counts…
    Suzanne´s last blog ..The Dog House Video Part Two ClassicMy ComLuv Profile

  2. Anne says:

    I think it depends on the person. In my case, older was definitely wiser. If I had married any of the men I dated in my younger years, I would have probably ended up divorced. I had horrible taste in men.

  3. Speaking from experience, being almost 50, I would say I have learned with time. I got burned lots, but of course I am a slow learner…. hehe…. but all scars heal with time, and today I am wiser and a much better person than I had been. Of course being married to a fabulous young lady helps a lot.
    Bottom line is, you do get wiser, whether you are going to apply that wisdom when tempted, that is another matter altogether…

    Have a lovely weekend Tina!
    sexy legs and body´s last blog ..FISHNET STOCKINGS – SLEAZY AND CHEAP OR SEXY AND CLASSYMy ComLuv Profile

  4. Devon Brown says:

    I think older and wiser only applies to one’s love life when talking about the same person. If you date someone and get burned, you learn not to go back and do the same thing. (Of course, there are those who do go back and do the same things, but not everyone learns at the same pace.)

    Whenever you are in a romantic relationship, so much depends on the combination of you and the other person. Since no two people are alike, you can not say that what was a mistake in one relationship would definitely be a mistake with a different person.
    Devon Brown´s last blog ..Three Flirting Tips To Help You Get The GuyMy ComLuv Profile

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