I was reading a post by Regina and Barb about being in love in your 30's. It's interesting to know that there are others out there who still wonder "what if" besides myself. I tend to do too much of that when it's a Saturday afternoon and no one's around.
For me so far, the biggest problem is to have the opportunities to meet someone to be in love with. I think for me is that part of the nature of the work that I do and where I do it. It's not the best environment for a single person. It's a fortress of the socially inept; the married; and the bitter. The work can be literally mentally exhausting most days. After work, you just want to sit down and watch some mindless entertainment (I don't mean without a brain like FoxNews, I mean mindless like The Simpsons or Seinfeld). Plus my hours dont' help (Noon to 9 PM). However, I know that this is just an excuse for my socially inept behavior lately and I'm only adding to the fortress. I'll get off of work and plop down tonight; maybe watch some tube; read a book. Tomorrow, I'll go to the gym and then probably head right back to work to catch up on some things. Pathetic huh?
But love after 30; it is a different creature in some senses. I think love after 30 is much more about love rather than the superficialities we held in such high regard in our more youthful days. It's helpful for illustration purposes to introduce Young Devil (21 or 22, in great shape; going out 4 or more nights a week) and Old Devil (me now; 34; still tie one on now and then; not in the best shape, but working on it). For instance, Young Devil would've never dated a woman with kids. Old Devil says as long as she has no more than 1 or 2 and maybe wants to have one more. Young Devil was all about the hot club skanks with so little clothes, you could tell her religion. Old Devil is now all about the cute geeky girl in glasses that is at Barnes & Noble reading Neruda with a latte. Young Devil would hate to lie in bed on a lazy Saturday morning and snuggle because there was so much to do. Old Devil would love to have someone hit the snooze button on a weekday morning so that we could get 10 more minutes of cuddle time. Young Devil would argue for hours over a trivial point just so he could say he was right. Old Devil knows some things you just gotta let slide. Young Devil couldn't imagine not watching the game on a Saturday. Old Devil, for some crazy reason, loves Antique Roadshow. Young Devil kept some books to impress the ladies, but would never actually read. Old Devil loves spending a quiet week night at home sprawled out on the couch reading some off the wall title he found for a book at Half-Price books.
I think maybe the long and short of it is that what we want changes. Of course, Young Devil wanted love, but only on his terms. Old Devil realizes that he wants love as well, but he's wise enough (no snickering please) to know some things must be on your partner's terms. My mom put it best during Christmas when we were talking about this very subject when she said that as you get older you realize a big part of love is acceptance; accepting who that person is and not wanting to change them to fit you, and vice versa (My mom is the best). So maybe there is a cute girl out there reading this at a Barnes & Noble, she'll put down her latte, smile to herself, and completely understand where I'm coming from.