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New Love & Widened Horizons Later in Life

A Reader Shares Her Love Story

After twenty five years of marriage and three children, I was exchanged for a twenty year old – a very commonplace mishap. It hurt. I buried myself in my work, until my sixteen year-old son charged into my office one evening and said to me: “I don’t want to see you at your computer on Saturday nights. You must go out!”

He was adamant. So I tried conferences, parties and a variety of events, where I felt totally inadequate. All my friends introduced me to their favorite bachelors. I did meet some nice men, but they all had some shortcoming I could not put up with.

I then joined an elite club of bachelors. The ladies hosted cocktail or dinner parties, the men brought wine or champagne and it turned out to be very entertaining, One day, when I was hosting the dinner, my son, who liked to come by and “inspect” my guests, singled out the man on my right, Jacques. The next day Jacques called to thank me and suggested he come by for a drink.

Just a drink? I thought I was at least worth a dinner out, so I said I wasn’t free. A week later, I asked him to join a dinner party at a friend’s house, but this time he was not free. This gallant banter went on for three months – I came to enjoy his calls, I loved his voice, although by then I had completely forgotten what he looked like!

Finally one day I suggested we go out for dinner some place. It was spring, we chose a restaurant in a garden, and exchanged our philosophy of life. He was self-possessed, had a good sense of humor, and utterly charmed me. We started dating and traveling together, I was madly in love but scared this wouldn’t last. He was 13 years my senior, had been separated from his wife for nine years, we had many tastes in common, but the idea of a real relationship obviously frightened him.

In the end he was the one who, two years later, found the dream apartment with an incredible view, which we bought together. My children had already adopted him, he is great with my grandchildren and my friends love him.

He can deal with any situation as if it were normal – I spent three years in and out of the ICU, he never looked worried, and each time helped me get back on my feet. We have discovered many countries together, life has been nothing but fun. We still totally disagree about politics and religion, and we each stand our ground without ever hoping to convince the other. We laugh about it, we will never be the mute old couple one sees so often in a restaurant. We have never had a real argument. It has been seventeen blissful years and I look forward to as many more as life will give us.
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