Romance is dead? Not so long ago I would have agreed! There seems to be evidence all around that sustaining a life long partnership is challenging at best. Watching my parent’s in retirement has begun to change all that though. So, what hope for romance really does lie in our futures?
Romance isn’t really my thing. It seems to me that the pressures placed on lifelong romance are unsustainable when faced with the realities of our modern world. I’ve always said that I couldn’t bare to become the nagging partner but am told that this is a mere inevitability. When I look at any couple that has been together for more than half a decade, they seem to be intensely annoyed by one another. Most books or films I watch have something to say about the unsustainability of romance.
HOWEVER, I am forced to confess that my views have undergone a slight shift in recent months. As much as I love my parents and as wonderful as they have been, they haven’t always seemed like the best of friends. Nothing unusual or dramatic, but the constant bickering is hardly the ideal projection of your future. Watching them in retirement, however, has turned all of that on its head.
Seeing my parent’s, and many of my friends’ parents, in retirement has gone further than I could have imagined to restoring my faith in romance. They went on a holiday through Europe for their Silver Wedding anniversary and it was like a second honeymoon, that has been continued on their return home. They’ve even booked to go travelling again next year; something I wouldn’t have thought possible a year ago. Do they still bicker? Certainly! It now ends in laughter more often that it does in slammed doors though.
All this suggests to me that it really is the strains of work and a busy schedule that put pressure on people’s relationships, rather than any inherent incompatibility. Everyone’s relationship is totally unique of course and I’m not suggesting that every relationship should be made to work against the odds. However, for those that do choose to stick together through thick and thin, it seems to me that there really is something to be said for companionship.
Retirement has many perks and, as a woman in my early twenties, I am already looking forward to it. The silver lining of your silver haired years and Silver Wedding anniversaries seems to me that you get a second shot at finding your first love all over again. Watching people remember why they married in the first place has restored my faith in romance and the possibility of enjoying a lifelong partnership with someone.