Is falling in love for the first time at 39 years old possible?
Hello Dr. Neumann,I’m an IT professional in Geneva, Switzerland, 39 years old, single never been married and never had kids. I have a good salary, have travelled around the world, speak several languages and love outdoor sports.I have no problems meeting girls and I have had several long-term relationships (maximum 3 years) and have lived with one of my ex-girlfriends for 1 year. I’m aware I have made some mistakes in my previous relationships, but right now I feel pretty mature and ready for marriage.I have lived in different countries in the last 10 years (Brazil, UK, Switzerland), so I guess moving countries frequently has not helped me to have a stable girlfriend/wife. However, I’ve been living in Geneva for the last 5 years and I believe I’m more or less settled here now.I have quite high standards for girls and my friends tell me I look for the perfect girlfriend: intelligent, good-looking, sportive, well-travelled, horny and faithful. I know I’m far from being perfect, but I wouldn’t like to settle for less than I think it’s acceptable. For instance, one of my last girlfriends was extremly good-looking and horny, but not the most intelligent person on earth. On the other hand, another girlfriend of mine was beautiful, intelligent and faithful (so I thought she was the one), but was not very much interested in sex, which frustated me a lot. If I could find a girl with the qualites of these 2 last girlfriends, I’d be the happies man on earth.Do you think I have unrealistic expectations or is it ok to have high standards like mine? One of my ex-girlfriends said I’m narcissitic, which sometimes I think it could be somewhat true. I’ve been seeing a psychologist for 4 years once a week, which has helped me a lot.Thank you very much for your help,Joao
It sounds to me like you have never fallen in love. Usually, when someone is inclined to settle down (perhaps without realizing it) he or she will fall in love with one of the many people who would make a suitable partner. The process is not like making a purchase, and no one is inclined to tote up pluses and minuses. There is a headlong quality to falling in love and settling down. Perhaps too headlong. It has often been said that love is blind. Some of the qualities you are looking for may not characterize that same person years down the road. Sexual interest, for example, is likely to wane over the years. Someone who is “horny” during a courtship period may not feel that way later on. Similarly, a spouse is certain to seem less attractive (looking at the matter objectively) twenty or thirty years after marrying. Usually that slow process is not attended to closely by a husband or wife and is certainly not likely to threaten their relationship. If no one you meet is up to your standards, there may be other issues standing in the way.
For what it is worth, however, these are the qualities that seem to me to matter when considering a permanent relationship: (in order of importance)
1. Is the potential partner a nice person? Most people are, but some certainly are not.
2. Is that person interesting? Couples do not spend an awful lot of time over the years in bed making love. But they spend a great deal of time talking to each other across a dining room table. Someone who is interesting now is likely to continue to be interesting.
3. Does the couple have the same ideas about the role of the husband and wife? Do they feel the same way about issues of work and children and religion and the way they should spend their time together? Similarities in education enter in here. In some cases even politics can become very important. I know a liberal democrat who cannot go to a dentist who is a Republican, let alone be married to one.
4. Is there sexual compatibility? If one person wants to have sex once a week and the other every other day, a compromise can usually be found. If the difference is that one person wants to have sex daily and the other only once a month, there will be a serious problem. Differences about which sexual acts are most exciting or acceptable are not usually important.
But, as I said, no one stops to measure their lover objectively. Perhaps liking each other and having fun together is enough.