The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Love and the Modern Life Span

I may get killed for this post. But here goes:

People live a long time, getting longer every day. Our children will probably live to be 125 or so. Most of us boomers, if we take care of ourselves, will live to 90 and beyond.

So what happens to love, when you live so long? Is your true love still true after fifty years? Do you want to be married to the same person for 80 years? What if people change and grow, have more than one career, get into lifelong learning? Will they still be compatible? And should people marry in their twenties? That means being married to the same person for a hundred years.

About half of all marriages end in divorce. We can blame
our cultural narcissism, the “me” generation, lax sense of loyalty; and we would be right. But does time have something to do with it too?

In a hyper stimulating world, can two people be in love after fifty years? Should they be? And can middle aged people still want to be in love? Can they find love? Is love becoming a serial thing? Maybe marriage, too?

In Arthur C Clarke’s book, Childhood’s End, marriage was taken out in 5 or 10 year contracts, renewable if desired. Maybe that’s not such a bad idea. Maybe I want to try my hand at new love at 65 or 70, for the thrill, for the boost it gives to living, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. Maybe my partner does too, and separation need not be hateful. Maybe in a long life, one has many lover-friends.

Personally, I would love the rush. Most people would.


  1. No, you won't get killed for this post...Coz' half of what you said is so true!! Gr8 attempt!

  2. Why not, Janey, if that's what people want? Love is a new beginning (to quote myself), and everybody loves a new beginning.

  3. There is no limit to love, and everyone is capable to love and be loved. Age is not an indicator of love gone to the brink for as long as you feel it and you know it makes you happy, then go for it. Love does not wither, it remains new and vibrant.

  4. My daughter has a marriage contract good for one year and one day. She has married her husband nine times (most recently, two weeks ago). Her friends look forward to the annual celebration/reception. And, I think, the slight sense of suspense when the anniversary draws near! One of them has to ask, and the other one has to agree. And at the event, she can say she was single ever since midnight, before tying the knot (literally - they do a hand-fasting) again. No wonder I named her Pagan.

  5. @Fiducia: thanks! I am relieved!
    @NP: I think "why not" is the big question here.
    @ earlie: I agree, love is forever new and vibrant. And it keeps the Age-And-Wither monster away.
    @Anonymous: what a trip! Your daughter has a wonderful marriage. I think if most marriages were set up this way, we would have less divorce. Or, if divorce did happen, it would not be the savage and often devastating event it is today. Kudos to her! PS I love the name.

  6. Marriage: built for comfort or speed?