Do you find you get less romantic as you grow older...?

So off went Valentines Day. About another year before the next. I was sitting next to a somewhat (I think he was) over-sixtyish guy in a bookstore on the very day. He has a long grey beard and is wearing an Indiana Jones-esque hat (I don’t know what you call them, but it was white, not brown).

In case you haven’t figured out though, I wasn’t there with him. I’d really of let my tastes drop if I was. No, I was happily awaiting the company of a lovely (up until now I had used that term loosely) young girl. See, a few of my friends (who work at the store) were ready to surprise her with music and a big parade (her favourite song followed by a bunch of twenty-somethings dressed in ridiculous silver outfits–hey, it’s the best that a bunch of post-pubescent boys who read Spiderman comic books could come up with). They were doing it as a favour for me.

So as I strike up a conversation with this kindly looking man and tell him of my “ingenious idea” (yeah…I can see his bluish eyes pierce mine own with something about it that cries “laughter!.. you made me laugh for the first time in six centuries!”) he starts whispering to me.

“Use this time…” he says in a soft vibe, “…cause I’ll tell ya, when you reach my age you’re never gonna have these feeling(s) again… that tinge of excitement… that feeling of romance… when you get to my age, that part of you dies off… the girl you get is lucky to have you, because you’re energetic and young… later on, you won’t be so spirited anymore so it’s best she gets as much outta ya as possible now…”

Well, he didn’t use the word tinge, but that was more-a-less it.

It got me thinking, does this really happen? Once again I’ve been plunged into that “dark Xavier world” , and I’m scared that I’ll be like that when I’m an old man. Dispassionate about women, life and love. Unenthusiastic and unenergetic. Specially, to never have that “tinge” feeling again - it’s what makes life worth living.

And yet I feel it already. The presence of Death to my Romance. This Valentines Day was an exception. Next time, I may not be so lucky. What do I do? I can’t, as the song adage claims, “always look on the bright side of life”, for where’s the bright side in this?

Will I lose it all? I remember my brothers words - in fact it’s almost an identical echo to the old man’s - you will lose it, so use it… be as romantic when you are young as you can… this time won’t last forever… yet I want it to… I don’t wanna lose this feeling… and yet I feel it slipping away from me as I write.

The guys did a lousy job. They managed to wrap silver foil the wrong way round their heads (I know what you’re thinking - how the hell did they do that? Trust me, it’s possible), the song CD had “ripples” in it and my beautiful Ariella managed to get struck down by a book on the way out (and in case you’re wondering - it was an early edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, hard-back bound).

I used to be brimming with romance. I throttled it and shoved it into a suitcase in the cellar. Every few years I hear it whimpering softly; I go downstairs and kick it until it falls silent again.

Oh, I don’t know. Mrs. Mercotan & I met nearly 30 years ago, and she can still get my heart racing like she did then, when we were 15. It’s actually more fun, because a lot of the uncertainties of youth have been burned away in the crucible of living life on life’s terms. YMMV. But we’re having more fun now than we did in the 1st 15 years together.


!!! sounds like you saw my Dad !!!

I find that I’m more romantic; I think it’s because life is so much more precious to me. Don’t worry about what the old man said; your life is what you make it to be. If you want to stay romantic, you will. :wink:

I’m probably 15 years Qadgop’s senior. So I might me a more accurate representation of your “old man.”

I currently have no love. Well, I do, but she’s married and,… oh well.

But let me suggest that the old fart was merely in-between relationships. He may never have another, and he may indeed feel that he can never get that feeling again.

I was 55 a few years back, and met a lady about my age. We shared a few months which would belie your old guy’s feelings. Due to circumstances, I am currently in a funk. When I allow myself to feel sorry for me, I probably feel the way that old guy feels. But you can have the feelings again. You have to work at it a bit harder, possibly because life experiences can harden you.

But I think everyone finds this out for themselves. Just keep being crazy, and don’t let your dark side win out.

And I just want to hold you closer than I’ve ever held anyone before,
You say you’ve been twice a wife and you’re through with life,
Ah but honey what the hell’s it for?
After twenty-three years, you think I would find a way to let you know somehow
That I want to see your smiling face forty-five years from now…


-Stan Rogers, “Forty-five Years”

I’ve had occasion to think about this recently over the last several months, having unexpectedly tripped over a gentleman with whom I would be quite happy to spend the rest of my life. I wondered whether it weren’t true what they say - that the spark will fade and, though we’ll stay valued companions, we won’t really Love each other twenty, thirty years hence.

Then I remember my parents, one of history’s grand romances, still totally into each other twenty-three years on; and his parents, who got engaged within days of meeting each other and are completely devoted to one another a few decades further on than that. I figure we’ve got the right genes. :slight_smile:

Then she shakes off the bitter web she wove,
Turns to set the mirror gently face-down by the stove,
Gathers up her apron in her hand,
Pours a cup of coffee and drips Carnation from the can,
And thinks ahead to Friday, cause Friday will be fine;
She’ll look up in that weathered face that loves hers line for line,
To see the maiden shining in his eyes,
And laugh at how the mirror tells her lies…

  • Stan Rogers, Lies

The other day, whilst playing a strategy game with Mr. Ujest, I was beating him soundly (game wise, you pervs) and he just muttered, shaking his head, *You’re blocking me like a piece of cheese *

And they say romance is dead.

I’m dating a guy 17 years my senior, and he’s probably more romantic than I am. Mind you, physically we’re both a good match (he’s in great shape); but he’s got a truly sweet and tender heart… whereas I’m jest a mean ole sociopath. :smiley:

Anyhow, I think that people can and should enjoy romance, sex, whatever, right up until they die. As to how much and how often you enjoy depends largely on the state of you and your partner’s health, and respective psychological outlooks.

(I’m thinking that the thing that’s put the biggest kibosh on our personal lives lately has been our rather busy work schedules. Exhaustion’s a big romance-killer, kiddies.)

Oh, and Eve? That’s one of the goddamn saddest things I ever read. Beautifully-written, natch, but freaking sad. It honestly makes me want to put a hurtin’ on whoever broke yer heart that bad. I’m serious. I’m not trying to embarrass you, just let you know that I care, even though you’ve never met me. I still care.

Man, and I thought I was a bitter cynic!! (my signature is my attempt at rehabilitation) But I think that old farcle has it worse than I do. But maybe it wasn’t lack of romance as it was jealousy at your youth in general? I remember when I was dating my first love all the old people in the neighborhood said “Aw, isn’t that CUTE! It’ll never last but it’s CUTE!” They were right, of course, but I really believe it sprang from jealousy.

But if you can take away the message “Appreciate what you have while you have it” then you’ll be the richer for it.

Personally I have gotten more romantic the older I’ve gotten. I think it’s because I realize how much my failed marriage of 7 years lacked it. So… that makes me yearn for it more now.

I don’t think the “old man” is a good representation of his generation on this subject.

I see many “mature” couples who are still crazy about each other, including my parents who have been married for 43 years. So, yes, I think it’s possible to keep that spirit of romance forever. I do think you have to “use it or lose it.” But I believe that it’s the romance you have to use - when you get complacent, and take your love for granted, then you lose your sense of romance. If you keep exercising it, I think your sense of romance will stay strong and healthy for a lifetime.

My nightmare of a marriage has left me suspicious and defensive about romance, with most of the illusions and hopes that are necessary for romance shattered. But I still hope to find the man who can sweep me off my feet, make my heart go pitter-patter, and who I can love and respect for a lifetime.

Nobody done broke mah heart. I’m just a realist.

Eve: Oops… sorry for the erroneous assumption. What you wrote is still really cool, though. Certainly got to me. I have a mad desire to sneak down to your cellar and open that suitcase and then see what happens!!

(Yes, I have been told I’m naturally annoying; why d’you ask…?! :slight_smile: )