My mother met the love of her life when she was 84. A widow for nine years, she spotted Harold Lapidus, a retired doctor, standing alone at a bridge club. She asked if he wanted to play, and they became inseparable.
“He’s a younger man,” she told me.
“How young?” I asked.
“Oh …,” she said. “I think he’s 80.”
They’re still devoted to each other as my mother moves into her 90s, which fills me with awe. But do I have to wait that long?
I’ve been unattached for seven years and have become very good at it. I love my house, my work, and my kids, and every day I’m grateful for good health and what I see as a fortunate life. But sometimes I ache for a partner to check in with, talk, snuggle, and grow spiritually with. I’m afraid that in my 60s, after two divorces, such love may be behind me, as the pickings get slimmer every year. When I go to parties or events, there are 13 single women and one single guy, and he’s usually gay.
This depresses me, and I wonder if my mother’s experience was a fluke. But during the past month, I’ve talked to a dozen women, ranging from their late 40s to their 90s, who’ve found deep love—a soul mate—long after they thought that was possible.
Ellen Burstyn was alone for 25 years before she fell in love, at 71, with the man with whom she now lives, who is 23 years younger. Jane Fonda, 69, recently started a relationship with Lynden Gillis, 75, a retired management consultant, and wants to make a “sexy erotic movie about people over 70.”