MarieRightBrendaLeftFalling in love at 70

It’s spring in North America, and fall Down Under: either is a great time to consider long-lived lesbian love (see part 1 here).

“Falling in love at age seventy,” says Marie C., a retired judge, now aged 71, “is a lot like falling in love at any other age – 16, 20, 50, whatever. It starts with a passionate attraction and a desire for intimacy.”

Marie C., a superior court judge for 15 years, has seen and studied human behaviour of all kinds. Since coming out as a lesbian in her fifties, she has never felt as committed as she does now.

What’s different about love late in life? “When you fall in love when you’re older, it’s such a blessing and gift, because you think it’ll never happen again.  At 50 I was getting out of a 20-year heterosexual marriage, and through a lot of that, I had missed being passionately in love. I wondered if it would ever happen to me again.

“Then I lived for six years with a woman, and with her, I did have a very passionate relationship. But after that ended, I was over 65, and I wondered again if I’d ever fall in love again.”

Marie looked for romance with energy and purpose. She says, “I spent years actively looking for love. I went out a lot, I tried online dating but that didn’t work for me at all. I met a couple of women online but I didn’t like the process. To fall in love, I need to have an immediate physical attraction, and that wasn’t happening with women I met online.”

Marie, who lives in Florida, went out socially looking for love live in person. “I live in an area with a vibrant women’s community  – you could go out 10 days a week if you wanted to! There are a lot of dances, and I like all kinds of dancing, including ballroom and country line dancing.” At lesbian gatherings, Marie never hid in a corner: she knew a lot of women and she got to know even more. She made a lot of friends, she says while looking for someone she might fall for. “I knew as soon as I met someone if I was drawn to them passionately or not. But I didn’t meet many people that I felt that for.”

There was a problem related to her age. Marie says, “I have age issues myself.” Those “age issues,” she said, made her doubt her own attractiveness.

When she’d been actively looking for a year or so, Marie was told by a friend that her standards were a bit high. “My friend suggested that I was narrowing the field too much by wanting chemistry right off the bat. She said I could date someone and hope that attraction would develop.” Against her instincts, Marie tried dating a few women. “I was trying to meet someone who was pleasant, whose company I enjoyed, someone with whom I had things in common. But I felt none of that magnetism I wanted. But then one day at a lesbian potluck – what else? – I met Brenda.”