Projection, Trust, And Falling In Love

Romantic Climes
We're having a cold drink on a sunny afternoon in an open-air café. Sarah and I are sitting in the Zocalo, the square block, tree-shaded park where families gather in Mexican towns. This is Oaxaca, (Wahaaka), a bustling city of a quarter million at 5,000 feet. We're toasting the third anniversary of our first date after meeting online. Soaking up the rich culture, dancing to Latin music in the Zocalo; sharing romantic dinners on rooftop restaurants bathed in gentle balmy breezes; working off those dinners hiking; and learning about the Zapotec culture dating back to 1500 B.C. that included astronomy, medicine, religion, and art.

I've always envied couples that have managed to sustain loving, long-term relationships, and while it's just three years, our feelings deepened noticeably on this trip. In the café I gaze into Sarah's eyes and see a stunningly beautiful, 66-year-old woman. The vulnerability visible in her light blue eyes is touching, especially since I know that being vulnerable wasn't easy for her. We've both had a fair number of short-term relationships, many of which turned out to be unconscious entanglements.

But on this particular afternoon we're grateful we've been able to move beyond old behavior that kept us trapped in skepticism. Our self-doubts as well as our skepticism had made real vulnerability elusive.

Hot Older Women
I'm thankful that we satisfy our sexual desires regularly, and make love as a slow waltz. And while I wouldn't use marathon to describe our sex life, it feels just right. I admire boomer women who know how to age gracefully, and these stellar women have helped me smooth out the emotional aspects of my own aging process. Every boomer woman comfortable in her own skin and confident about her femininity radiates an ageless beauty. Sarah is such a woman.

Vulnerable Adventure
And while I recognize the romantic quality of a magnificent fifteenth-century Spanish Colonial city, it isn't Oaxaca's splendor that has taken us deeper. And it's not the warm, sunny days that have caused us to gaze lovingly into each other's eyes and begin having our first, substantive conversation about living together. Our romantic renaissance is steeped in vulnerability and trust. And I feel a sexual heat for a sensual older woman whose touch, smell, and taste, are perfect. I'm discovering a sense of comfort and ease in our relationship permanence.

Trust determined whether an enduring relationship would be possible, but trust wasn't something that was easy for either of us to embrace. Failed relationship tapes played in our heads for a long while before we could leave them behind. That it took us three years to let our histories go fully, and allow our hearts to embrace each other unconditionally, wasn't lost on either of us. The relief that came from putting our histories to rest was palpable.

Projection frequently interferes with new relationships, boomer or otherwise, and it interfered with ours. Projections can last for a very long time before they're recognized, and infatuation and falling in love too quickly can substitute for reality. But it's not possible to trust and love on a level deep enough to commit to each other until we're able to see beneath projections. In new relationships we may think we see our lovers for whom they are, but we typically don't because we're so heavily influenced by our fantasies of what we want to see. When relationships finally reach the point at which couples can see the unvarnished realities, the disappointment often leads to breakups. Of course the opposite is also true, and relationships can be built on those realities when they're fully and consciously embraced.

Letting Go
When Sarah and I reached that tipping point recently it felt liberating to say goodbye to whatever projections remained. A deepened connection settled into our hearts once we willingly and gladly accepted each other's realities. And while sex and the emotional intimacy were sweet before letting our projections go, they're sweeter now. Boomer couples don't have to vacation in a romantic place to fall more deeply in love, but it did allow us ample, unfettered time to focus exclusively on each other. Viva Oaxaca.

Can older boomers meet and fall in love? Absolutely.

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