First-Time Love After 50

It's not the flowers, gifts or candle-lit dinners. While those are lovely, it's the everyday, little things that stack up. I know I'm a serious piece of work. Complicated. So is my husband. "Our love, beats the stops and starts, of complicated hearts."
At 52, I had found the love of my life. We have each come to this union via our own paths -- individual joys and sorrows. It is right timing. We truly see each other; that is the most magnificent gift of all.
And when you fall in love, and you will, he will kiss the crinkles around your eyes and mouth, the fine lines on your neck certain to deepen one day like rings in an old tree. He will hold your still mostly firm breasts and delight in watching your buttocks walk away.
Approaching my 55th birthday I said a prayer, 'Please let true love come into my life at this stage of my journey.' A couple of years later I was on a plane headed home from a speaking engagement in Chicago. A few minutes later, with cellphone in hand, a tall handsome gentleman strode up the aisle.
We were in love with each other. I had found 'The One' for the first time. And the memories Tom and I shared as a couple, together, over the years, are frozen in time and keep my love warm to this day. It has been a magical ride.
My cousin remarried -- just shy (by a month) of age 50 -- about three years ago. We live in different states and don't see each other, but thanks to Facebook, I feel connected and up-to-date on her life. After she met her new love, it was broadcast on Facebook like a classic, modern love story.
One of the delectable things I found out about being with a grown up is: they WANT to connect! And he opened me up to that feeling of "partners" again ... NOT to be a wife (we have both done enough marriages thank you) ... but loving again ... and in a new way.
At age 60 I'd given up hope that I would ever find my One, or even sleep with anyone again, as I was so set in my ways. Then I was stunned to discover divorced, smart, 60-ish, handsome Stan online.
Sometimes love takes time ... and we should know. Bill and I met in kindergarten in 1962 and went to school together through high school. We always liked each other, but it wasn't until the ripe age of 53 that our orbits finally aligned and we were together, as it should have been all along!
I live in one of the most romantic towns in the world, San Miguel de Allende, and I had not had a single date since I arrived 15 years ago. I arrived depressed, hoping to disappear into the life of an expat in Mexico, after closing my beloved independent bookstore in Berkeley and filing for divorce.
I lost count of the number of times I thought I was in love, but it still took a while before I acknowledged the reasons for so many failures. Most of my relationships were what I call, unconscious entanglements; two dysfunctional people meeting and partnering quickly.
If someone told me I wouldn't find my happiest relationship until after 50, I'd have never believed them. During my late 40s, I was on every dating site available. Hundreds of blind dates later, I met a man whose voice soothed me.
I was an adventurous 22-year-old girl back in 1981, working a few jobs in Boston and going to school on and off, when one day I decided to join my older sister on a European backpacking adventure. And so off we went, set to travel for two months.
I pondered. What about the difference in our ages? It isn't unusual for a man to date a woman 20 years younger. But the other way around? Really? The more I thought about it, the more I thought, 'Why cant we have a relationship if we love each other?'
We're seeking stories of love after 50. Help us celebrate the many beautiful love stories that happen later in life.
At first glance, 49 is a big number, but there are three relevant facts to consider. First, the 49 first dates spanned 18 months. Second, each was a coffee date lasting 15 to 45 minutes. Third, and most important, my partner Sarah was the 50th.
Fellas, if you're in your 50s, single and dating (and feeling like you're not getting anywhere), consider this a little friendly feedback from the ladies.