pearl in an oysterDo you sometimes feel like you’ll never find ‘The One’? While I don’t believe there is only ONE love for every person, I do know you can fall in love after 50, and it may just be the best relationship you’ve ever had.

Have you given up on love? Maybe your picker is broken. You know, you keep picking the same wrong man with a different face. Or you keep falling for sexy, smart, interesting men who you thought might be ‘The One’, but they ended up being jerks who treated you poorly. It’s easy to just throw in the towel and embrace the benefits of being single. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the single life. In fact, being single can be wonderful if you build a full, active, rich lifestyle.  But wouldn’t it also be amazing to find someone to love, to travel with, and to share intimacy?

How do you know if he’s the one?

A few years ago, as I was preparing to host an engagement party for my eldest daughter, I was thrilled that she found ‘The One’. She was marrying her true love. She was only 19 when she met her fiancé on her gap year in Israel. Now, at the tender age of 22, they were about to get married, to embark on a life journey together. Yes, they were young, but I believe their love was real and solid.

How do I know? I see the loving way they look at each other and the small acts of kindness they often exchange. They support each other’s dreams, even when finances are challenging. But most importantly, I have observed my daughter and her now husband weather many storms together. Her father and I divorced the year they met, and he helped her through an emotionally difficult time, never leaving her side when she was working through her sadness and anger over the divorce. When she became sick with mononucleosis, he took her to the doctor every few days for blood work and held her head when she couldn’t keep food down. If that’s not love, what is?

How well do you handle crisis?

Many couples believe they are in love, but when there is a crisis, things fall apart. That’s what happened in my marriage. Perhaps it happened in yours. Crisis can bring out the best and worst in people. As I observe my daughter and her now husband work through the many challenging times they’ve experienced throughout their courtship and marriage, I am constantly reassured that crisis makes them even stronger. I have witnessed their undying support for one another. I feel that how you navigate through crisis is one of the best markers for the longevity of a relationship. I believe every couple should experience some sort of stressor or crisis before committing to one another. Even a traffic accident or a minor surgery can tell you a lot about how one handles the tough stuff.

How well do you communicate?

Another very important marker for the success of a relationship is how well you communicate. I love watching how my daughter and her husband talk out every issue. They speak to each other with respect and kindness. They are a great balance for each other. He can calm her down quickly when she’s upset, and she can motivate him when he’s too laid back. The push and pull is a beautiful thing to witness.

As a mother, it’s easy to be overly critical of your children’s relationships. Some moms aren’t happy with any of their children’s choices. My parents were very critical of every boy I dated. No one was good enough for Daddy. I remember how much I resented my parents’ disapproval of my boyfriends. I vowed to be open and accepting of my kids’ romantic choices.

You want your kids to be happy, to choose good partners, and to be in healthy relationships. Successful relationships are one of the most difficult things to achieve, especially when your children have grown up witnessing a not-so-successful marriage. I am grateful that my daughter and her husband have chosen well.

They’ve now been married for 3 1/2 years and just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. They are wonderful parents – loving, mindful, thoughtful, and respectful. And they’ve made me a grandmother for the first time. Everything my friends have been telling me about being a grandparent is true. It’s the most delicious and precious thing to hold this little peanut, to love her and watch her grow and change so quickly. I get all the pleasure and none of the sleep deprivation!

My wish for them is that they continue to always be there for each other, to balance each other, to communicate as effectively as they do today, to grow together in every sense of the word, to achieve financial independence and build a wonderful home filled with healthy happy children.

What does this have to do with you?

Why have I shared my daughter’s happy marriage story with you? Because I hope you’ll be as lucky as my daughter in finding your true love. While it does require a degree of good luck to find ‘The One’, I do believe it takes more than just luck. It’s also about healthy relationship skills, how you weather crisis, how well you communicate, how kind you are (to yourself and others), how positive your attitude is, and how persistent you are in your search. Please don’t give up hope. Love is a very beautiful thing and it’s so worth the wait.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do YOU know if he’s ‘The One’?

For a copy of Sandy’s FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)” please click here.

‘Like’ Sandy’s  Facebook page for inspiring posts on dating and relationships & links to her weekly radio show.

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