‘Sex’ Versus ‘Love’ – An Older Woman’s Perspective!

by Anne McRitchie, Chilcotts Grass, NSW, Australia

It may be the hottest book around, but I have no intention of reading Fifty Shades of Grey! Not because I am turning 70 next year and therefore am past being ‘interested in sex’, but because in the last few years I have come to know the difference between ‘having sex’ and ‘making love’, and believe as an older woman, it does not involve handcuffs, the Karma Sutra or even any Tantric teaching.

I was in my teens in an era where often the only thing a young girl was told about sex was “You have to wait until you are married”. This was heavily instilled in me and I adhered to it until I reached 24; I found myself in London at the time when the Beatles and Carnaby Street ruled, and with no prospect of getting married. So when I had an opportunity to find out what I had been missing, I took it, even though there was no love involved, just a mutually convenient friendship. I did not understand what the big deal was, but at least I was held and touched by someone. Plus he was Indian, which somehow in London in the 1960s made it seem somewhat exotic!

From then on I made up for lost time. On one occasion after attending a nightclub opening in London, my beautiful female room mate (who had her pick of men at the time!) suddenly kissed me when we were alone. We went to bed and hugged and caressed each other, but passed out before anything intimate happened. Next morning I left for an assignment in Italy so we did not see each other again. That was my one and only near-sexual encounter with a woman.

I did live in a monogamous relationship with a partner for some eight years during my thirties: that finally ended when he came home drunk on my 40th birthday, so instead of the planned dinner celebration, I spent the evening alone, eating dry biscuits and cheese while he was passed out in the upstairs bedroom.

Several times during my life I have stopped to wonder what I was searching for! Yes, sex was usually fulfilling on a physical level – but why did I still feel so empty afterwards? I always felt that something was missing; that there had to be something more no one was telling me about!

When my now husband and I met, more than twenty years ago, we were older but no wiser, and in the beginning our relationship was often emotional and very needy on both sides. We knew that there was something more to life, but we had yet to discover it. In 2004 we decided to marry –me at sixty-one, and my husband at fifty-one. Neither of us had been married before, so we were not used to living closely with another, we were fiercely independent, and we both carried strong emotional scars from the experiences of our lives. Needless to say it was an emotionally charged partnership.

Looking back, what held it together was an almost unconscious feeling we both had that there was some inner-beauty deep within the other person that we could occasionally feel, even though they did not allow that to be expressed. In both cases that ‘inner-beauty’ was buried behind our ‘emptiness’ and the hurts we carried. Despite the constant turmoil in our lives, at the time we still called what we had ‘Love’.

Later that year we attended a Universal Medicine Heart-Chakra workshop and we knew immediately that here might possibly be the piece that had been missing. What was being said was common sense, but it had never been presented to us in such a simple way before. Here was someone saying that you cannot truly love another until you love yourself. How many of us were ever told by our parents or teachers when we were young to love ourselves? Mostly we were recognised for what we achieved – being Dux of Kindergarten (yes! I was), being the fastest runner, the best speller, etc. Always for something that we did, but never for just ‘being ourself’. Is it any wonder we spend our lives forever searching for someone to recognise us for who we are, rather than what we do?

After listening to Serge Benhayon present for several years, we both began to make different choices. We gradually discarded the emptiness and hurts and started to live in a more loving way, both with ourselves and each other. As we embodied more love, we became aware that what we had up until that time was not ‘love’, but a relationship based on filling each other’s needs… and when our needs were not met, the emotional games kicked in. At that stage we both felt emotionally debased – if what we thought was ‘love’ was not truly ‘love’, then why were we together at all?

For a couple who reaches this point there is often a choice, either to separate or to rebuild a foundation of true love. For us there was no choice, because we shared a deep connection and we wanted to be together, but the change did not happen instantly or even in the first year. It took commitment on both sides, and a mutual understanding and trust when one or the other of us chose to express from emotion… rather than from the love within.

Now, ‘making love’ is a confirmation of the way we have been together during the day. But in truth, it is how we are in every moment of the day, not what we do. It is how we smile at each other, touch each other in passing, prepare a meal together or feel the other when they are not there. Unlike ‘having sex’, there is no beginning or end to ‘making love’. It is a feeling that is forever with you, and the physical act is a glorious and joy-full confirmation of our loving connection.

204 thoughts on “‘Sex’ Versus ‘Love’ – An Older Woman’s Perspective!

  1. Emptiness is an energy that returns to itself permanently, showing us that no matter how hard you try, if this is your choice this is what you get no matter how hard you try to fill yourself up with whatever. The quality of the relationship that you establish with emptiness is what full-fills you.

  2. I used to feel quite horrible after pretty much all of my sexual encounters. The feeling of being somewhat used, though I had given full consent to it. Regardless of whether I was in a long-term relationship or it was a friends with benefits situation, the feeling was the same. When I realised that when we don’t make love, we are simply using the other person to relieve our tensions, something clicked and I understood where that feeling came from. It is such a huge dishonouring of our bodies when we put ourselves in that situation and very sad to feel at the time – but the truth of it is that so many of us are engaging in exactly that, both men and women and I imagine that if we start to change the way we are towards ourselves, accepting this level of abuse will no longer be possible with another person.

  3. A great sharing Anne how that at any age we can live with true love and intimacy in our relationship, it is not just in the bedroom scene but all the little loving ways we bring into our daily interaction that show and express the love we have for each other.

  4. It is so easy to hide in the doing than openly be ourselves, when we drop the protection and become comfortable with who we are, we are able to share a true connection with another and as a deeper love for ourselves unfolds we are able to introduce more love in our lives with each move we make.

  5. I agree Anne just because we are older does not necessarily mean we are wiser for wisdom is something that we can connect to at any age, time or place when we are open to it, you just have to listen to the pearls of wisdom that come from children to appreciate this fact.

  6. “But in truth, it is how we are in every moment of the day, not what we do”. It is every moment that counts, every single one. At first glance it could seem quite exhausting to pay attention to every single moment, but the reality is quite different. When you realise that every moment effects the next one, and that our days is made up of trillions of moments, would it not be wise to pay attention to these moments and not just the highlights or low lights?

  7. The feeling that there is something missing is a reality that many do not want to acknowledge as it means that everything we believe about life is false. To come to this understanding is so needed, for it is the only way to change our word. Accept what is false and live what is true.

  8. A long road to travel with ‘love’ like many of us have had and yet can it be so simple? “Here was someone saying that you cannot truly love another until you love yourself.” So all we need do is dedicate to be all the love we naturally are and from there all else falls in line with that love and is a reflection for it’s depth, sounds like a great plan and from reading this article it obviously is the way to go or more so the way to live.

  9. “As we embodied more love, we became aware that what we had up until that time was not ‘love’, but a relationship based on filling each other’s needs” – this is a massive realization that rocks the entire foundation upon which our relationships are built on. Like, what do we do if our relationship was not about filling each other’s need? It is very inspiring to feel your commitment and joy in choosing to rebuild a foundation based on true love.

  10. Thank you Anne to share About this subject so open. IT takes also away the believes about eldery women not having an intimate ‘ sex’ life. And you let other generation after you to come See that being intimate is not having sex but Living love together which can be confirmed in then the magic of the physical intimicy of making love.

  11. The feeling that something is missing is common when we have sex – at least I know it is for women. But as with most things that have been reduced from their pure form, with sex/love making we are offered solutions like hand cuffs, karma sutra etc. to ‘spice things up’. This does nothing to bring the missing ingredients, which is the way we are with each other leading up to making- love.

  12. When I was a young man, I had a belief that it was normal to lose interest in sex when ‘more mature’. In truth I had a lot of issues around the whole topic, no doubt related to some old religious ideas about sin etc. How wrong I was. Or maybe not – because as Anne shares here, once we connect to ‘making love’ rather than having sex, the whole experience becomes ‘wholesome’ and nurturing. So maybe I have lost interest in sex, but only because I have come to understand the nature of making love instead. Once true intimacy has been experienced, sex without intimacy is exposed and feels empty. Give me ‘making love’ any day – and as a way of life, not just in the bedroom.

  13. Thank you for your openness here Anne. I too was taught ‘no sex before marriage’. What I find interesting about this ‘rule’ is that it makes no mention of love. Love is surely a crucial factor in this. Sex without love is as you have shared here, physically fulfilling perhaps but otherwise empty. Whereas an act of true love is fulfilling on every level.

  14. “It took commitment on both sides, and a mutual understanding and trust when one or the other of us chose to express from emotion… rather than from the love within.” I feel so many relationships reach this point where they are asked to take it deeper, through commitment and instead people opt for the easy way out of breaking-up. We need to have more trust in ourselves and each other.

  15. To make love, we first must understand what love is. Through our connection to our essence within, we will discover that Love is not something we need to seek or attain, it is who we are and as such it is a way of being, being ourselves. And what’s more, we realise that making love is not something that is restricted to the bedroom, as making love is possible through our everyday living, whenever we bring our loving connection to all we do, and to all we meet. It is beautiful to feel the quality of making love with your partner through the way we speak to or look at each other, the way we care and be with each other through the day all of which can be confirmed and honoured when we physically join together through the act of making love.

    1. So true, what a new concept for the world to embrace. Imagine a world that allows this to be foundation for the forward.

  16. Awesome article Anne, thank you. It reflects a journey many of us have undertaken since learning about true love, thanks to Universal Medicine. I’m super-glad not to be living as I was – it’s far more restful for the body and being with not an ounce of abuse.

    1. Great comment and great points Victoria. When we come to really understand and feel what true love is, we then know that anything less than feeling this love is abusive to our body and being.

  17. When it is love that is lived and expressed, without the act of sexual intercourse, love is still living and breathing within us and it feels lovely and full. That said, the physical act of making love is deeply uniting and a beautiful reflection of deepening love.

  18. When you have a deep connection with each other and when you are truly committed to have a loving relationship with each other, miracles can happen and then I mean true miracles. They are the confirmation that your choice for love was true and a foundation for living together, growing and evolving together.

  19. Beautiful Anne. It changes what ‘making love’ means, and then the physical act is simply a confirmation of the way you have been living with each other. Relationships don’t look after themselves; they are definitely things we need to look after, invest in and nurture.

  20. A great confirmation of the commitment you both have for your relationship, and yes relationships do need understanding and trust, ‘It took commitment on both sides, and a mutual understanding and trust’.

  21. When we hear sayings such as “We can’t really love another until we love ourselves” it is not something easy to grasp especially when this is not a normal to us. But what I have found is loving ourselves or others begin with relationship. When we begin to have a relationship with ourselves, it is very difficult to not love ourselves or others based not on anything from the external, but simply emanating from relationship. So what is relationship? This is also not a familiar normal in the world, to me this exploration began simply feeling what my heart and my body tell me, saying no to anything that feels unloving.

  22. Anne, this is exquisite reading, wise delicious words that inspire what is needed for each of us to claim in our lives a truly wise and delicious relationship.

  23. Thank you Anne, this is very inspiring and reassuring that we can always open up to true love and explore it, that it is never too late and that nothing we have experienced is too big to stand in our way.

  24. Reading your blog Anne I can’t help but feel how much misery we often accept in a relationship. We accept that a relationship is good when we can get along with each other and the sex is good but is this true love? As you shared in a true relationship it is about every moment being loving and building together on this as we go, making love is then equally amazing but never the end goal.

  25. Sex that feels there is just something missing, is always a good reminder that there is something for us to look at deeper. How many of us dismiss this? How many of us then choose not to compromise the love that we know and can feel within ourselves? If love is truly love, there is never anything missing, it simply feels full. Oh what a simple reminder to ourselves.

    1. Great sharing Adele. When sex feels like there is something missing this means there is something missing. Also when sex is the high point in the relationship there is something missing. In a truly loving relationship there is not a high point it is all equal.

  26. Without love everything gets bastardised or polluted, including sex. Love is the intelligence that brings depth, order and beauty to life.

  27. It was a strange and confusing moment when I realised I that didn’t need my then partner. Until that point every relationship I’d ever had had been based on need which I had equated with love. So when I didn’t feel the need to be with him, I thought perhaps it wasn’t love, but the pull to be together was stronger than any mental games I could play with myself. We have been together for six and a half years now and our relationship deepens, challenges, supports and evolves with us and if I ever find any neediness creeping in, which it does from time to time, it feels really weird and soon gets exposed.

  28. It was a revelation to learn and understand that we can only make love with another if we know and are love ourselves – yet at the same time it makes perfect sense, and I realise this was known within all along just somehow obscured.

  29. Anne your wisdom is universal for it does not matter how old you are sex is empty, but two people committed to living with love make it fresh in every moment.

  30. A beautiful and very frank blog Anne. I have to agree about the feeling of emptiness after sex. Makes me wonder what all the fuss is about. My feeling is that we know there is more to sex than sex, but that’s where we think it lies, but really as you have shared it is in making love in all we do everyday.

  31. The most amazing experiences I have had with men is not holding back any part of my expression, so it is complete each moment. These are the moments of love made and expressed.

  32. It is a gorgeous confirmation of the commitment you have that at the point that many couples reach where there is a choice to separate, you both chose a foundation of true love…. and of making each moment about an expression of that no matter what you are doing.

  33. Beautiful sharing Anne. I love the truth of your words that older does not automatically mean wiser… but then again on the flip side of that you are never too old to learn.

  34. Anne great to read your journey in relationships, sexuality, and love, and where you are now. You have made some great distinctions about relationships based on needs and hurts, and relationships based on love, which starts with self love and dealing with past hurts. We are sold so many ideas about relationships, including that there is a special one person, that this “One” fulfils you and its with this person that you can only experience love, etc! There seems to be a lot of conditions put on experiencing love. Yet it’s all there waiting inside of us to be explored as self love, embodied and lived, and then shared with our partner. What I really enjoyed about this blog was the wisdom you shared gained over your lifetime.

  35. To commit to a life that is full of love and integrity is a challenge it self, but to do this together as a couple contains beside the beauty of it, big changes and a big willingness to go for it. We are reflecting each other constantly where we are and this can be very uncomfortable…OR a blessing. It is on us how we take it. Society this days is lost in the idea of that something like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ does better our life, make it more interesting and ‘successful’ in a way – but far out! WE in fact try to manage the problems in our life – like the lack of intimacy we are all suffering under more or less – with the same energy which did create them and this does not work at all. In fact it does riding us deeper into the mess. To live love, with ourselves and with others is a task for all of us to discover in human life. And to celebrate this love by ‘making love’ is a cherry on the cake – even this cake and cherry is made to have it all day, as you so beautiful describe Anne. Thank you Anne for discovering how it is to make love in a true way and so inspiring us all. The world does need it.

  36. The more we live lovingly with ourselves and our body the more we establish a true relationship with the feeling of love. Then, our body is like a radar and anything less then the love we give ourselves is obvious and can be more easily discerned.

  37. Anne, this is very enriching, as it allows us to feel the layers we often have put over this true potential of true love we felt. And so there is nothing wrong with any person, it is just simple: are we allowing ourselves to be tender, true and loving or are we needing ourselves and others to be anything else? This describes well the difference between love, allowance and understanding and control, emotion and needs. It is our choice what we do with it; do we make a true commitment to love or do we go for need and games? Up for us to choose.

  38. Thank you Anne. I can see I have had a belief that relationships should always start out rosy if they are to have any chance of success but your story shows that true love can be chosen as a new foundation at any time and I can see that foundation starts with the way I am with myself.

  39. “Now, ‘making love’ is a confirmation of the way we have been together during the day.” Making love is a connection felt within and then reflected outwardly to all including our partners and shows a depth of intimacy that is amazingly infectious for all.

  40. I love how you say making love is a ‘feeling that is forever with you’ because it is a connection that is with how you are with yourself and your partner – so different to the emptiness felt after sex because it is without connection.

  41. Anne for me it was such a wonderful experience to read about an older woman talking about making love. Why is that not a normal thing to do for older people? It was a bit of a secret for me what happened with love making when we are getting older. Therefore I love it and find it very inspirational what you have shared!

  42. It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting or needing a relationship (to the point of being slightly obsessive) but we rarely pay any attention to our relationship with ourselves, so in the end it feels void of Love. Just recently I have been feeling so much stronger and loving towards myself that the need for a relationship starts to dwindle and instead just enjoying the connection I have with myself first and sharing this with others feels much more healthier and loving.

  43. Thank you Anne for expanding that ‘love’ goes far beyond the bedroom and if the sexual act or needs being met are the basis of a relationship then we cut ourselves off from what the two people coming together could express to each other, to themselves and everyone else.

  44. The process of redefining love and deepening the connection is what makes a relationship last and stay alive at the same time as it allows for evolution – a constant furthering and exploring of what love, joy and harmony truly is.

  45. We try to make up for what we are missing inside and what we know we could present to the world and compensate it by doing something – whatever we feel is fit to make up for it – that is what we learn from a very young age. Thank you Anne for spelling this out so clearly.

  46. I find it inspiring to hear an elder women share with such openness, sharing what you have experienced and discovered through the years. We can all learn from each other’s experiences. Thank you.

  47. I love how you have taken making love out of the bedroom only domain, and live that love in your everyday connections with your husband. True intimacy may or may not be sexual, and can be shared with more than our chosen sexual partner.

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