‘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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. “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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

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

  23. 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.

  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. 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.

  26. 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.

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