8 Things I’ve Realized Are More Important Than Love As I Get Older

Love is important, there’s no doubt about that. However, as you get older, you begin to realize that there are things you value and that are much more important than the all-encompassing, intensely romantic love you see in the movies. Here are a few things you begin to hold dearer as the years go by.

  1. A strong sense of self As you get older, you may start to realize that love can get in the way of maintaining your strong sense of self. That’s not to say that you can’t have both, but when all of your time and energy goes into a romantic relationship, that part that’s just for you tends to slip. Even if we don’t mean to, we often give up parts of ourselves for love. Finding yourself, learning who you truly are, and standing up for those things that define you can give you a feeling of satisfaction that last forever.
  2. Having memorable experiences Life is meant to be experienced. Good and bad, every experience adds something to your life. We learn from the things we do, the places we go, and the people we meet and find joy in them. Sometimes experiences bring sadness and pain, but those experiences that are not exactly joyous teach us and mold us. They help us become stronger and better people who are more able to be compassionate and empathic.
  3. Family bonds Not every family member is going to be someone with whom you have a close bond. Sometimes mothers, fathers, and siblings can even be toxic. Family is still important, though. If you have to, look further back in your family tree. There is a good chance that there is someone just like you that you can connect with. It may not seem like a big deal when you’re younger, but family gives you roots.
  4. Building friendships Not every friend has to be by your side through thick and thin. It’s great if you can build a connection with a person like that, but this process can take a long time. Be open to meeting new people and creating friendships. Thanks to technology, you can even create friendships with people all over the world. Some of my best friends live on my computer. I have a group of women who came together because of shared goals and we’ve been telling each other our secrets for over 10 years now. I’ve never met any of them, but I’m closer to them than I am to most of the people in my “real” life.
  5. Creating trusting relationships There’s nothing like knowing that there’s someone out there that you can trust implicitly with anything. Both accepting their trust and giving them yours is comforting. Trust isn’t something we can give or accept easily. It implies faith and honesty are given freely. If you find someone like that, don’t let them go.
  6. Having financial security If you’ve ever struggled financially, you know how much it means to be secure and not have to worry about money. It takes time to get to a good place with our finances. Financial security means something different to each person. For some, it means owning a house and for others, it means having a specific amount of savings. Once you reach that point, it removes a great deal of stress from your life.
  7. The ability to communicate You may not realize how important communication is in your life until you can’t truly converse with other people. Whether it’s simply telling someone that you love them or exchanging ideas in conversation, communication is one of the things that makes us more human. Having a debate, sharing your day, or listening to someone else is a prime function humans have that keeps us sane.
  8. Touch If there’s one thing that many of us have learned this year it’s that touch is critical. Many of us who are single and live alone went for weeks or even months without touching another human being because of the Covid-19 pandemic. A simple hug, cuddling, or even just a hand on your shoulder when you’re sad can make all the difference in the world when you’re sad or alone. Affection doesn’t have to be tied to a romantic experience – even a back rub or a hug from a friend can make you feel so much better.

Love is important and it’s something that we all need. The kind of love you see in movies isn’t everything, though. If you have that crazy love but not the other things on this list, you’ll eventually realize that something is missing from your life. If you have all the other things in the list above but not wild and intense love, you can still be very happy and satisfied. Passionate love is a bonus, but it isn’t as important as these other staples of life.

Danielle has been a freelance writer for 20+ years. She lives in Canada with her dog Rogue and drinks a lot if coffee.