My Ouma used to say: “n ou bok hou van groen blare” (an old goat likes young or green leaves). She married my grandfather who was 15 years older than she and that was in the 1930's. They had many, many happy years together, raised three children and had successful careers, but when Oupa passed away my Ouma spent her last 20 odd years without her life partner.
So how important is age when we consider relationships in the cyber-age? Is it important at all?
Are we so hung up on ticking boxes, trying to squeeze ourselves into profiles that don't fit, that we forget about the ‘real' stuff? Or even worse, we exclude the ever-elusive ‘one'?
It is sometimes very difficult to not feel like a complete failure when it comes to relationships when you are single. You look around and you see people of every shape, size, ethnicity, religion and culture arm in arm. “Elke pot het sy deksel” (every pot has its own lid), is another one of Ouma's favourite sayings. She often said this while shaking her head after pointing out a really odd looking couple.
As a species I don't think people are supposed to be alone, but every day we see the results of various kinds of abuse and this shows us that there are many people who should in fact not be allowed to be part of another's life.
Human beings are complicated, or perhaps it's just that we human beings are good at complicating things?
When you strip everything away, bare to the bone and tear away all the veils, facades and fronts we use to protect, surround and comfort us, what is it that remains?
I believe it is our core: Core values, core beliefs, our essence, what makes us the same human species and yet such very different individuals. The question is how do we match those core things, which we cloak so well with someone else who has his or her core cloaked just as carefully? How do you peel back the layers to find that special core? And more importantly how do we allow our layers to be peeled back? Are we forthcoming or have our past experiences buried our core too deep to be retrieved?
Finding love in life means being real, open, honest and wearing your heart on your sleeve so that you are more likely to find your ‘one'. But this also means you are open to more hurt and heartache and that can be hard to bear.
So I guess it's necessary to be optimistic, believe in the goodness of people, be real, and also to be brave!