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Olivia Rogers not her real name was a successful doctor, separated from her husband and the mother of four teenagers.


In my studies of over long-married people, I uncovered hundreds of pieces of advice, from specific tips to big-picture suggestions. After pondering the data, a particular point stood out that the women in my sample ranging in age from 63 to wanted to pass on to those embarking on the relationship journey. When it comes to choosing a mate, I heard again and again: Choose carefully.

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Looking back over their long experience, they believe some women are not careful enough. In their view, they tend to do one of three risky and possibly disastrous things:First, they can fall passionately in love and commit immediately, Romeo and Juliet style; second, they can, especially as they reach their 30s, commit out of desperation, for fear that no one better will come along; third, they can drift or fall into marriage without the choice or its reasons ever becoming clear to themselves or others.

Whether it is an impulsive move, a perceived last-chance leap or a slide into the inevitable, their advice is to stop, look, and listen — to yourself and others.

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Question the decision, then question it again. Some strong testimony for the need to wait and choose carefully came from women who experienced failed marriages sometimes getting it right in a second union. They typically attributed the failure to entering marriage on impulse and not gaining a deep knowledge of their partner before marrying. Both my husband and I were married once before, and it took that experience to learn this lesson. Virginia, 73, described rushing into marriage as one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make.

Well, two children and 11 years later, we divorced.

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I could have made a major difference in my life if I had chosen my husband carefully, really gotten to know him before committing to the relationships. Know the person in and out before you get married. Many women attributed their success to careful mate selection.

Lillie, 78, was married for 22 years and divorced for the past Having walked the walk, she linked choosing carefully to the futility of expecting to change your husband. So both people have to be very willing and very open, and often times make concessions, as they get to know each other. So please, take a very serious look.

You cannot mold your spouse into something that you want. They offered the following strategies to help make the right choice:.

Age gap fallout

So women and men, too need to ask: Does my prospective mate like to work? Will he or she hold up their end financially? And can they responsibly handle money? You don't need to make the choice entirely on your own, older women say. Listen to your friends and family: Do they like your partner? Do they think you're being treated well? Do they think your partner is serious about the relationship?

Can an older woman-younger man relationship work?

Write down an actual list of what you need out of a relationship and whether those needs are being met. Rowena, 69, found the list helped her. I was in my 30s at that point, and I said 'Hmm, you know, this is what I want. And really sitting there with a piece of paper did it.

It may sound cold-blooded, but I made a list of what I and what he could bring to the situation. At this point I had a little boy and what he needed was very important to me — and it turned out very well. Unfortunately, such discussions are sometimes not explicit and detailed.

Nadine, 65, pointed out that women may assume their partner wants. And one person can say, 'I really want children.

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But sometimes that really means no. And I have seen heartache there as a result. So they should ask: 'Well, what can you imagine your life might be like in 10 years?

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Does it involve children? Of course, both this general advice and the specific tips apply to men as well as women. The World is a public radio program that crosses borders and time zones to bring home the stories that matter.

Is age just a even when the woman in a relationship is older? we reached out to older women in relationships to understand how age difference matters

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Age should not be a barrier to love and companionship.