Max was peeved. “I am so sick of boring profiles on the dating sites. The first thing people want is to hold hands and walk with someone at sunset on the beach. The second thing is to cuddle up on a couch and watch TV. Why can’t they think of something more interesting?”
I explained to Max that this yearning for sharing quality time is a universal because it reflects close companionship. This is what we all need and desire. It’s especially vital for older folks who must move at a slower pace and have the opportunity to savour shared quality time.
“But I’m not slow!”, declared Max. “At 68, I can keep up with the 40 year olds when we cycle round the bay on Sunday mornings. I want the companionship of a woman who can ride her bike with me at least for two hours into the country and pitch a tent an enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush”.
Where Max wanted active companionship, John was different. He was the film buff who enjoyed nothing more than holding hands with his woman for a film-fest and then having dinner and debriefing the film.
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Both men could find their ideal companion. The significant thing about companionship is that there’s no “have tos” – it’s just time shared where you feel bonded and content.
But is companionship better than sex? It’s actually expressed in good sex!
Trust is an essential ingredient of companionship and trust is essential for good sex.
Kevin believes that love is also essential for good sex. He said, “Sex is empty without love. Sure the physical sensations are exciting and pleasurable but it dissipates quickly and leaves in its wake a sense of longing for what was missing. If loving intimacy is missing I feel both sad and upset during the act, like I’ve used the other and abused my own values – a vacuum forms and I feel it in the pit of my stomach – and in my heart. When everything is in place though and sex is love-making – there is nothing that compares!”
Seniors can be sexual in order to express affection, passion, love, loyalty and appreciation of life as opposed to merely a sexual release.
I acknowledge that some older folks become very limited in being able to engage in enthusiastic love-making. For them, non sexual touch is also magical. An arm around a loved one, a small caress on the back or a brush along the cheek with the back of hand are affirming, reassuring and reflect a partnership where the couple are caring companions.
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To be truly loving, a relationship would need to work on a number of levels – spiritual, mental, physical, emotional. All of these are intricately interwoven and in balance, with caring companionship, can enhance longevity and quality of life.
What do you think? Is companionship better than sex? What do you require in a relationship? Tell us in the comments!