Seasons of Love

What is a ‘Seasoned Lover’?

A seasoned lover is typically a phrase not all that referenced. This idea that something has been accustomed to particular conditions or even been flavoured. Certainly you and I have heard or used the term ‘seasoned’ for a traveller, or a turkey (you can see my mind is still on last year’s Christmas dinner). But I’ve only recently heard it being used in regard to a persons experience with love.

Of course in theory it makes sense that love, like wine, could get better over time, or over seasons. Love after all is an individuals choice and a process in which time is an essential part of. But the meter in reality (dare I say this as a romance writer) doesn’t always prove the most exciting. The value of time is not exactly a popular precept in modern culture nowadays.

Seasoned love is not popular in culture.

Growing up my mum definitely didn’t say to me, “Finding love later in life is a good thing,” and popular culture’s #Relationship Goals don’t exactly scream this sentiment from roof tops either. Modelling this in picturesque snapshots of what idealistic love looks like with younger heart throbs like Twilight’s Edward and Bella or Disney’s Jasmine and Aladdin. Leaving the less palatable versions of people who have storied past’s of heartbreak, divorce, unconventional couplings, being solo parents, health issues , etc., with barely a look in or a chance to be represented. 

Today’s idea of romance, or certainly my generations idea, is to be young, single yet get the perks of being in a committed relationship without having to declare that you’re in one. And this casual culture of romance doesn’t always allow for flaws. In our microwave culture, love moves quicker, until we hit a wall in the marathon that is “relationship” and when we can’t get past the flaw wall, we bow out…

Social media and online dating can of course offer opportunity for connection and deeper long-lasting intimacy but the casting of such a wide net actually can be counter productive in producing a laziness and lack of commitment when we can so easily move on to the next one. A kind of desensitising takes place where the ideal image of romance starts to become only a fiction or a hashtag and we settle for what is available to us, forgetting that we have whole lives ahead of us, and not everything is for now.

This idea that things happen in time, “Good things come to those who wait”, isn’t exactly in line with the use of Zac Efron’s “YOLO” (you only live once) tattoo. This sense of immediacy makes us feel like time is running out and if we don’t get the partner, or hook-up with that person/s, or live your best life (like, right now), our world will implode. 

Let me state this, what I’m not trying to say is being younger means you’re dumber and destined to fail at love until you reach a certain age threshold. Nor am I saying that being older automatically makes you wiser and more likely to publish the next ‘5 Love Languages’. I know of some younger souls who have a wealth of wisdom in romance and some older individuals who sure are clueless about want they need in relationships. 

‘Hope & Worth’ by D.A. Stevens

What I am saying is it’s all about the individuals perspective first, and how they see themselves being loved and loving. Greater perspective in life tends to be moulded when you’ve exercised patience, and experienced more of life itself and the people in it. Whilst perspective is not the sexiest word in the dictionary, and neither is satisfying, it is where development starts. Unfortunately our modern culture moves way too fast for patience (what even is that?) But let’s be honest, we are affected by what we see, or don’t see.

A lot of what mediatised and popular culture shows us about romance conditions our expectations of it, and when said expectations aren’t met we are left with this gap that can leave us feeling unwanted, unworthy of a worthwhile kind of love or like we have a third arm.  

What I am saying is it’s all about the individuals perspective first, and how they see themselves being loved and loving. Greater perspective in life tends to be moulded when you’ve exercised patience, and experienced more of life itself and the people in it. Whilst perspective is not the sexiest word in the dictionary, and neither is satisfying, it is where development starts. Unfortunately our modern culture moves way too fast for patience (what even is that?) But let’s be honest, we are affected by what we see, or don’t see.

A lot of what mediatised and popular culture shows us about romance conditions our expectations of it, and when said expectations aren’t met we are left with this gap that can leave us feeling unwanted, unworthy of a worthwhile kind of love or like we have a third arm.  

A healthy expectation of romance.

A healthier expectation of romance has to come from somewhere, right? Absolutely! Fiction can be that source, since we all know that writers are one of the many types of people that look at the world and turn it over again and again in our minds to present some kind of message to the world. Or, to point out a blind spot in our culture’s periphery and give helpful insight. At least that’s what I think our job should be anyway. 

I personally took on this challenge with my latest book ‘Hope & Worth’ where I used my own, my friends and loved ones experiences and penned it down with a whole bunch of imagination (this may be the reason why you’re reading this blog in the first place). I had read and continue to read books about wonderful humans who find love in both their young years, older years and everything in between. And, since we’re comparing, I have to say there is greater understanding of what one wants in life, or, at the very least, a more likely tendency to question what that is the older they are. “What do I want and who do I want to do it with?” The launch of every romance. 

But, if I haven’t already lost you ‘pretty young things’ to thoughts of irrelevance and typical millennial insecurities, or you ‘wiser owls’ to assuming that this post is an indulgent and naive rambling of such insecure millennial, please answer me this; is love about the long game?

Why is a seasoned lover more popular in fiction?

Being older, or more advanced in years, isn’t exactly the stuff in which blockbuster movies are made of. It’s not often you follow the protagonist through their teen years, university and/or work years, well into their lives and so on, before they find a love that lasts. But romance is certainly like this in reality. There isn’t always just the one moment, one person, one marriage, one sexual encounter and so on. There are episodes, cycles, chapters, even volumes. And fiction certainly has a tighter grip on exploring this journey than culture does, which is why I fell in love with it.

From my experience, most romance fiction that centralise the story around older heroines and protagonists capitalise on what culture seems to miss; the growth of the individual. These stories don’t negate the experiences of the characters earlier years, but they do use them as lessons. 

As someone in my “young” middling twenties, I can sound somewhat contradictive in my view, after all I’m not all that “seasoned” in life myself. But this is literally my personal experience of reading and writing and living in the world and finding my views on romance and the individual constantly being contended with the worlds ever changing culture. After all, we do stay the same as humans. We want two basic necessities in life; love and health. But how we go about receiving and giving these things is an entirely different story. One that writers and readers alike get to experience in various different ways, with various different people, in time. 

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