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This type of “love” is not a good reason to get married, but friendship is. Real love is about giving to and caring about another person’s life.

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I’ve put it all together and have arrived at the conclusion that you and your life mean something to me." That’s why the essence of real love is friendship In a Jewish wedding ceremony, the bride and groom are given seven blessings.

Not once but twice, we bless the couple that they should become “beloved friends.” Make sure you’re friends first and then lovers.

They are all 50-something, empty-nesters and divorced. The difference between men and women at this age, however, is that we don’t necessarily want the same things.

“We’re perpetually fed a line that we’re looking for love in a market that doesn’t value us,” says Marina Adshade, an economics professor in Canada and author of . However, with the gray divorce boom, there are a lot more older people available than ever before.

Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married? From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.

And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile. And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger.

I wanted to tell her on the first date, but I knew that would probably be weird. She kind of gave me this half-shy, half-amused smile. But as time has gone on, I also realized that she knew something that I didn’t. I tried so hard to keep that fire going, to keep that emotion alight, but it got harder and harder. And what was even more interesting was that once I realized this on a conscious level, and started trying to find more opportunities to give, the more we both, almost intuitively, became lovey-dovey. From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry. Imagine a whole nation of people constantly chasing the emotions they had when they were dating. That’s a recipe for disastrous marriages; for a country with a 50% divorce rate; for adultery (the classic attempt to turn the fire back on); for people who do stay together to simply live functional, loveless marriages. How many people are in pain simply because they’ve been lied to.

Like most Hasidic Jews (we both became religious later in life), our dating period lasted a very short time. I mean, how you can feel that burning love when you’re sitting at the table discussing how to use the last twenty dollars in your bank account? How can you feel it when you think it makes perfect sense to put your socks on the floor after you’re done with them, and she has this crazy idea that they need to go in the laundry basket? And now, as I’m a bit older and a bit more experienced with this relationship, I’ve finally come to realize something.

There was no way I could keep that dating fire burning as practicality invaded our lives. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable.

And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated. Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her. Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more. It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening. Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about. An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever. And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.

That may be true for younger people, but that isn’t always the case at this age, she says.

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