Being a Senior Lover
vs. Non-lover

Being a senior lover, or lover at any age, sounds like a great idea.  It certainly appears to be more fun that being a non-lover

This divide is what Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld in writing about in Better Than Ever: Love and Sex at Midlife

It's a book written by a genuine expert.  In fact it was that expertise and reputation got him access to people on a very personal topic that not just anyone could have achieved.  As a result, it is a very good read.

However, it turns out that he was not really an expert on the whole topic, just part. And that is some of the charm of the book.

That Zilbergeld knew a lot about sex was pretty well known and any of his books or lectures on the topic are well worth your time. 

What apparently was only known by him and those close to him was that when it came to relationships he was not nearly so accomplished. (Since people who knew and liked him actually said it in writing, I am guessing that it was indeed true and that they are giving him some slack as they describe it.)

Anyway, in Better Than Ever he says he decided to find out just what people who had great relationships were like, the senior lovers, and how they did it.

The result is a great book that again supports many of the central findings and recommendations of other writers on relationships.

Criticisms of
Better Than Ever generally see it as relying too heavily on interviews with a particular set of people, those who responded to ads or were asked to be involved, and that it is not a large enough sample to draw general conclusions. To some degree Dr. Zilbergeld responded to these himself in the book more or less saying that the book is what it is and that it does not purport to be the Kinsey report for seniors. Also, he noted that after a while he was hearing the same things over and over and he just stopped. He doesn't hide his methodology, so the reader can make of it what he or she will.

I consider it a "must-read" for everyone who wants to keep living and loving through their 60's, 70's, and on, with one proviso. He identifies the keystone to great relationships as being what he came to call in his study "a lover".  Lovers have great relationships. Non-lovers on the other hand don't fare so well, though they often maintain stable relationships for many years.

But having identified this "lover/non-lover" schism, Dr. Zilbergeld seems to have relatively little to say about how one might get from the non-lover side over to the lover side. (Am I just dense or do all of these people leave out the nuts and bolts?)

While there are no panaceas in this area there are excellent books, magazine articles, etc. that can help a well as e-books on the topic such as 50 Secrets of Blissful Relationships(enough ideas to kickstart even the most clueless of us if we really want to start creating something different).

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