Childless couple had both given up on love but fate had other ideas

By Nina Steele 

Childless couple in loveI have always been a bit dubious of the saying that ‘you’ll find love when you stop looking’ because it certainly wasn’t my experience and it wasn’t that of most people I know. But just because it’s not something I can relate to, does not mean that it’s not true. There have been enough such stories around to prove that there is indeed some truth in it and the story of this childless couple is to a certain extent, a case in point.

Linda Rabben and John Eckenrode were aged 60 and 56 respectively when they met in 2008. They married in 2012. They shared their story in the Guardian. As Linda put it, she had “just about” given up on love and decided to give it one more try. Losing her cat was what spurred her on to look for love. For John, it was on the encouragement of a work colleague. As is often the case about dating in the age of the Internet, they sought love online.

I was struck by how independent and settled in their ways they both were before they met. Linda describes herself before meeting John as a “hardcore single person”. I have met many hardcore single people in my life. The difference is that for the majority of them, being settled in their ways means that living with another person is not something they are willing to try. And even when some of them did give it a try, the fact that they were settled in their ways ended up being the deal breaker.

Because both of them had lived such an independent life prior to meeting, Linda thought marriage would still mean separate houses, but John had other ideas. Of that she said: “I was surprised when he told me he would be moving in with me. I thought we were both very independent people, having been single for such a long time – we weren’t used to having to answer to anybody else or to share a living space with another person”.

Talking about how devoted they are to each other, Linda said something that resonated with me, and I suspect that it will with many couples without children. She said: “We haven’t had children, so it’s easy to focus on one other person”. This is one of the many perks of not having children when you are in a relationship. Your focus is on the two of you and if making the relationship work is what the both of you want, then you have the space to make that happen.

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