When a past lover moves into the friend category and remains in contact through Facebook or family occasion or school reunion the memories are fondly recalled. If the separation was not a mutual decision then the baggage content is like a caged snake that could escape any minute and bite the new couple without warning.
If the baggage contains an obituary that could be worse than a caged snake. It would be a hovering cloud that could at any moment turn into a storm as one compare the other with a dead loved one. The human memory is selective and only the good remain, in which case the dead tend to beat the living whose imperfection is clear and current as daylight. One could kill a snake but how does one battle a hurricane.
It has been debated how age should benefit a relationship. Young couples they say lack the maturity to stick to each other. If that were true then it follows that age and more experience should serve the marriage better. Young lovers may be immature and weak but they have their hearts in the right place. The middle aged lovers may have pieces of their hearts left behind as they moved on from every past relationship or the whole heart could be missing like it had been surgically extracted to be buried with the dead loved one.
Are middle aged couples faking affection? Not necessarily, they themselves are possibly unconscious of their internal baggage. (The heart…who can know it...” Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Should middle aged people be resigned to be alone the wealth of memories in the baggage could be good enough companion for the next half of a lifetime.