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Although movies and TV shows rarely do a good job of highlighting romance at all ages, senior adults are just as eager for love as adults of other age groups. In fact, romance can boost your overall perception of happiness.
A study from Cambridge University revealed that older adults between the age of 50-89 who fostered emotional closeness and participated in intimate activities reported a higher quality of life. When you place importance on your romantic relationships, you are actually making a health-conscious choice.
Why It’s Important for Seniors to Experience Love and Romance
Your needs and desires might present differently as an older adult, but seniors still crave love, affection, and sensuality in their lives. Mature love and connection are not necessarily similar to the passionate rollercoaster of youthful romances, but these experiences are an important part of your overall well-being. Loneliness is a health issue. As social creatures, we need emotional and physical connection. Cultivating love and romance can help you create life-enriching relationships and companionship in your golden years.
How to Initiate or Maintain Connection in Your Life
If you’re retired, you have a lot more unstructured time available. Use that time to nurture the emotional connections in your life.
This article isn’t just for seniors who want to make new connections. You might be wondering how to amp up your decades-long marriage, too. Love and romance should still be a priority no matter how long you have been together.
Let’s take a look at how you can make new connections and maintain long-term connections.
Making New Connections
Many elderly people are comfortable in their own skin. What a gift! As you start to feel more interested in dating, seek out people, dates, and connections that make you feel like yourself.
Some tips for making new connections include:
- Join a club or volunteer group. You’ll connect with people who have similar interests to you already. This is a great jumping-off point for forming deeper connections.
- If you feel comfortable, let your friends and family know you want to meet new people. Your loved ones can connect you with other older adults looking for love and romance. Plus, your loved ones know you well and should be able to recommend partners who would complement you nicely.
- Use senior-specific dating sites. Exercise caution when making connections online. Not everyone is who they say they are, and you can weed out many people with a simple Google search to confirm their identity.
- Meet new people in public spaces. This tip is especially important if you met this person online. For your own safety, you should plan to have the first few dates in public.
- Make friends first. Enter each new date with the hope of making a new friend. If it doesn’t turn out to be a romantic connection, then you have a new platonic relationship to enjoy.
- Be clear about what you want and need. This is important not only for your own search, but to be able to communicate it to the new people you will meet.
The opportunity to make new connections might have come at the cost of losing a beloved spouse. If this applies to you and you are finding it difficult to connect, consider reaching out to a mental health professional, grief support group, or using a widower-specific dating site.
Maintaining Long-Term Connections
If you and your partner have been married for many years, it’s normal to reach a stage of stagnancy, or even boredom. The light of early passion and chaos of raising children may have faded away. On the bright side, you get to explore this new life chapter together and decide exactly how you both want it to look.
Maintaining a long-term connection with your loved one could include:
- Making a bucket list together. Write down things you’ve always wanted to do, and try to do one activity together every month or two.
- Setting time aside each week for a relationship check-in. Talk about what you need from your partner that week and hear about what they need from you. This will help you mitigate conflict.
- Planning a surprise getaway for you and your partner. Think outside the box and you’ll likely create a totally new memory for the two of you to share.
- Trying something new in your intimate life.
- Integrating hugs, kisses, and snuggles into your everyday interactions. These acts of intimacy will re-connect the two of you and maintain a sense of closeness.
- Taking some time to yourself. Does this sound counterintuitive? It might! However, you and your partner could both benefit from taking time each week to do solo activities. Spend time with other friends and family or practice a personal hobby.
- Expressing love regularly. Over time, the instinct to regularly say “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” or even, “thank you” might fade. Intentionally tell your partner how much you appreciate them throughout the day.