New relationships in later life

Starting a new relationship is scary enough when you’re young. But if you find yourself dating in later life, it can be like returning empty-handed to some ancient playing field, only to have found that all the rules have changed.

Whether you’re recently separated, bereaved, or have been single for a long time, you may have some worries about starting a new relationship. In this article, we’ll go through some of the common worries late in life daters may have and offer some tips and advice.


Do we want the same thing?

When starting a new relationship, be honest with yourself and your new partner about what you want. You may want something casual, or you may be hoping for something long-term. Discuss your intentions with your new partner, but be prepared that your expectations for the relationship may change over time.


Will sex be the same as it used to be?

Research shows that people who enjoyed having sex throughout their 30s and 40s are more likely to continue an active sex life into later life.

However, it’s important to have your health and wellbeing in mind. Sexually transmitted diseases have doubled among people in their 50s, 60s and 70s [1]. If you’re planning on having sex with a new partner, make sure you discuss contraception methods – you might want to have some condoms handy, just in case!


What about the family?

If you are a parent, you may be concerned about introducing your children to a new partner – even if they are grown up and living away from home.

If you think the relationship is becoming serious, talk to your children and tell them your feelings about your new partner before making an introduction. You might be surprised at how happy your children are to hear that you’re moving on with someone new.

If your children are hesitant, be aware that they are only looking out for you – much in the same way you looked out for them when they were first dating!

Another common concern for older people in new relationships is inheritance. If you and your partner have children from previous relationships, you may decide to keep your assets separate so that you can pass on your inheritance to your own family. Your partner may have a different opinion on this matter, so be sure to discuss this together.



[1] Bodley-Tickell AT, Olowokure B, Bhaduri S, et al. Trends in sexually transmitted infections (other than HIV) in older people: analysis of data from an enhanced surveillance system. Sexually Transmitted Infections 2008; 84:312-317.
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