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Want to Keep Love Alive in Retirement? Try These 8 Senior Dating Tips

On this episode of DETANGLE

Love is everything! No matter how old you are, you have the right to be happy with your loved ones. In case you feel your relationship has lost a bit of its initial spark, don’t worry; I am here to be your guide through this journey! Let’s discover together the recipe for a happy life.

More than anything else, love keeps us alive! 

Retirement is a whole new chapter in our lives, and because of that, everybody is somehow scared of it and its changes. We are more stressed, tense, and afraid about all this uncertainty. This transition might affect our love lives too. If you are married, you’re probably afraid of how you will handle a situation where both of you will be at home 24 hours a day with no specific occupation. Those who are single or widowed are afraid of spending this time alone with nothing to do.

However, in both cases, retirement is going to bring something new into your lives, and it’s going to be hard because nobody prepared us for this reality! No matter which side you are on, in this article we will come up with a few suggestions that will help you improve the way you see the future and, most importantly, how you handle your romantic side of life as well.

photo by Ground Picture from Shutterstock

1. Keep growing and expect the unexpected

We already established that retirement is a time for changes and challenges. But that doesn’t mean you have to be sad or anxious all the time. If you just stopped going to a 9-to-5 job and now you have way too much time on your hands and you don’t know what to do with it, start slowly by catching up with a hobby you’ve always wanted to do.

If you are married, you will see that sharing a space 24 hours a day with somebody might be overwhelming, but let me tell you something: the happiest people who still love and respect their spouses or partners are those who get out of their comfort zones by pushing themselves to do new things.

And these things can be done either independently or as a couple. Let yourself explore more than ever, because now you also have the time for it. And if you’re ready to go on the dating scene, start slowly and expect nothing. Try and have fun!

2. Share your visions about retirement

You might be planning years of travel and adventure, while your partner or spouse may be planning on resting at home, engaging in gardening, or choosing any other pastime that can be easily pursued in the comfort of a home. It’s important to discuss things like how much time you plan to spend traveling or with your children and grandchildren.

Maybe you are not on the same page anymore, or maybe you can compromise on things and do things separately from time to time. Remember that in any situation, communication is key!

3. Make early plans

No matter if you just started dating or you’re married, discussing financial issues is crucial for any relationship. Aside from love and mutual respect, there are some other things that maintain a healthy connection. Plan everything accordingly, but always take into consideration what your significant other wants. You want to relocate? Or do you want to get a part-time job? These things must be discussed long before retirement comes for both of us.

Prepare your budget; see how much income you’re going to need for households, medical care, and any other basic necessities.

Believe it or not, but a relationship may be put under a lot of stress if you enter retirement without thinking about what will be waiting for you the day following your retirement party. Start early with your planning and talk about your expectations for retirement.

If retirement is slowly approaching and you’re a bit scared about this thought, I have a delightful and light reading recommendation for you! 101 Fun Things to Do in Retirement is one of my favorite books. It cheered me up when I first read it, and it had the same effect when I read it again. It’s available for both Kindle and paperback!

4. Pursue some of your own interests and maintain some separate friendships

Having separate friends and still having a healthy love relationship is possible, even after retirement! It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single and open to making new connections; you should also have social circles that don’t include your partner. We all deserve some time off to hang out with our friends and do stuff that you don’t usually do as a couple. A “girls’ night” or a “beer with the boys” will do so much good for both of you. Consider this: spend time apart and by the end of the day you can gossip together about how it was.

5. Go on a date more often!

This is definitely applicable in both cases! Married or not, retirement is probably the perfect “excuse” to go on dates more often. When you both worked, time was probably limited, and days were split between going to work and then cooking for dinner or another day.

To ignite a spark between you two and teach you that time spent together should not be taken for granted (this is for all the married couples out there), start planning date nights two or three times a week. It’s not necessary to go to fancy, expensive restaurants. You can order something you both love or cook your favorite food together. This will also bring you closer and strengthen the connection between you!

How many times do you show your partner you love him? And how do you do that? Tell us in the comments.

love, retirement
photo by BUNDITINAY from Shutterstock

6. Know yourself

This advice is definitely for all the single seniors eager to find someone with whom they can share and love their golden years. And one of the main benefits of falling in love later in life is that you are more self-aware and less prone to compromising on your values than younger people. According to experts, decades beyond the typical age of first marriage, more older folks than ever are living out their own “happily ever afters” (30 for men and 28 for women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau).

Before dating again, start knowing yourself. Set boundaries and know what you want and what you don’t want in your life anymore. You can be happy again, even if it seems a bit difficult in the beginning.

7. Don’t put problems off

When you’re dealing with a huge amount of stress, your communication skills begin to fade. As a result, many retirees face numerous conflicts. Some of them are blaming their partner for all the bad things that happened, starting with finances, household matters, and even the relationship they have with their kids.

The best way to handle personal issues in your relationship is to develop mature communication skills and skills for solving conflicts that might arise. It’s the capacity to express your ideas, worries, wishes, ambitions, and expectations. While for some seniors these things come naturally, for others it might be a little bit difficult, especially if their mindset was completely different before retirement.

Remember to put kindness into the words you speak. What matters most in your relationship, and how is it going to change during your golden years? Nobody said love would be easy, but it’s totally worth it!

8. Expect an adjustment period after you retire

As a conclusion, keep in mind that retirement is a challenge for everybody. A lot of people are confused and emotional after leaving the workforce, and you will need some time (weeks or months, depending on how you are as a person) to get used to all the life changes.

Particularly if you and your spouse retire at different dates, your spouse’s adjustment will likely be different. It will be beneficial if you share your love and emotions with each other and give each other enough time and space to get used to being retired.

When a lot of things change simultaneously in your life during retirement, it can be difficult to process everything all at once. That’s why it is very important that you and your partner work together to design the perfect life that you’ll both love!

How often do you talk with your significant other about retirement? Are you on the same page or do you have different opinions? Tell us in the comments.

If you’re concerned about your love life in retirement, you might also want to read this article: 6 Myths About Intimacy in Retirement

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