Relationships and Intimacy in old age

When it comes to relationships and intimacy, there is no time when things are too late or not appropriate anymore. The way we share intimacy and live our relationships may change, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t carry on sharing our lives or ourselves with someone we love and appreciate.

For elderly people who outlive their previous partner, a new relationship is often the last thing they want for themselves or think they should be allowed to have.

After many years of being with someone, the grief for the beloved can be overwhelming and it can take a long time until the biggest hurt and lonesomeness is overcome. But having loved a previous husband or wife doesn’t necessarily mean that there can never be a new love or special friendship in future life.

Many bereaved people may fear that they are betraying their previous partner when committing to a new relationship, but that doesn’t have to hold true. A new relationship doesn’t mean that the former is forgotten or not appreciated anymore, it might just open a new – and different- space in the heart for someone else too.

The way we form relationships in later stages of our life can be very different to times before. Where beforehand physical attraction, joint dreams and aspirations for life as well as sexuality might have played a bigger role, in later life, common interests, friendship and companionship can be the more important factors for two people finding together.

The way we share and live intimacy and sexuality changes to a great extent too. The focus isn’t so much on performance and satisfaction anymore, but far more on being close and feeling comfortable with each other.

Every couple defines itself, what sexuality means for them, so there is no right or wrong, or things that need to happen or are not allowed to happen anymore. Whatever goes and feels right can be good and satisfying for two people..

There is no reason why elderly people shouldn’t enjoy the physical pleasures of each other, to the extend they are capable and comfortable with.

Finding a new partner or a very special friend after a long time of lonesomeness or after bereaving a previous partner can bring a whole new quality of life.

Many elderly people find new motivation to do things, might develop mew interests with the new partner, and might even feel “fresh wind” and rejuvenation in their lives.