Ageless Romance: More Retirees are Finding or Keeping Love Alive

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Thanks to longer life expectancy, and a wider social network, more senior citizens are finding love later in life. According to the AARP, more people in their 60's, 70's, and 80's are getting re-married after death or divorce later in life. (July 29th: Sex and relationship therapist, Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, has suggestions for couples wanting to keep romance alive later in life.

As people live longer, divorce becomes more common, and social networks expand, more and more people are re-marrying later in life. A study from the University of Missouri shows about 500,000 Americans age 65 and older remarry each year (July 29th:, and New York Magazine reports that sex and love is alive and well in retirement communities ( Relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil says that there are specific tips retirees should follow to keep the romance alive in their relationship, as well as advice that is fitting for a healthy relationship no matter what age!

Whether on a first marriage, or a remarriage, Dr. Bonnie points out that "as people get older, and they often become more stubborn and have less patience, they are less apt to want to work on a relationship." This can present challenges to marriages that occur later in life. To this end, Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue to help couples stay happy and healthy in their golden years. "These skills are good for any relationship, but especially important when a couple is perhaps a bit set in their ways!"

Dr. Bonnie's Smart Heart Skills provide a place where each person can express any frustrations or concerns in a constructive manner. She suggests couples check in with each other on any issues they face once a week for ten minutes or so. "Share any needs about connection, disconnection, and feelings that arise around these needs," instructs Dr. Bonnie.

And because couples who re-marry later in life are often comfortable being on their own and value their independence, Dr. Bonnie encourages couples to start out giving each other space even before the other person asks. "Women, encourage your husband to go on that hunting trip, to catch a ball game with the guys. And men, make sure your wives take a girls' night on a regular basis, or have time to work on a hobby they enjoy." These "mini brushes with death" are useful for both parties. They rejuvenate the person who's taking the break, and they make the other partner appreciate them and look forward to the time when they'll be together again instead of being frightened by the time apart.

Love at any age takes commitment and work; unique issues arise with remarriages later in life, but with the right skills and a little flexibility Dr. Bonnie says "ageless romances" can be quite successful!

Dr. Bonnie talks more about these skills in her book, Make Up Don't Break Up, as well as in this video:

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