As you retire and move to a new chapter of your life, your relationship can also change. Some marriages end in divorce, but some can thrive in the golden years. It’s probably exciting to know that once you’re both retired, you’ll be able to spend more time with each other and finally get to do what you’ve talked about for years. It’s almost like you’re young again and feeling those first date butterflies. Just as young couples experience a honeymoon phase, retired couples can go through a similar phase when they retire. But, the honeymoon phase usually doesn’t last too long and there are many changes to expect as you both age. Here are some tips to help make the transition to a retired couple and to keep the love alive.
6 Tips for Retired Couples
1. Accept Change
With age comes a lot of change, and it’s important to recognize this. You probably aren’t the same as you were 20 years ago, and neither is your significant other. Retired couples should take the time to recognize changes and to learn about each other. This can further the intimate relationship, as you have grown with your spouse and truly accept who they are and who they are becoming.
It can also be difficult to accept the changes related to health and wellness. One day, your loved one might not be able to do the things you both used to. Be aware that this is likely to happen at some point, and that your life will also change.
2. Squash roommate challenges
When you were both working, it’s likely you had a routine that worked for who does what in the house and when. If walking the dog fit better into your schedule you did that, and maybe your significant other was in charge of feeding the dog. Now that you’re a retired couple and have more free time, these routines might change. If there are issues with completing chores, sit down and discuss a new way to split the chores. If you don’t, you could end up in a fight about who vacuums the carpet better, and that just doesn’t sound fun.
3. Stay physically connected
Many people think that when you get older, your sex life dies and affection decreases. But, that’s not how it should be. If you’re both still able, sex is an important part of a relationship. It’s not the most important factor, but it provides a sense of intimacy that isn’t shared with anyone else. Of course, health related issues will change the way you stay physically connected, but it’s still possible. As a retired couple, both of you will need to put forth the effort to maintain this type of relationship and to work with the changes. As always, remember to practice safe sex!
4. Find new activities to try
With more free time, retired couples often become bored after the first few months or weeks. Sure, it’s nice to sit around and relax for a bit, but not forever. If there’s something that you’re both interested in, try it out. Whether it’s a new hobby or volunteering, it could become an exciting part of your day/week. If you choose to pursue this activity together, it’s a great opportunity to bond even more.
If you choose to try new activities on your own, that’s fine too! Maybe your significant other doesn’t enjoy knitting but you do, and you join a knitting circle. It’s bound to happen that you don’t always appreciate the exact same activities, but it’s still important to pursue hobbies or activities that you enjoy. Plus, spending some time apart can help your relationship as well.
5. Don’t be too stubborn
Everyone that’s in a relationship will experience arguments, and retired couples are no exception. You’ll probably fight over serious matters, and most likely some that you look back on and wonder why you were arguing in the first place. Regardless, don’t be so focused on winning the fight. Learn how to discuss your differences openly and honestly. In the end, even if you still disagree, you’ll hopefully understand and respect the differences.
6. Support each other
Vulnerability comes with dependence, which you and your significant other will experience. It can be difficult to become dependent, and also to be the one that’s depended on. But it’s always reassuring to know that your partner supports you and will be there for you no matter what happens. Even if you both become dependent, the love and belief that the support is there will be a great help.