Mastering the Beginnings of Relationships in Old Age

A new love without a new life
Mastering the Beginnings of Relationships in Old Age

At the age of 66, life begins. Sounds good, but it’s only half true. After all, you already have a few years under your belt – often several relationships. How can new love work?

Life has been going on for a while. However, your partner may already be dead or previous relationships may have broken down. According to the Federal Statistical Office, every third person over the age of 65 lives without a partner.

But what if you don’t want it to stay that way? When can you imagine, even in old age, letting someone come back into your life – and even meet them?

Bonding varies with age

So first of all you have to deal with your expectations. Because: “Some things are different in aging,” says Dorothy Doering. The trained teacher, born at 49, not only wrote a book about finding a partner in old age. But also one about how teamwork works.

“You’re not as spontaneous and relaxed as you were when you were young,” she says. After all, you have legacy problems from past relationships. And: “Especially as you get older, you don’t want to make any more mistakes, because you want to learn from the mistakes.”

So cool at the beginning of a relationship instead of butterflies in your stomach? For qualified psychologist and systemic family therapist Matthias Richter, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Create free time together

Says the 66-year-old who is married for a second time. “Can you imagine facing the challenges of aging together? Whether there are common interests.”

Even if it seemed to some people that one should not let too much time pass in old age, one should find out in peace. about joint ventures. “Because at that age, it’s increasingly about spending free time together,” Richter says. “Of course the interests have to be proportional to some extent.”

Everyone comes with scratches and quirks

Above all, however, one should not expect to “find someone who came out of a previous life without scratches and quirks,” Richter says. Or the other person will change drastically. Instead, better show: “Can I also live with the darker side of my chosen side?”

According to Richter, before moving in together, you should think carefully about what you expect from each other. And try on mannequins in advance, living in one person’s apartment and then the other, if possible. “Because it is very difficult to reverse the movement once it is complete, given the current situation in the housing market.”

Speak – give space

So the motto: approach the new ‘we’ step by step. This also applies to the family and friendly environment of the new partner.

For example, existing friendships should continue to be given space, say for joint projects or trips — even without one yourself, according to Richter.

And anyone hoping to bring the environment in question to one table on public holidays and birthdays should be prepared to bid farewell to some of the usual rituals. You can sit down and develop a new concept together, says Döring: “We’ve done it this way and that so far. How did you do it? And how do we do it in the future?”

In general: talk to each other. This should also be the recipe for success par excellence for relationships in old age. Whoever succeeds in this probably cannot expect a whole new life from a new love. But: “You can design or do things your own way,” says Döring. “Or set other priorities or live out what was previously neglected.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220801-99-234728 / 3


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