Whether you are gay, straight, bi-sexual or just you, you are (hopefully) going to get older. Love and aging are both things that cross every barrier. We all hope to fall in love and spend our time enjoying life with our partner and growing old together is a fantastic gift. But, it’s one that comes with concerns. Things change as we get older, and our love may not always be the same. While it’s important to recognize and prepare for this, it’s more important that we don’t give up on love completely.
While your relationship may change, your love can be very much alive, and even flourish as you age. Here are some top tips to help you look after your relationship as you grow older together.
The key to a close and vibrant relationship at any age is communication. No matter how long you’ve been together when you stop talking, your relationship suffers, and as you start to get older, there may be a lot to talk about.
Firstly, you need to be open and honest about sex. Your sex life could well change as you get older, and you may not stay on the same page. Be open with your partner about any worries you may have. Tell them what you need, as well as what you expect from them.
Other things you need to keep talking about are family, money, and anxieties. Your partner trusts you to confide in them and to be open about everything.
Try New Things Together
One thing many couples worry about is that they will run out of things to talk about once they have been together for a long time. The best way to ensure this never happens is doing things together. Try not to get too set in your ways. Get out there and try things. Learn from younger members of your family, try new hobbies and introduce each other to your old interests.
Of course, what you can do might change as you get older, so think about your body and health and get advice from your doctor if you need it.
Recognize the Importance of Intimacy
Intimacy isn’t all about sex. It’s much more than that, especially in a long-term relationship, when the lust has faded. Intimacy is holding hands, cuddling at night, touching each other while you are sat watching TV, and those little shoulder touches as you walk past each other. It’s physical contact with the person that you love, and it’s perhaps the best way to communicate that love.
It’s important to recognize how important this is, and that it doesn’t end with sex. Most of us have less sex once those exciting first few years have passed, but, as long as other intimacy remains, and you are honest about your needs, your relationship doesn’t have to suffer.
Consider Your Options
At some point, you may have to make some tough decisions. You may find that you are no longer able to look after each other at home and that you need to consider a retirement home. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing that leads to worrying about nursing home abuse. It can be wonderful. There’s certainly no reason to assume that your love life will suffer.
Many retirement and nursing homes will help you to stay together if they can and do as much as they can to help you. Living in a retirement home means that you’ve got people to look after you, new friends to meet and enjoy and a safe home to spend your later years. This could allow you to enjoy yourself, without worries about taking care of your partner or looking after your home.
It’s not just your body that changes as you get older (though, you should certainly expect some considerable changes in that department), your minds will be different too. Your interests will change, you may develop new personality traits and your partner will too. Be open to this. You’re not always going to agree on everything, and you shouldn’t expect to. Embrace differences instead of worrying about them. Learn from each other, have lively debates, be happy with compromise and enjoy it. Life would be boring if we all agreed all of the time.
Keeping your love alive as you get older doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be wonderfully good fun. Embrace the differences, enjoy getting older and enjoy each other. This could be the best time of your life if you let it.