Keeping the Fire in Your Relationships at Midlife
Updated: Jan 10, 2020
The aging process can be an intense journey for most women. The realities of the changes that occur to our physical and mental bodies seem to bang us over the head reminding us -we’re not young anymore, we don’t “work” the same as we did before and we’re washed up!
Fears about how we’ll maintain, enjoy and keep the fires burning in our partnerships are up front and center in our minds! To top it off, the little scary voices in our heads are pressuring us to redefine our selves and our relationships pronto, lest we run the risk of losing both!
In her book “How We Love Now, Women Talk About Intimacy After 50, Suzanne Braun Levine interviewed hundreds of women in person and thousands on line to find that women in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s are “defining a new love narrative. Whether they are already experiencing intimacy-and great sex!-or longing to, these women are also discovering unparalleled freedom and joy.”
"The kind of intimacy-the New Intimacy-women are experiencing now is most definitely about loving. It involves vulnerability and boundaries. It always involves trust, and sometimes lust. Camaraderie and humor play a part. Empathy is essential, as are acceptance and respect. Shared experiences and values are more important then we might think. Chemistry doesn’t disappear with maturity, it takes on more forms—"
We asked the women in our Circle how they've stoked the fires of their partnerships in midlife or “Second Adulthood”. Here are their thoughts:
We need to ask ourselves what we want to age into? Marriage has a soul and we need to actively think about how we want to feed it in order to reap the benefits
Make an effort to “find yourself first” and figure out what makes you happy, before you can attend to your partnership
Explore what makes you feel relevant
Think about redefining what love and intimacy means to you in midlife and make some changes accordingly
Work with your partner to see if there’s a shared commitment to the “new” and exploring different areas of pleasure, fulfillment and experiences
Use humor about the aging process to come together with your partner
Respect that the journey and the process is different for everyone--let go of control over your partner
Share your passions with your partner! Let that joy lead you to remember your past shared memories
Push the pause button on your to do list! Set aside time to nurture your relationship and maintain connection
Be creative and tap in to how you "feed your play” instinct
Use visualization to create what you’re desiring in your mind—actively changing your thoughts to better feeling ones, to help transform your relationship
Explore new ways of creating and finding intimacy
Create relationship rituals and dates
Ask your friends to give you some “perspective” about your partnership when you’re feeling like you’re in a negative place
Remember that sharing experiences with your partner—the good and the bad—is a powerful relationship connector
Break your old patterns and try new ones—Sex instead of dinner? New lingerie? A new date destination?
A good morning hug and kiss works wonders
Related and inspiring books and articles:
How We Love Now, Women Talk About Intimacy After 50, by Suzanne Braun Levine, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ERIJDY/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
Inventing the Rest of Our Lives, by Suzanne Braun Levine, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OVLIRY/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
50 Is the New Fifty by Suzanne Braun Levine, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001SCK72U/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being, by Dr. Christiane Northrup, https://www.amazon.com/Goddesses-Never-Age-Prescription-Well-Being/dp/B00T8582UI
You May Want to Marry My Husband, by Amy Krause Rosenthal, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/style/modern-love-you-may-want-to-marry-my-husband.html
Have you been able to redefine and re-juice your relationship? Have you been successful in your existing relationship or have you changed partners? Have you found use of the Internet to be helpful?
We’d love you to join the conversation below to help others with their struggles and questions!