Do you know an older couple whose relationship still has the romantic spark it did when they were younger? They hold hands, cuddle and coo and even kiss each other passionately in public.
Then there are those over the age of 60 whose coupling has evolved into a more platonic relationship. They still like each other, but may sleep in separate bedrooms or even live apart.
It’s easy to be jealous of the gray-haired lovebirds but is a platonic relationship really a bad thing?
The dictionary defines the word platonic as a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex. There are various reasons that a once fiery romance gets squelched. Contributing factors may include a physical condition caused by disease, erectile dysfunction or simply a consensual lack of desire.
As we age, our bodies change both physically and emotionally. After menopause, many women lose their desire for sex but, in some cases, it’s the male who has the issue. Even though the romantic part of the relationship has faded, a platonic relationship or cohabitation can be beneficial to both parties.
If you don’t have a sufficient nest egg or a steady stream of retirement income and your partner can provide financial help, being in a relationship relieves a tremendous amount of stress. Your relationship becomes one of convenience. Stress kills Baby Boomers and seniors every day.
Financial stress is particularly frustrating because it’s harder to find a job as you get older. When the financial burden is lifted, even temporarily, it gives you time to save up for the future or start your own business.
When you’re living alone anything can happen, especially after 60. You could trip, faint or even have a heart attack. It’s safer to have someone around in case of an emergency or to simply help you change a lightbulb.
Going to events, eating at restaurants or traveling is often awkward when you’re alone. That’s not to say there’s anything bad about going solo. I love being on my own and enjoy having space to myself. But in certain situations, going solo may not be as enjoyable and it’s always nice to be able to share your experiences with someone else.
For some women, dating is exciting, but for others it’s petrifying. Leaving a comfortable platonic relationship for a romantic one is a crap shoot. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out and it may not work. It all depends on how important the idea of romance is as opposed to being in a relationship that offers friendship and security.
On the other hand, a platonic relationship can be based on the understanding that you have the freedom to seek out a more fulfilling relationship if it happens to come along. This may seem flippant to a traditionalist, but as someone whose husband died at the age of 49, anything can happen in life and you must be prepared to adapt, especially if you’re a woman.
Everyone deserves to have love and affection. A platonic relationship may feel like a cop-out because it hinders you from experiencing deep and passionate love. Concerned relatives and friends may feel you deserve more and give you push-back. They’ll ask why you’re selling yourself short. It’s something to ponder.
Is a romantic relationship important to you, or is a friendly platonic relationship all you need? What benefits and drawbacks would you add to the list? Please join the conversation.
Tags Marriage After 60
My partner is not romantic, he doesn’t agree with buying flowers, nor does he want me paying less than 50% of the bills, even though he earns three times more than me
Ive been with my partner for 17 years, its mostly been a relationship of financial convenience. We stopped having sex around two years after we got together, mostly through his hangups. For many years, I felt like I short changed myself and I felt angry and resentful about the situation and toward him.
We both had lots of counselling, although it didnt change the situation it made it easier for me to understand things and be alright staying in the relationship for reasons other than sex.
Ive learned a lot about myself along with my own short comings and limitations in a relationship and what I can and cant do and who I can and can’t be.
I can understand where you are coming from, Annette. I was in a similar situation. You learn to appreciate the good things and work toward your own happiness.