Romance After 65

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By Martie Cruz 

 

Not everyone is interested in dating later in life, but those who do often worry how their families will react. And, with good reason. It can be pretty shocking when our parents or grandparents casually mention they have a Valentine, or bring a special friend to family dinner.

 

Some reasons people are uncomfortable with an older loved one embarking on a new romance include:

  • The "you're-not-my-parent" syndrome: We may know intellectually that this new person is not a replacement for a deceased or divorced parent, but it's still a tough emotional hurdle to overcome
  • Jealousy: Sometimes it's hard to accept that there's a new person getting all your parent's attention
  • Concern for safety or emotional well-being: Who is this new person and do they have your parent's best interest at heart?

 

These are all valid feelings, but they shouldn't get in the way of any potential happiness your parent might have. In fact, points one and two have a lot more to do with the adult child than the parent. Our website offers many resources for working through these issues, while still showing your support for your parent.

 

However, it is important to be wary if your loved one is recklessly serial dating, has a history of being taken advantage of in relationships, is struggling with dementia, or has a financial situation that could make them vulnerable. In these cases, here are a few precautions you can take:

 

  • Ask to meet any paramours and spend some time chatting with them.
  • Trust your instincts, but don't act too rashly: If you're suspicious, use it as a reason to get to know the person better and monitor more closely. But try to avoid taking a hard line right off the bat, as it may push your loved one further into the relationship.
  • Encourage your senior to protect their assets appropriately
  • Ask neighbors and friends of your loved one if they have any concerns, and to let you know if they see anything off
  • Keep your loved one talking about their relationship so that you can look for red flags

For more information about the health and well-being of older adults, please contact us.

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