Is there still romance in your life?
Are there problems in your love relationship?
Do you ever feel that your romantic relationships could be improved?
Has the romance gone?
Do you want a new romance?
Do you want to release a destructive relationship?
Thinking of mature dating?
Getting married – again?
Our idealised notion of a romantic love relationship is actually the biggest enemy of long-lasting connections.
The myth about romantic love is that there is someone out there with whom your life will be complete, and conversely, without whom your life would be a half-life. A major task of modern life is, therefore, to find this person and, falling in love, to cease to be two and become one.
It is hard to prove, though I wonder whether such a view of love relationships has become so monstrous in the pressure it puts on couples to find fulfilment in each other, that it actually undermines more relationships than supports them.
It is socially corrosive because it idealises love, rather than understanding that love is made not found. Love is made in the gritty ups and downs of being with someone who is as flawed as you.
It is striking that in loving relationships remarriages appear to work best when the couple have outgrown hyper-romance. A recent review study listed three top success factors: couple consensus; social support; financial stability.
These couples, perhaps having learnt the hard way, are now able to talk rationally about their difficulties, rely on the love of family and friends as well as of their partner, and feel materially grounded, not rushed off their feet.
There are signs that individuals are rejecting the romantic myth. The number of people living on their own has risen by 50% since the mid-1990s. Many report that singleness means they enjoy more freedom and have time for other relationships, like friendship.
Over time the most romantic love relationship tends to become less intense and slip into routine. However it is important to keep that spark alive and not take each other for granted. Or worse, criticise each other in order to score points and feel more powerful. Follow the link to the relationship quiz and evaluate how supportive you and your partner are to each other. link to
How do you and your partner cope when you are suddenly both at home almost all the time? This may be the first time you have had more than a weekend or holiday together since you first got together.
You may have both slipped into patterns of behaviour that worked okay when you had space, however how do you deal with the stranger in the house?
50+ couples cohabitate because marriage in your 50s 60s or older can be a financially complicated nightmare. You both come to this relationship with decades of baggage in the form of children, houses, pensions and accumulated wealth – perhaps. Or one partner has more money than the others, One has children who would be able to inherit from their parent and the other has a cat. One still works, the other doesn't.
In the interest of keeping things simple, they simply move in together, in whichever house is nicer, and come up with a formula for sharing expenses. Why get married, which will only complicate things?
There are just a few reasons for tying the knot once you pass child-bearing ages: Taxes and health being chief among them. Even if you have made a will and agreed what you will leave to your partner it can be much more complicated if you are co-habiting. The total value of the estate may go over into I higher tax bracket if you are not married to each other. If one of you becomes ill the other might not be deemed to be the next of kin and unable to make decisions, or even visit their partner.
Even things like a funeral can be hijacked by the deceased’s family. A friend of mine died last year and although she had lived with her partner for twenty years and they were very much a couple, her mother and brother made all the funeral arrangements as they were next of kin, and my friend’s partner had no say on what would be done, despite having had conversations with my friend about her wishes.
Women are more likely to become bored in a marriage than men, according to a study. The research showed that while men are more likely to be bored with a partner outside of marriage, for those couples who had tied the knot the roles reversed.
For the study, 88 couples were interviewed. Their answers included nearly 70 varying descriptions of boredom!
A second group of people were then given a list of these descriptions and asked which ones they identified with in their own relationships.
A relationship being ‘dull’ was the most commonly picked answer, with lack of fun, lack of conversation and lack of romance also scoring highly.
‘The relationship feels like a chore’ was also a popular pick.
Some complained that the ‘butterflies’ they had once felt in their stomach had vanished, while others felt they were in their partner’s shadow.
A third experiment showed that this check list, or ‘Relational Boredom Scale’ was specific enough to pick out relationship boredom from general boredom or depression.
Below are quick links to pages in this section
Love relationship quiz - how do you rate?
Try the sex and love quiz
Its never too late to be falling in love
Mature dating - how do you get back into the dating game?
Second marriage - views on how to help a second marriage succeed
Love and divorce - without bitterness