It is frequently said that you must love yourself before you can love someone else. This bit of wisdom is often given to young adults in search of new love, yet it applies in later stages of life and to relationships that are well established as well.
How does this bit of conventional wisdom relate to empty nesters? Many couples experience a more satisfying sex life and greater marital happiness once their children have left the nest. With increased privacy, and decreased daily parenting responsibilities, that may not seem surprising.
Yet, as reported in the New York Times earlier this year, researchers have found that it is not necessarily the quantity of time couples spend alone together, but the quality of that time which improves marital happiness.
More Free Time, Less Responsibility
When couples are raising children, their focus is primarily on their parental roles. It can be difficult for many parents to relax and truly enjoy date night, or even their own individual interests, without worrying about their children who are at home. This continual focus on parenting causes adults to define themselves as moms and dads more than as individuals.
Once children have moved out and settled into their own adult lives, parents can begin to shift the focus back to themselves.
Like Being in Your 20s Again
This mental transition allows empty nesters to enjoy an improved sex life and an overall more satisfying marriage. As couples are reconnecting with each other and rediscovering their pre-parental selves, relocating to a 55 and older community can be a great way to make the most of this new phase of life.
Why 55+ Communities Help
Active adult communities geared for 55 and older living offer a wide variety of activities in one convenient location. Communities such as The Villages in Florida boast activities to appeal to any personality. Residents can take classes to learn new skills such as knitting, ceramics, woodworking, ballet or ballroom dance. They can take up golf, fishing, pickleball, shuffleboard, bocce, biking, or join one of the community’s many social clubs.
Pickleball is Not a Euphemism
It may seem counterintuitive for couples who want to strengthen their relationship to spend time apart, however that may be just what is needed to sustain an established marriage. Allowing each other the freedom to pursue individual interests brings new vitality to a relationship. Those that love their lives individually are more inclined to love sharing their lives with their partner.
By becoming involved in an active community empty nesters can explore their own personal interests as well as engage in activities together as couples. This can lead to a more satisfying sex life, a happier marriage and a more positive outlook toward life. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle that will maintain the energy needed when the kids, and grandkids, drop in for a visit.