Love in the Time of Baby Boomers
The heart grows fonder as the years grow longer for the elderly population of the modern world known as Baby Boomers, where internet dating is common practice and love among the older populations is no longer considered a strange or taboo topic. After all, Golden Girls and Boys need no less romance in their lives than the youngsters who proudly strut around with their lovers on their arms. Falling in love, no matter the age, sparks up the brain.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging defines an elderly person as one who is age 65 or older. Normally that means grandmother or grandfather, possibly even a great grandmother or great grandfather, depending on the age at which children were conceived. It could also refer to those who have refused to marry, those who have married but never had children and simply anyone who has the right to retire and enjoy his or her days while being compensated for their years of service to their country.
Can you be deemed too old for love and sex?
Though the young and naive like to imagine that there is no sexuality among the elder generations, a Korean study of late has pointed out the importance of a healthy sexual relationship as one gets older and is faced with more problems. It was found that those who had begun or retained such bonds with their partners had higher self-esteem and fewer health problems, living life to the fullest.
As depicted in the Many Faces of Love, a book looking at romance and related emotions in the lives of seniors (baby boomers for our generation) and the intricacies of societies views concerning it, love never retires, even if half a century has gone by.
How do you stay in love though? Apparently your brain has much to do with it and frequent sex is quite simply the answer, as it activates the part of the brain that normally works overtime when you just start a relationship and newly fall head over heels for that perfect person.
Loneliness is a terrible feeling and elderly are most prone to the harms the situation can cause, including lapsing into depression. A positive relationship of any sort, particularly a romantic one, can alleviate the worst effects of loneliness and give life certain fulfillment, particularly as we age. It can remove the idea that "nobody cares" from the mind of the aging individual, a thought process that plagues most once they pass a certain age.
According to an article on Psychology Today, the top rated elements of successful romantic relationships for the elder generations were honesty, communication, companionship, respect, and positive attitude, whereas for younger adults they were love, communication, trust, attraction and compatibility.
What does a healthy relationship with a partner in old age help with?
- Buffers against physical and psychosocial problems
- Lower stress levels
- Positive self-attitude
- Full self-acceptance
- Alleviates depression
- Soothes Pain
Looking for love as you age is a good thing overall, whether you have been widowed, divorced or simple remained single all your life. It can only do you good, no matter if you have great grandchildren on your knees and hips. It's never too late to be happy. Just ask the golden girls and boys on the internet!
Reference: Journal of Nursing