Isabelle Razis

How to celebrate and enjoy Love and sex after 50?

Remember this physical sensation of Love when you were in your 20ies or 30ies? The shivers, the sweat in your palms, the butterflies in the stomach, the heart race, the troubles in sleeping, the lack of appetite, the urge to touch your mate, the desperate need to call every hour, this feeling of euphoria, the search of eye contact and the list goes on … We all remember and we are still longing for that loving feeling. But, as we grow older and live together longer, it wears off. Most couples lose all of it, and others succeed to keep some. If your intention is to keep that loving and wanting to have sex feeling, the good news is that it is possible! 

Start to be more aware of the changes and why they may appear. Try to notice the signs and analyze the reasons. The reasons might be physical. As you grow in age, the hormones change, the levels of energy drop, and you might feel more tired and drained. The problem can be emotional too. If you go through a kind of depression or are sad or anxious, even disappointed with life or your couple, you are less open to true Love and sex. You have the tendency to isolate, to focus on your negative emotions. Hence, not being kind to yourself won’t make you genuinely kind to your mate. 

Once you are more evident with the reasons, open a communication and connection path with your partner. Go and talk with him/her. Even the less communicative person will grab something, a message. Go closer, hold his (her) hand, say I love you, send him (her) a note, think of the things that made you loving years ago, and repeat them somehow. But most importantly, consider the following: you may think you express Love to your significant other regularly, but, do you truly take the time to make sure you are communicating in the way your partner wants to receive it? Take the concept of Dr Gary Chapman, PhD, developed in his book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts“. Which are those unique styles of communicating Love you and your partner are primarily aligned with? Is it “Words of affirmation”, “Quality Time”, “Acts of Service”, “Gifts”, “Touch”? Even Love can sometimes get lost in translation when two partners speak different love languages. Take some action in the right direction, and don’t let this feeling of drowsiness or incapability drag you down. 

That being said, you usually can’t get wrong with touching, and any relationship can be enhanced by more of it. Remember when you couldn’t keep your hands off your mate … ? Make the restart small, holding hands as you walk, a caress here and there, cuddling on the couch and then get more intimate and more often … kissing in different ways, hugging sincerely, and sex, of course. They all serve as powerful emotional connectors. “People … feel appreciated when they are hugged, kissed, or cuddled. They value the feeling of warmth and comfort that comes with physical touch,” says couples’ psychotherapist Fariha Mahmud-Syed, MFT, CFLE. The roots go back to our childhood; some people only felt deep affection and Love from their parents when held, kissed, or touched. So touch each other more often and put variety in your touching. In the morning, after work, when going to bed. The good news is that the habit comes back once you restart, and the passion has more chances to be born again!

No doubt that sexual contact and intimacy are not the most important, but vital to hold the couple bonded, connected and healthy. Sometimes throughout the years and for many different reasons, couples lose this part of their connection and sexual intimacy. It could be physical or mental reasons, as stated above, hormonal deficiency, a bad experience or a conflict in the couple or simply boredom and a lack of excitement. 

Some suggestions to repair this lost connection include:

  • Change your attitude towards sex. Sex is healthy, and if you have negative feelings about it, try to go back to the cause. Educate yourself about it, and reframe it.
  • Talk about sex with your partner. Share with each other what you enjoy the most. Information is crucial. You are not supposed to be mind-readers. And the fact of talking about it will drive you closer. Accept that what you like or the frequency you need to have sex might not be compatible with your mate’s preferences. That’s absolutely fine, and both of you can enjoy it by finding a compromise!
  • Intercourse is not the ultimate goal. There is no pressure to have sex, and if not tonight, it might be tomorrow. And anyway, the expression of Love can take various physical forms and not only need to be the means to an end. No pressure to have sex.
  • Don’t let yourself go physically. Be concerned about how you look without being obsessed about it. By staying active and aware of your physical appearance, you will not only boost your health, your mood and your self-confidence, but it will also be a sign to your mate that you still care about how he perceives you.
  • Be creative and curious, and get out of your comfort zone. As long as both agree, there are many ways (and places!) to feel desire and enjoy sex. Don’t get stuck in old habits.
  • Get professional and medical advice when needed. There are many ways to help you feel better about sex and Love. 

And as Dr Sue Johnson, clinical psychologist, researcher and author of “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love “says, being reconnected isn’t only about us as individuals. It is a collective affair since “Love has an immense ability to help heal the devastating wounds that life sometimes deals us. Love also enhances our sense of connection to the larger world. Loving responsiveness is the foundation of a truly compassionate, civilized society.”