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Why Young Lovers Should Hang Out With Older Couples

MsDora is a Certified Christian Counselor. Her views on premarital and marital issues are influenced by her Christian beliefs.

Young couples can learn valuable lessons from their elder counterparts.

Young couples can learn valuable lessons from their elder counterparts.

“Each generation has something to offer the other,” writes Julie Halpert, in her 2018 New York Times article titled, Fostering Connections Between Young and Old. Among other benefits of intergenerational companionship, she reports from a university study that older adults “feel happy, interested, loved, younger and needed,” while younger companions admit that they learn from their elders.

This unique friendship blend of young and old can also benefit careful couples. Of course, we hope for an older married couple with integrity and a younger couple with a good sense of responsibility. We are also not thinking of twice a year visits on special occasions, but regular interaction in which the older couple takes on an informal mentoring role. Here, we point out a few specific benefits for the young couple.

When a young couple preparing for marriage intentionally chooses to become friends with an older couple, they will realize that the venture adds purpose to their individuality as well as to their union. They will learn to show respect and concern for their elders, instead of focusing solely on themselves and their peers. Their kindness toward the older folk will boomerang into the well-being of their own relationship.

The benefits they reap will add to their present joy of togetherness and will impact their lives far into their future. Following are six such benefits:

Those of us who are old need you who are young.

Those of us who are old need you who are young.

1. Low-Cost Activities

Couples in love like to dine out at restaurants, but it costs money. It could be fun and less expensive to share some meals with an older couple. Whether one couple invites the other, or they share the preparation, they could save the maximum portion of what it would cost them to dine at a restaurant and entertain themselves.

They can share movie nights at home together—the older people educating the younger ones on issues from “back in the day” and the younger couple bringing the older one up to date on more recent trends. If they select the DVD from their collection, the only expense for the night would be fresh popcorn.

They could share long rides into scenic areas, display crafts and hobbies, teach their skills to each other among other activities which qualify for quality time. Their schedule for fun and leisure activities could provide more versatility and require less expense than if they only hung out with their peers.

2. Story Telling

Young lovers are interested in how other couples met, and the steps leading from courtship to marriage. Older couples are excited to see young people experiencing the love connection and walking passionately toward a life commitment. Imagine the episodes the couples could trade about first times, about doubts established and then erased, about the incidents that made them determined to persevere with the relationship.

The older couple would have additional stories about the wedding day and night, the marriage years, the struggles and achievements; and would tell them with the intent to empower the young couple to enjoy and hold onto their love. In the process of story-telling, both couples empower themselves to be even more committed to their lives together.

3. Friendly Advice

Premarital counseling is a necessity in the preparation for marriage, and there is an increase in the number of churches and civic authorities who recommend it. In addition to the counsel that young people receive from the professional counselor, they also receive friendly advice from the older couple who illustrate the counseling theories in their marriage.

The older people may illustrate by example, how to control his or her anger instead of initiating a fight with the spouse, how to surrender in an argument even though the surrendered has the better suggestion, how to seek and offer forgiveness. They may also give verbal advice and answer questions the young people ask. In the company of the older people, the young couple receives free advice both by precept and example.

4. Secrets of Success

Every couple has some “secrets” which they think help them endure and enjoy the marriage. Although no two unions are exactly similar, and all strategies do not work the same for everyone, it helps to hear what each couple highlights.

The young couple will gain new insight every time older couples explain and illustrate their secrets. A secret like Mitch Temple’s on Focus on the Family will make a lasting impression. “The grass is greenest where you water it.” There are many more impactful secrets to be shared by older couples who invest in mentoring the young.

5. Up Close Reality

Much fantasy abounds in the premarital stage of the young lover’s journey. In companionship with an established married couple, they hear about and see the attitude changes that could occur after the honeymoon, the compromises that have to be made between individual and family preferences, the financial adjustments that come with progressing from single to married life. They may read and receive counsel about these and other important matters, but seeing it up close and having it explained within a friendly hangout can only enhance their wisdom.

The memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart.

The memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart.

6. Good Memories

The purpose of the friendship between the young and the old is partly for them to share positive memories which will enrich their lives as couples. Not that they have to remain in a party mood forever, but that they help each other find the rainbow in cloudy situations. As important as the memory of the activities, is the memory of the people themselves.

One of my unforgettable memories from watching an older couple, is remembering how attentive the husband was to his wife in a wheelchair; how he always made an effort to position the chair where she could have the best view, how committed and happy he was to know that she was comfortable, how her sense of safety peaked whenever he was around. They made marriage seem like the perfect road on which to find joyful companionship. That memory still nurtures my faith in marriage.

The incidents the couple will like to remember can be chronicled in their love-story journal. At opportune moments in their married life, these stories will become positive references in their less-than-ideal circumstances which both newlyweds and older couples may experience. These memories will create smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts when they remember together.

© 2019 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 15, 2019:

Antonio, your comment is very kind. I thank God for my talent, and I thank you for your encouragement.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 14, 2019:

Denise, thanks for sharing the benefits of friendship between older and younger couples. Not until I prepared for this article did I realize how many people are experiencing and enjoying such relationships.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on August 14, 2019:

It is a beautiful scenario when a younger couple seeks out or is mentored by an older couple. My husband and I have fond memories of couples we have know throughout the years that gave us good examples in how to treat each other and create positive family memories. As we have developed friendships with younger couples, we have been able to have similar experiences.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 09, 2019:

Mary, wishing lots of fun to both the older and younger ones. The community needs more grandparents like you two.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 09, 2019:

Linda, your comment is gracious and encouraging. Thank you.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 08, 2019:

This summer, we have two grandchildren with their girlfriends staying with us at the cottage. We hang out with them and share ideas, play games and water sports and the interaction helps us older ones as well.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 08, 2019:

You've shared some excellent advice, Dora. I've never thought much about the benefits provided by meetings between a younger and an older couple, but after reading your article I can appreciate the value of the meetings.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 07, 2019:

Eric, you tell me! Thanks for sharing. Gabe will gather so much wisdom from the elders, his peers will not be able to keep up with him.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 07, 2019:

Mike, thanks for affirming that there are benefits to be gained from speaking with elders. Benefits that lasts through decades of marriage are priceless. Thanks for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 07, 2019:

Pastor Bill, what a nice thing to say. Thanks to you, and thanks to God who gives me the ability.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 07, 2019:

Dora just thought I would drop a note. Gabe and I did that old cliche' thing of playing chess in the bay park with very old gents yesterday. How fun are old people?

Readmikenow on August 07, 2019:

When I was first married, a relative who had been married for several decades told me "When your wife makes you angry or hurts your feeling, and it will happen, talk about it, forgive and forget about it. Put it in an emotional lock box, put it behind you and forget about it. Don't let the past influence your present or future with your wife." That was wisdom that has served me when for decades of marriage. Good article.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on August 07, 2019:

More thoughtful and interesting thoughts from the pen of MsDora.Loved the quotes with the pictures as well. You always give us something to grow on. Thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 07, 2019:

Well said, Flourish. "Yours may be the only real life example the [young] couple truly knows." What an opportunity to influence their lives for good.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 06, 2019:

You never know who looks up to you as a role model and seeks to emulate your behavior. It’s lovely to try to provide that mentoring to another couple. Many people have not come from stable home environments or family situations involving long and happy marriages. If you have a solid and successful marriage, yours may be the only real life example the couple truly knows.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 06, 2019:

Thanks, Sean. I appreciate your kind sentiments. I know that we're on a similar path.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on August 06, 2019:

My dear Sister, you always write on the right basis, Love and Serving! Therefore, your articles are helpful for anyone who read them! You are a true Channel of Him! Gratitude for another gem.

I wish you always to chose Love's way!

Sean

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 06, 2019:

Thanks, Antonio. The idea of older people as chaperones is an old-school but very sensible idea. It would be very accepting to the young couple if they have developed respect and friendliness toward the older folk.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 06, 2019:

Thanks, Marie. The relationship between the young and the old, and any relationship for that matter, will be more beneficial if each individual realizes his or her own worth. That's true.

Antonio50S on August 06, 2019:

Read this. Very relevant. Next time Young Lovers are in the company of "Older Couples" try not to focus on the "Wrinkles" or we will miss all that Wisdom :) Older Couples also learn from young ones as to.

I always liked the idea of "Shaperones" as well, knowing someone was looking over your shoulder making sure all went well before a marriadge, and couples that went along with this arrangment must have felt older ones were watching over them for their good.

Also liked the quote boxes very much as well.

Great article & subject, well written.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on August 06, 2019:

Not having read the entire article, I applaud the wisdom of spending time nourishing good relationships. May I also suggest the importance of loving oneself and holding onto that feeling of peace and love? Doing so sets up the opportunity to attract those with these attributes.

Thank you, Dora!

Antonio50S on August 05, 2019:

I haven't read this yet, but i just know it's going to be good by the very "title" itself.

Just a couple of days ago i was talking to my past afffiliation with a group of people in the City, and being a little comical :) i asked the question "what is truth" ?

Straight away i was told Pilate asked that question, which i responded, Yes, but not in a cynical way as you keep implying if you read the whole passage and "text"

To me dora, this is what TRUTH is now, these very relevant and "TIMELESS " truths/subjects you write about. You have a "Talent" forgot you was a counselor & teacher :) You MsDora is a Diamond.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

Eric, you're the best. Your love and respect for your family and for the aged (among others) are contagious. Thanks for being the positive example you are!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 05, 2019:

Dora I just clipped some roses. My bride gave me the eye and a nod of the head to take them to Missy Alice. We do not count but good on 94 years old. My wife does that. We went on for an hour. Who has that kind of time? Well in my well, who does not. I will be working into the night to catch up. More on this later.

Thank you for waking me back up. I am age to some, and some are age to me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

"Subtle mentoring" is the best kind. You're undertaking a very worthy venture by mentoring that young couple. Keep up the good work.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

Lori, despite our divorces, our marriage experience counts. We still have interest in seeing our young people walk through life joyfully and successfully. Glad that your son recognizes that. Happy too about the required premarital counseling in your area.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

Liz, I agree that the older folk have lots to teach. The younger people are missing out on much unless they begin to appreciate the value of their elders.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

Eric, you have the best of both worlds. Hanging out with both young and old, you are better able to relate to both.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

Bill, even if the young people don't hear from you, they are watching and learning. Perhaps they don't ask because they get the answer, anyway.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

Thanks Pam. I'm sure the grand kids and their partners are happy to have you spending time with them, and in the process they learn some of the old values. Good deal!

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on August 05, 2019:

This is a great article, Ms. Dora. My wife and I both had older couples as friends before we married. There was subtle mentoring going on we recognize now. Such as: how to save money, enjoyu each other's vibe when just sitting around, how to work out bills, etc. Your article is great for younger people, and probably give older couples more to think about. We have a younger couple under our wings right now. Great work.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on August 05, 2019:

Dora, you are so good at choosing unique topics. This was chockfull of wisdom. It is so common that young couples in their 20s, maybe even 30s would think the ways of the seniors in regard to love and marriage are old fashioned and outdated. I watched the video which was very interesting. The three day rule raised some eyebrows for the older couple. And they looked totally bewildered when the couple was trying to tell them how they met using their phones. Then when the older couple told their opinion on sleeping together before marriage the young couple suddenly sobered.

I think premarital counseling should be mandatory. In my community, all the pastors have committed to premarital counseling. So if they choose a minister who insists on counseling and they don't want it, when they try another minister they will meet with the same requirement.

There is so much here to consider. I am divorced, but not until 25 years of marriage. Years of abuse and infidelity finally tipped me over the edge. However, I still feel I have a lot of wisdom to offer young couples, particularly in the category "What not to do." One of my sons calls me for advice on his love life. Before the call is over he tells me it's really not that bad. Then he'll call again a week or two later for more advice. He never takes it so I realized he just wants to talk it out with his mom. I think part of the problem is I talk about responsibility - a terrible word to many young people. I do hope that there will be more efforts for young and older couples to share their journeys and learn from one another.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 05, 2019:

This is a great article. Now I look back, I realise how much we learnt from other couples older than us. I still appreciate meeting up with those older than us and picking up tips.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 05, 2019:

Wonderful and wonderful and more wonderful. I had to slow down and meditate on this and the pure joys in my heart from "grandmas and grandpas". I was the thirty year old who would still sit at the feet of one of my elder Champions.

Both of my wives have been totally irreverent toward our parents and indeed grandparents. The teachers seem to just love it. All in love and respect.

I interview Octogenarians plus for a "living". (I call it a living for it is the best of living).

And now the younger are including me in their lives - what God secured goodness.

Thank you. Tearing up a bit.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 05, 2019:

I won't give advice unless it is asked for. Amazingly, very few people ask for it. lol Perhaps that says something. :) Loved the spirit of this article, Dora! There is much to learn from all of us, me thinks.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 05, 2019:

I think you made so many excellent points for young couples to spend time with older ones. It really benefits both couples, as I love spending time with my grandchildren and their mates or soon to be mates.

You have written such a thorough article explaining so many important aspects for young couples to seek advice from older ones. Have a good week, Ms Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 05, 2019:

Thanks, Louise. I have always loves the company of older folks. Wish more young people would take advantage of the benefits.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on August 05, 2019:

I think there's a lot to gain from spending time with older people. Young people can learn so much from spending time in their company.