Romance Tips for Older Couples

Updated on February 13, 2020
GoodLady profile image

Penelope was a PR in London in the 70’s, then a Hollywood researcher. She was a freelance magazine journalist and teacher. Now she writes!

Senior Citizens and Romance

It can be very scary launching into romance after years of habitual 'coupledom'. Those sweet kisses, that wonderful late night sex, the romantic compliments and the way you felt about each other's bodies that fueled your love for years at the beginning of your relationship might be sadly filed away in the bottom draw of that chest you never go to. The idea of being 'close' in those romantic familiar ways hasn't crossed your mind for ages. Or has it?

Is it that you've become too embarrassed physically, or too set in those 'older couple' ways to feel romantically inclined once again? You'd like to. Maybe you're stuck in a mold. Both of you.

It doesn't have to stay that way. Being romantic, becoming intimate, feeling your sexual love can go on till we are way into our 90's (sexologists assure us) - because we have those intimate urges and we have those needs.

We could turn a few pages in our daily habits book, if we want to. We could move away from being the parents-to-our teenagers, or the old-fud at the office, the golf leader, or the do-gooder - or whatever it is we see ourselves now, (and do) and we can move onto a new page and enjoy our new older-couple selves. Like thousands of other happily romantic couples we can feel re-fired by each other, again and again.

If that's scary (there's a lot of cobwebs to break through after all), then here are a few tried and tested tips for romance for older couples.

How to Re-Develop Intimacy Ideas

If your partner and you don't have a serious rift between you, so serious that you need outside help, then you can make these moves towards being intimate and comfortable inside your relationship again. They are simple moves for men and women and you don't have to do them intensely. Slowly and gradually is obviously fine and a lot more fun. Anticipation is very romantic.

  • Without masses of preambling conversations, which are killers, you can wisely pick your moment and then simply say one day, "I miss being close with you and so don't be surprised if I plan on doing something romantic with you very soon". And you mean it. You let it go at that.
  • You gradually make fun changes to your wardrobe and hair to renew your looks, remembering what your partner always liked about you.
  • You take special care of your hands and nails.
  • You make some small changes in the bedroom, (a new throw cushion, some candles or scents) or, if you are a man, bring flowers and chocolates home, or send them.
  • You change the way you spend your evenings in small ways; either you suggest going out, or you suggest having food sent in, or you eat in another room, or you make different food - and if it doesn't go down well, then make fun of it.
  • Go to the movies, dress up for the occasion. Chose fun movies or romantic comedies, or even erotic ones.
  • Socialize a little with people you really like.

And last but not least - and for men and women:

  • Take a class in something new and physical such as the Tango, Belly Dancing or Ballroom Dancing. Take it separately, or together! No big deal!

These are the mini steps of change that are actually maxi steps because to do any of those things means re-thinking your priorities each day. Instead of making the usual list of things to do, you're now putting things on the list that are for just for you, for romance and for your love. About time too! They always used to come first.

Special Romance Ideas Away from Home

A break from everything that is familiar is a challenge. Challenges bring out different responses in each of us which are bound to be Interesting. That's good.

Late in life, we tend to admit that we can do without more challenges! We don't feel we need them any more (and we are quite entitled to this!) because we have "been there, done that and wear the T shirt". Certainly if someone offered me the chance to sit quietly and read a book, or run round the block three times, I know which one I'd chose and it isn't running anywhere.

Unchallenged however, we get soft - and that's a problem. Here are some left side romance tips for older couples to strengthen up and show some muscle (or something).

Instead of going on those predictable genteel holiday weekends at country inns, or on the beaches of the Seychelles, or to the theater in New York for a romantic getaway, which would be wonderful, why not go on a journey to throw all your marbles up in the air and see where they come down - together.

The reasoning behind accepting such a challenge (such as any of the chosen holiday ideas in the link on the right) is because the situations are unpredictable.

Unpredictable means you'll need to tap into aspects of our personalities you've maybe left dormant for some time, and re-learn who you are (or were). They'll get you going again. And if the experience isn't a great success, well, at least coming home again will be fantastic. (Oh, you can go to New York too if you want!)

What you want is some vitalizing fresh air rammed into your possibly otherwise complacent life that's so filled with habits that you've become without oomph. Get the oomph going and its fun again. There's the true adage "When you smile the whole world smiles with you".

Fun breaks the ice and a kiss is easier

Try kissing anyway, soft little kisses full of love. (Oh, you can kiss hard too, if you want!)

Did You Know?

A USA Federally funded survey published in The New England Journey of Medicine that

"Sex and interest in it do fall off when people are in their 70s, but more than a quarter of those up to age 85 reported having sex in the previous year."

".....more than half of those aged 57 to 75 said they gave or received oral sex, as did about a third of 75- to 85-year-olds".

"Sex with a partner in the previous year was reported by 73 percent of people ages 57 to 64; 53 percent of those ages 64 to 75, and 26 percent of people 75 to 85. Of those who were active, most said they did it two to three times a month or more".

Being Romantic When You're Older is Fun!

At the end of the day, it was undoubtedly and agreeably lovely to get into bed with your partner and enjoy each other sensually. That easy intimacy and pleasure kept you connected. Time passes, the children, the job, some extra weight, illness, whatever, life happens and slowly those often-times of pleasure can slip gradually away.

But you are still together are you not? It can't just be about practical stuff!? Can it? Back in the recesses of your joined selves are the memories of all the romance and passion. You just have to tap the back of your mind and body a little, literally.

Agreed, there's an age for everything but being older doesn't mean that being romantic and being sensual together is over with. I'd beg to differ, 'far from it'. Please read the survey figures in the column on the right.

It's time to haul those hours back in, to literally reach out, to look unashamedly seductive and to aim to please:

  • Perhaps start with a little head massage
  • Give a body massage. you've got the oils
  • Wear great underwear and have smooth skin
  • Beautifully nailed hands on men and women are a turn on
  • Romantic or erotic literature is a lot of fun - so have some by the bed

Basically it's down to doing what you said you'd do a while back when you nonchalantly said

"I miss being close with you and so don't be surprised if I plan on doing something romantic with you very soon".

Have a lot of fun, get out of yourself - and into her or him. Make some music happen. Tra la le ra.

Affectionate Older Couple

Old Couple
Old Couple | Source

Questions & Answers

  • Is it possible that at 78 years old it is not possible for women to have sex even when they would like it?

    It is possible that at 78 a woman has the possibility to have sex because she would be having sexual stimulation. Without sexual stimulation she wouldn’t be interested.

© 2013 Penelope Hart


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    • profile image


      4 months ago

      This is a nice article for seniors to review their life style and bring back the spark in their lives. Good reading.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      It's an interesting stage of life and one that can be truly enjoyed. Oh yes, Absolutely. Thank you so much for commenting.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Romance Tips For Older Couples interesting about romance for older couples I find this hub to be very helpful and enlightening to one in these stages of life. Great hub with lovely photos.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      You're still very young so long long may your marriage be fun. Many thanks for stopping by to comment.

      Appreciate that.

    • bizna profile image


      7 years ago from NAIROBI - KENYA

      Well, am 40 now and aging by the day, and quite interested in enjoying my marriage to the end. Very useful tips here. It's fun looking at an elderly couple laughing in their car. It shows how they appreciate each other. Good job.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Oh this is such a wonderful comment. Illness saps so much from us and changes things a bit, so it's a good idea, if everyone is well again, to get back to the demonstrative of intimate love and some romance. Good on you!

      Appreciate your share here. Thanks.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Since I fit into the category of :older" I think you suggestions are marvelous. The timing of this is interesting as my husband and I have been working on beefing up the romance! He had a stroke a few years ago, but now seems to embrace life more fully. I love you pictures also.

      Voted Up and awesome!

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      There's always so much going on! Happy your married life is a happy one, that is precious and wonderful and long, long may it last Om.

      A do appreciate your share here. Thank you.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for these romantic tips, Penelope! I'm not really old yet but I can surely use your advice. My married life has been very happy. We're each other's best friend. But sometimes I feel like we both are so busy we forget to be romantic! lol

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Tenderness between us older couples is wonderful. Sometimes, people's relationships (that romantic aspect of it) falls aside and it is for those couples that the Hub is written. I agree with you so much about how easy it is- when it is easy. But when it is not easy, when an easy caress has become a thing of the past (sadly) then we have to try to do something about it, if we want to get to be easy with each other again.

      I do appreciate your comments here. Thank you kindly for them wilderness.

      Judi Bee. Glad you liked it! Thank you.

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      7 years ago from UK

      Great hub - love the photos!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      7 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I think that as we age romance changes. The sexual aspect fades (but never goes away!) while the importance of a gentle caress, a hug and kiss for no other reason that we want one, and an appreciation for one's partner count more.

      It always makes me feel good to see an elderly couple holding hands, and simply sitting close in front of the TV is a comforting feeling of sharing. Romance need not be overt gifts and actions; sometimes it is just attention and being together. Or so I see it. A box of chocolates can say "I love you" but so can just holding hands as we walk through the store and can happen a lot more frequently.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      My grandmother is from Yorkshire and I'm British at heart, though an Italian transplant. I love blunt.

      Yes, my partners urologist/sexologist was is a man (a very old man who has retired now)!!!

      Yes then, in the fullness of time I will write about the AP. Good idea.

      It is grueling, a horrendous challenge but worth it.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Is your partner’s sexologist a man by any chance? :)

      Glad you took my comment the way it was intended … I’m from Yorkshire … we’re very blunt … and not always in a good way. I just wanted to add something hence this reply to your reply.

      I would like to read a hub about your experiences on the HP apprenticeship programme. I think an honest appraisal of what it entails and how you coped would be very useful to anyone thinking of applying for it.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      As always I so appreciate your comments! My companion's urologist/ sexologist suggested to us a while ago that we begin a sex life again (after endometrium cancer!). I said, "no way" but learned that my companion wouldn't have minded getting close again. (could it be that it is because he is a passionate Italian? I did fall in love with a Latin lover after all, all those years ago). I'm doing my best to do just that, very slowly.

      Don't mean to brag, there isn't a lot to brag about but I'd look OK in a corset in the summer after a few months sitting in the sun, but heaven forbid in the winter!!! Love the chocolates. But yes, easy companionship wins out. Can't it be easy companionship and intimacy?

      I'm so pleased obviously that you have found your happy way. No two ways are the same.

      My hub is for those who think they might need to put some oomph in, perhaps because they need to get out of a rut and get close because they have lost their 'closeness'.

      Thanks so much Jardine. I'm so enjoying the diversity of comment and thought here. Love your two feet on the ground response, bless and totally identify!


    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      I do wonder how much sway all the pseudo- scientific self-help gurus have in persuading us that we should all being having sex until we drop off the twig, GL?

      Methinks modern society doth protest too much, it tries to pressure people into trying never to allow themselves to grow old naturally. You aren’t having sex at 84? Shocking! I jest but you get my drift.

      I doubt the Neolithic people were still having a bit of how’s your father when they were old - too busy dispensing wisdom as to where the best berry gathering and buffalo hunting was :)

      This is a very well-written hub, Penelope and it seems to have provoked a great deal of interest judging by the comments. But for myself and my old man ... we are very close, we support each others interests and sometimes we are moved to make love.

      We do this without me having to be wooed by chocolates and flowers or having to endure his hysterical laughter by wearing a corset with my flab bulging out all over the place. Fortunately.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Falling in love with your true love can happen at any age! It's the fairy tales that lead us to believe it 'should' happen when we're very young. May your good man be just around the corner. You sound right for the plucking Tonette.

      I got your smiles and blessings thank you! I blow you some too. Appreciated your comments.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      LOVED your ideas, thank you for this GoodLady. Being romantic when you're older is fun - such a very inspiring thought. I've always loved those sweet kisses and touches.... because there's nothing more stimulating than having the man you love beside you, and I believe it only takes a clever woman to spice things up. How I wish I have a special someone right now, though, haha. You just made me more hopeful of him....I'm only 45, so there's still a chance? Thank you for inspiring me GoodLady. You're one true beautiful woman.

      A thousand smiles and blessings to you!- Tonette

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Hope you got her lovely bunch of flowers!!! All the best with your new family and thank you for your comments.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well this is great stuff to hear - from Good lady and everyone -thankyou.

      I would not call myself a 'senior' just yet but at age of 49 have just had - well, my partner has just had, our first child - and we've hardly made love in the 6 months since. What is surprising me at the moment is that I'm really ok about it. For the first time in my life I'm ok about not having sex. And for the first time start to understand how older people that I have known seem not to be interested in sex - it's not what their relationship is based on - or not anymore.

      I haven't found it easy these past months though, my mind says, 'There is something wrong - where is the passion?' There is a fear that if we don't connect physically then we will fall apart or stay together but become numb. And I think there is some truth in all of that. But we are still deeply connected, and so there is still a thread that keeps us open to each other and trusting. I feel sad for couples who have lost that trust - for that, I believe, is a real killer - of intimacy, and everything else. But because the thread of love is still there we are able to stay present and calm with the fact that there is not time or energy to make love.

      We have no family nearby or friends who are knocking on our door to look after our little one. And so it has dawned on us that if we really want to connect physically again we have to make some changes.We started looking at how to control or manage our baby's sleep patterns better to give us some free time - but that started to become really stressful - for him and us. And finally the penny dropped that all we need is a bit of time for ourselves - regularly enough that we could get close again. We need to ask for and find support. So....nothing has happened yet - but I know that it will, very soon.

      Even talking about it has started the shift. I know that my partner's body is not a machine (a mans body can behave peculiarly like one it seems) and she needs time to soften and open. I'm learning for the first time in my life to tend to plants, and I can see the connection - she is just like that, needing all the patience and love to open when she is ready,and I know that she wants to.

      So, thankyou for this article goodlady, it seems so important to me that if we want to live fully, then we have to be brave enough to face honestly what is going on and courageous enough to shake things up a little -take risks to follow our love - not to get stale and 'make the best of things'. We have to stay with the flame of love that you so clearly have and beautifully describe. I needed a few tips and reminders on how to get things into the romantic mood. Our bedroom looks like the messiest creche in the universe - hardly romantic - so I intend to put some loving energy into making it look really inviting and somewhere two adults can spend some quality time. Before anyone says it - we do have plans to move baba into his own cot - starting tomorrow.

      Right, I must go - next thing on my list is........ a trip to the florist *X*

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      If we have a passionate relationship at the beginning, we probably have a better chance of staying, or re-finding our intimacy with out partners later on, when we are older. but as you pointed out, these are not 'issues' many people talk about or consider. Yet we are older people for more than 20 years.

      I'm so pleased you came in with such a valid comment and than you so much Natashalh.

      Beth37. Hope Springs'' was a lovely movie! Yes, you are right. I'm pleased you brought it up here. Thanks so much!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed this movie which speaks on the subject of this article well. Maybe you've already seen it.

    • Natashalh profile image


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      In human growth and development, the textbook kept reiterating how older couples can be made to feel like they shouldn't be physically active/romantic with their partners and how it simply isn't true. It's something we societally shy away from - I think it's awesome you wrote this hub about a sometimes passed by topic! You have fantastic suggestions and I hope they really help someone.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      We are complex creatures indeed travmaj, agreed. I can imagine how bereft your friend must feel at not re-connecting before it was too late, but I do understand how this happened - and I know I'm not the only one.

      Our old bodies let us down and I think this is a major inhibitor because there's that idea that love and sex is for the young. There's no romantic image we've been fed about being intimate and old -( perhaps if we saw the image as young people we would recoil). That's because when we are young, we can't imagine being older!!!

      Being intimate, romantic and sexy when we are older is a kind of secret between the older couples who 'get it'.

      I'm trying to re-connect after years of illness. We are so much older now, but we are us. It is very sweet. And it isn't any different.

      Thanks so much for your comments and story. Appreciated, greatly.

      Beth37. Life is very hard indeed, but it's a good idea to roll with the punches- That's life. Thank you for your kind comment.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That breaks my heart. Life can be so hard at times.

    • travmaj profile image


      7 years ago from australia

      Hello GoodLady - this is one interesting, thought provoking hub. Scary how time slips away. And how habits can kick in meaning how easy is to just carry on. Until something gives us a jolt. Truly, I think you're on the right track with this. It takes two of course and time, which is not always on the agenda. I have a friend who's husband died suddenly and the the knowledge at not having re connected with him in those last years together filled her with anguish when it was too late. Ah, what complex creatures we hunans are. Thank you for this thought provoking - voting up.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I do get it! But who knows how you'll feel down the line! We really never know and we certainly aren't machines so best anyway with your book x

    • Austinstar profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      He's a stubborn one. I'm trying the Dr. Schlessinger advice to just go along with it whenever he's in the mood, but still I have to fake interest. I no longer have the hormones for it I guess. He wants me to go to one of those bio-identical hormone clinics, and maybe I will after my insurance kicks in, but mostly, I just feel like why bother. I would much rather read a book :-)

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Oh Austinstar, I get it. I'm sorry. You've been through a lot and work is a killer. I was the same after cancer and treatments and AGE. But my companion let me be, until HE decided to talk about it again. I said "No way".

      He's getting me into it by being the person in the Hub...patiently.

      I can see a way to changing now, which is why i wrote the hub.

      He's getting me there, I think.

      Hope your partner can just scratch your head sometimes.

      All the best and appreciate you stopping by and sharing from your heart. Bless.

    • Austinstar profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      After menopause, diabetes, ruptured discs in my back, kidney stones, gout and still working trying to support my family, I have lost all interest in sex and don't even want to want to have an interest.

      My husband doesn't understand this and I don't really blame him, but no amount of romance is going to put me back in the mood I fear.

      Nice try though. Good hub.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      carol7777. You're always such a kind sharer, thank you. Yes, we do need to keep romance going though it's sometimes so hard to 'kick off' isn't it? Mind you when it's working, it's fun.


      Beth37. I'm the lucky one actually. He's very passionate, even though he's a lot older than he was.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Your husbands a lucky man. :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Lots of good ideas here. thanks for taking time to share. We all need to keep a little romance in our lives.


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