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Romance Tips for Older Couples: Intimate Ideas for Seniors

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!

Explore some romance tips for older adults!

Explore some romance tips for older adults!

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. 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.

Sexual Love and Intimacy Don't Need to Stop as You Get Older

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 90s (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 as now), and we can move on to 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 as an Older Person

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 unending conversations—which are romance killers—you can wisely pick your moment and then simply say one day, "I miss being close with you, 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 can gradually make fun changes to your wardrobe and hair to renew your looks, remembering what your partner always liked about you.
  • You can take special care of your hands and nails.
  • You can make some small changes in the bedroom (a new throw cushion, some candles or scents). Or bring flowers and chocolates home or send them as gifts.
  • 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.
  • You can go to the movies and dress up for the occasion. Choose fun movies or romantic comedies, or even erotic ones.
  • You can socialize a little with people you really like.

And last but not least, for both men and women:

  • You can take a class in something new and physical, such as the tango, belly dancing, or ballroom dancing. Take the class separately or together! No big deal!

These mini-steps to change are actually maxi steps because doing any of these 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 just for you, for romance, and for your love. And it's about time, too! Those always used to come first.

Take a romantic trip to get out of your rut!

Take a romantic trip to get out of your rut!

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 that 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 anymore (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 around the block three times, I know which one I'd choose, 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).

Read More From Pairedlife

Do Something Unpredictable Together

Instead of going on those predictable genteel holiday weekends at country inns, on the beaches of 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 is that the situations are unpredictable. This means you'll need to tap into aspects of your personalities you've maybe left dormant for some time and re-learn who you are (or were). These characteristics will 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 it's 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 stated 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, literally reach out, look unashamedly seductive, and aim to please:

  • Perhaps start with a little head massage
  • Give a body massage—especially if you've got massage oils
  • Wear great underwear and have smooth skin
  • Beautifully manicured hands—on men or women—are a turn on
  • Romantic or erotic literature is a lot of fun, so keep 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, 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.

Seniors and Sex

Questions & Answers

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

Answer: 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


bhattuc on February 16, 2020:

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

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on October 10, 2013:

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

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 09, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on February 12, 2013:

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

Appreciate that.

JUDITH OKECH from NAIROBI - KENYA on February 12, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 30, 2013:

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.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 30, 2013:

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!

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 22, 2013:

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 on January 21, 2013:

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

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 21, 2013:

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 Brown from UK on January 21, 2013:

Great hub - love the photos!

Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on January 21, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 20, 2013:

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 from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on January 20, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 20, 2013:

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 from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on January 20, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 20, 2013:

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.

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on January 19, 2013:

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

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 19, 2013:

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

MatthewH on January 19, 2013:

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*

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 19, 2013:

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!

Beth37 on January 19, 2013:

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

Natasha from Hawaii on January 19, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 19, 2013:

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.

Beth37 on January 18, 2013:

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

travmaj from australia on January 18, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 18, 2013:

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

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on January 18, 2013:

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 :-)

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 18, 2013:

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.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on January 18, 2013:

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.

Penelope Hart (author) from Rome, Italy on January 17, 2013:

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.

Beth37 on January 17, 2013:

Your husbands a lucky man. :)

carol stanley from Arizona on January 17, 2013:

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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