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New relationships in your 40's/50's - what are you working towards?

(8 Posts)
ladylouanne Sat 05-Mar-16 20:07:11

I've been pondering this for a bit. I was married in my early 20's, ended up on my own with DD in my early 40's and have recently started seeing someone new after being single for a while (I'm now late 40's).

I remember when I met my husband, once we'd established that we were committed to each other, we increasingly developed shared plans that involved moving in together, getting married, having a family, building a home and two careers, and eventually growing old together. The final part of that plan didn't happen, but pretty much the rest did.

So, I've been seeing someone for a bit and it's struck me that it's not so easy to 'contextualise' a relationship at this point in my life. I should say that I have no idea if the man I am with sees us together in the longer term (although I'm thinking I'd probably like this), however, in general, when building a new relationship at this point in life, what are your shared aims? What do you focus on for the future?

I can think of lots of advice I'd give my younger self about what to think about when committing to someone in your 20's/30's, but I'm suddently confused as to what this means when thinking about the second half of my life. At the moment I'm thinking about holidays, mutual love and support, lots of sex and lazy lie ins (free from getting up with toddlers!), but that all feels a bit decadent!

Would love to hear of people who made a success of their 'second life' relationships and what the differences are.

ravenmum Sat 05-Mar-16 20:15:55

I don't know about you, but having had half my life plans disintegrate, I've come to think that actually, you never really know what will happen. Right now I'm learning to leave things a bit more open-ended and just enjoy a bit of decadence... it is really rather pleasant grin.

sadsister4 Sat 05-Mar-16 20:17:06


Just enjoy. Let's face it, when we made plans, they didn't exactly turn out the way we thought, did they?

ladylouanne Sat 05-Mar-16 20:18:03

Haha Raven - I agree! I've just found myself thinking 'surely I can't be allowed to just do this indefinitely'! Maybe I will ...

SoThatHappened Sat 05-Mar-16 20:21:24

Late thirties here and never had a "first life" relationship confused

TolstoyAteMyHamster Sat 05-Mar-16 20:24:14

Interesting question. Initially, my thoughts on meeting someone after 13 years of marriage and messy divorce went no further than good sex, fun weekends and having a lovely time with someone I liked a lot. After six months, we started talking seriously about the future and a year later we are still talking! We both know we want to be together but are trying to work out how to do that with careers, separate lives, children (mine, not his) and all the baggage of being grown up. We'll work it out, one way or another, but we're enjoying the journey as much as we will the destination.

I will say it's not at all easy. When you are young, you are malleable - you fit around each other because you're both learning who you are and what you want from life, so to a certain extent it's all up for grabs. Very different in your forties/fifties, I think, when change is hard and you've learned from previous mistakes. But there's something rather wonderful about it too, as you don't take it for granted.

ravenmum Sat 05-Mar-16 20:28:32

SoThatHappened, I don't think there really is the fixed pattern we imagine. What we consider a "typical" life is rarer than we imagine these days. (Actually my parents didn't do it the classic way either, with both my dad and my step dad starting families in their late thirties. Does it run in your family?)

ladylouanne Sat 05-Mar-16 20:30:51

Tolstoy, I think you've summed things up really well. Like I say, I've no idea how my relationship will go but as an example we each have our own houses, careers, DD in my case, friends and contacts in own towns which are a bit apart.

I also agree that when you are younger it is much easier to be malleable - in general you have very little to lose. You also haven't developed your sense of self, and indeed those 'endearing' little habits that will never change now.

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