A big part of our younger lives is centered around love.  We long to have someone special to love and to be loved in a unique, cherishing and special way.  The allure of romance permeates our cultural imagination, whether situated within our real, personal relationships or fantasized about in the world of romance novels and movies and television commercials.  Many women find the love they seek–or think they have found it.  Years into a long-term relationship or marriage, things may feel very different. Love may deepen, wither, fold, or be crushed.

Some women find love in unexpected places.  A woman may find her second or third committed relationship to be the most fulfilling of all her relationships.  Many women fall in love with another woman and in spite of the trying elements of moving into such a different relationship find that they are extremely happy in this partnership.  Some women prefer to remain single but may wish to date or have a loving companion that is not a full-time partner.  In many ways, our options multiply as we get older because we are less bound by cultural scripts. After all, what kind of romantic relationship is a 75 or 82-year-old woman supposed to have?  There is no blueprint.

Certainly, it is fine and not at all uncommon not to want a romantic or sexual relationship at this stage in our lives, but it may also seem surprising to realize how pervasive and common that desire still is among women as we grow older. Of course, lots of issues arise about where to find partners, what kind of partner you really want, what you don’t want, whether to explore the world of online dating, sex, breaking up, STDs and talking to your family about your decision to date or about a new relationship you have entered.

  • Are you in a place in your life where having a sexual, romantic or committed relationship partner is important to you?
  • What kind of relationship are you interested in having with someone?
  • Is there currently someone in your life and are your needs being met?
  • How do you decide whether to stay in or leave a relationship?
  • Is sex important to you?
  • What do feel are your personal obstacles to moving into a relationship (if you wish to do so)?
  • If you have been single, divorced or widowed and are now in a meaningful relationship, what might you choose to share with other women about your experience that might be of benefit to them?