The fifties reinvent the couple


A recent INED study looked at the lives of young couples in their fifties. No longer living together, avoiding the daily routine and seeking complicity: this is how we reinvent the couple after 50 years.

Today, we only live one love story. You don’t necessarily have to be married once and for all. With society, the couple move forward and change. It is what a recent study by INED underlines, led by Anne Solaz, who was interested, among other things, in “young couples” after 50 years. The latter stand out from the cliché of the evolution of a life “for two”, with new desires and marked refusals.

Men and women do not get back into a relationship in the same way

Divorces are generally increasing, despite age and gender. So, it is less and less rare to have several stories, including “late”. In 1996, of all divorces, those involving a man over 50 were 17% (and 11% for women over 50). In 2017, they jumped: women over 50, out of total divorces, represent 29%, and men 38%. This is also explained by the fact that society no longer takes a dim view of “rebuilding your life” after a breakup.

Moreover, the INED study underlines thata third of 50-year-olds have lived at least two unions.

What women Want

That said, the desire for a couple after 50 is not the same as before. And the women are less likely to want to relive a marital relationship (They are 24% in the 50-59 age group, against 37% of men, according to a 2005 survey). This could in part be explained by the lag in cravings and the fact that “women would have “less to gain” overall than men, due to the unequal distribution of domestic tasks between the sexes within the couple, which is particularly marked in these generations.“, emphasizes the study.

Women are more inclined to review the functioning of the romantic relationship, which allows them to preserve their autonomy. In particular by not living together! They therefore wish to escape the routine, but find a life partner with whom they have complicity. In short, share the good times and avoid the burden of everyday life.

Source: Ined, February 2021.

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