Sunday Express

Why (love) life begins at 70 for old romantics

- By Paul Dinsdale

PEOPLE in their seventies find it much easier than the middle-aged to find romance, according to a study.

The research found older people are more confident about what they are looking for in a partner, with a third insisting their desire and libido has not diminished with age.

When asked to explain why they faced problems finding love in middle age, many adults cite a lack of opportunit­ies, named by 45 per cent; a lack of confidence, by 51 per cent; and health problems, by 49 per cent, as the main reasons.

The “70 Up” study was inspired by a landmark TV documentar­y series which followed the same group of people over 40 years, from the age of seven until their 60s.

The last instalment was broadcast in 2019, as its creator Michael Apted died in that year.

This latest survey was commission­ed by KYN, a luxury retirement home developer, to challenge various perception­s about age and ageing. As many as one in five people over 70 said they were sexually active, challengin­g a popular view that older adults are not interested in sex.

Among the over-80s age group, 14 per cent of men and women said they were sexually active.

And half of those over 70 said they were more confident about what they wanted from a relationsh­ip than when they were younger. Six per cent said their libido was actually greater now than it was 10 years ago. In terms of public displays of affection, 30 per cent of people over the age of 70 say they hug, kiss or hold hands at least 10 or more times a month, compared with 36 per cent of 18 to 69-year-olds.

But 37 per cent of those over 70 said their experience of sex and relationsh­ips was “not represente­d in the media”.

Seventy-one per cent agreed that if society in general was more willing to talk about sex and intimacy around ageing, barriers could be broken down to make older people feel less ignored.

More than 1,000 18 to 69-year-olds and 600 over 70-year-olds were interviewe­d for the study.

Claire Dore, a dating coach who hosts The Wild Woman CEO podcast, said: “Age is irrelevant when it comes to sex. It’s really all to do with energy and mindset.

“I celebrate anyone who is sexually active over 70 years of age.

“Society has conditione­d people to think there is an age limit, which is nonsense. It all comes down to how you feel.

“My advice is to trust your feelings and do what feels good for you. We create our own rules. If you have a consenting partner or partners – there are no limits here – then enjoy yourself. It can be one of the ways to feel and look younger.”

‘It’s all to do with energy and mindset’

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