After 50, These 22 Relationship Rules Just Don’t Matter Anymore

Finding your way in the world of love after the age of 50 comes with its own set of rules. However, according to experts, some of the familiar ones pass their expiration date after 50. We discuss 22 relationship rules you might want to rethink.

Don’t Date a Friend

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First of all, why wouldn’t you want to date a friend? Seems to me like a win-win situation if you truly like the person. And once you’re in your 50s, you’ll find that some of the most stable, fulfilling relationships can actually start from friendships. Overlooking a friend as a potential partner could be a terrible mistake.

Prioritize Your Partner’s Needs

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Of course, it’s important to consider your partner’s needs, but perpetual self-sacrifice can lead to resentment. If you’re over 50, you’ve lived a long life and you know what your likes and dislikes are. Don’t compromise. Your own needs, wants, and aspirations are equally important as your partner’s and should not be neglected.

Wait for Him to Make the First Move

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According to a study by OKCupid, women are 2.5 times more likely to hear from a guy if they make the first move. So why do women often wait for men to take the initiative? At 50, there’s no reason to hold back if you’re interested. What’s the worst that could happen? Taking the initiative to express your feelings can be incredibly empowering and liberating, breaking free from outdated norms.

You Have To Play Hard to Get

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In your younger years, you might have enjoyed the thrill of the chase and played hard to get. But once you’re 50 or older, the value of open, honest communication far surpasses these games. There’s a certain relief in being transparent about your feelings and intentions. If you like someone, tell them, and if you think about it, playing the dating game is really just a waste of everyone’s time.

Opposites Attract

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The idea that opposites attract may have been compelling when you were younger. However, According to VeryWellMind, most people are attracted to people they share things in common with. As you age, shared values, hobbies, and perspectives often become more significant. It’s not about creating fireworks; it’s about igniting a sustainable, lasting flame.

Your Partner Must Complete You

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We’ve all seen the famous scene from Jerry McGuire where Tom Cruise declares his love and says, ‘You had me at hello, but that’s not how the world works. While romantic comedies preach the idea of finding your “better half,” the reality is that a successful relationship after 50 often involves two whole individuals. Being complete on your own contributes to a healthier, more independent relationship dynamic.

He Has to Be the Primary Breadwinner

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The old-fashioned notion that the man should be the primary breadwinner is slowly disappearing. Gender roles have evolved, and in some cases, women may even out-earn their partners. According to Pew Research Center, “just over half (55%) of marriages today have a husband who is the primary or sole breadwinner and 16% have a breadwinner wife.” After 50, you will both have established your roles in the workplace as well as at home, and it doesn’t really matter who makes the most money, as long as you’re happy together.

The Man Should Always Pay on Dates

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The rule that men should always pay for dates becomes less of a focal point as you grow older. Splitting bills or alternating who pays not only promotes financial balance but also nurtures a sense of equality and partnership in the relationship. Pick up the tab if you feel inclined or decide on how you’re going to split such expenses. Just make sure you don’t kill the romance while doing so!

A Healthy Relationship Means No Arguments

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While it might seem ideal to have a relationship devoid of disagreements, the reality is that conflicts are inevitable. According to YouGov data, only 3% of people in relationships say they never argue. So why do we act as if arguing makes a relationship weaker? What matters most is your ability to address disagreements maturely and come to resolutions that strengthen your relationship. After 50, it is important to speak up for the things that matter to you.

The First Year Will Make or Break the Relationship

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When you start dating after 50, the game changes. It’s not just about those first-date butterflies anymore. What really counts is how you grow together over time, learning about each other and sharing life’s ups and downs. It’s less about following dating rules and more about the real, day-to-day stuff that builds a strong, lasting connection.

You Must Share All Hobbies and Interests

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Sure, enjoying things together is great, but don’t forget to keep up with your own hobbies too. It’s important for your own growth and happiness. And guess what? When you’re happy with your own stuff, it actually helps your relationship too. So, go ahead and dive into your personal interests – it’s good for both of you.

Never Go to Bed Angry

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When you’re dating after 50, that old advice about never going to bed angry might not hold up. Sometimes, it’s actually better to sleep on it and get some rest. Often, you wake up with a clearer head, ready to see things in a new light. Solving everything before bedtime isn’t always the key – a good night’s sleep can be just what you both need to sort things out.

Keep the Romance Alive with Grand Gestures

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After 50, it’s the little things that count more than the big, flashy gestures. Showing kindness and appreciation every day means a lot. It’s those regular, loving acts that really strengthen a relationship and make it truly rewarding.

Younger Couples Have More Fun

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The whole “fun’s just for the young” idea? Absolutely not true. When you’re dating later in life, you often find more joy in your relationships. Why? Because you’ve got that freedom and confidence that only comes with age and experience. Older couples can really have a blast, often even more than when they were younger.

You Must Have Children to Be Fulfilled

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Reaching the age of 50 often comes with the realization that there are multiple avenues to life’s fulfillment. Whether it’s a rewarding career, enriching friendships, or engaging hobbies, having children is not the sole path to a fulfilling existence.

A Relationship Must Lead to Marriage

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Once you’re over 50, you’ll likely realize that a committed relationship doesn’t necessarily have to lead to marriage to be fulfilling. Many older couples are content with long-term partnerships without needing the affirmation of a marriage license.

You Should Never Discuss Money or Politics

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Avoiding discussions about money or politics may seem like sound advice, but in a mature relationship, these can be important topics. They offer opportunities for deeper understanding and can be approached in a balanced, respectful manner.

Keep Your Relationship Private, Always

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While maintaining a certain level of privacy is important, sharing your relationship experiences with trusted friends and family can offer insight. Their insights can sometimes help you view your relationship in a new light.

Prenups Are Only for the Wealthy

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According to the CDC, 689,308 divorces happened in 2021, so the idea that prenuptial agreements are just for the super-rich is outdated. A well-thought-out prenup can serve as a financial planning tool that protects both parties, regardless of their economic status. If you have something to protect, ensure you know your rights.

The Best Relationships Come from Love at First Sight

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While love at first sight is romantic, many happy relationships are the result of gradual growth and shared experiences. This slow build-up often creates a more stable foundation, setting the stage for a fulfilling partnership. As adults who might have been through painful divorces, it’s important to recognize that love is far more than a feeling; it’s doing. Real, true unconditional love might not hit until you’ve been together for a few years, but boy, is it worth it.

Never Take Relationship Advice from Singles

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Contrary to popular belief, single people can offer useful relationship advice. They bring a different perspective, often formed by a variety of experiences, which can be valuable when shaking out the complexities of a relationship. Many people over 50 find themselves single again after a long relationship. They might just have some golden advice to share!

Your Exes Should Stay in the Past

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When you’re dating after 50, you often see things differently, including past relationships. Staying friends with an ex? It’s not always a big deal. With age comes a better grasp of boundaries and trust. So, as long as everyone’s on the same page, keeping an ex as a friend doesn’t have to shake up your current relationship.

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