20 Relationship Rules You Can Forget After 50

When you’ve turned 50 and been in a relationship for a while, there are certain rules you don’t have to follow anymore. You can focus more on yourself and do what you love. Here are 20 relationship rules you can forget after 50.

Individual Hobbies

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You don’t have to do everything together, especially once you get older and have your own hobbies that shape you. As explained by relationship therapist Jaime Bronstein, “Independence in a relationship is an essential factor in the couple’s success. It’s wonderful for a couple to spend a lot of time together; however, having their own interests and hobbies can make for a healthier relationship.”

Going to Bed Angry

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When you turn 50, it’s okay to start going to bed angry. Sometimes, a good night’s sleep may even bring you some clarity. Don’t try to force resolutions, as you may agree to something you don’t want to. Sleep on it, because the next day you might wake up with a new perspective.

Grand Gestures

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While grand gestures can sometimes be nice, when you turn 50, it’s consistency that you appreciate more than anything else. You prefer to have daily acts of kindness, as they help to strengthen the relationship. Everyday appreciation is one of the most important things in a relationship.

Age and Fun

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Older couples can still enjoy deepened relationships and have fun in them. There isn’t an age limit on when you stop having fun, and the same goes for a relationship. Freedom and self-assurance can help to enhance enjoyment, and this is something you’ll find in the right relationship.

Children Are the Only Path to Fulfillment

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Children aren’t the only thing that will fulfill your life, and you’ll start to learn this when they fly from the nest. There are other aspects of life that will contribute to your fulfillment, such as your career, friendships, and hobbies. Try to redefine your fulfillment so it isn’t only centered on your children.

Marriage Is the Ultimate Goal

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If you meet a partner in your fifties, there’s less pressure to marry, and many are choosing not to. For example, Time writes, “Remarriage rates over 50 have remained steady, but cohabitation in that age group has more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2020.” Long-term partnerships can be just as fulfilling as marriage.

Money and Politics

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It’s okay to have conversations over money and politics, and sometimes these mature conversations can strengthen a relationship. Try to keep your dialogue as open as possible in your relationship, as communication always plays an important part in it. Try to encourage respectfulness and balanced discussions.

Private Relationships

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While you may not have wanted to share everything with your inner circle during your younger relationships, as you get older, you can disregard these rules. Sometimes, it can be good for you to share things with others, as you gain valuable insight from those you love the most.


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Marrying in your later years may mean there’s a high chance you have some significant savings, especially when retirement comes around. This means you may want your partner to sign a prenup to ensure you have financial security, and if they love you, they won’t have a problem with it.

Online Dating

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Second Wind Movement writes, “33% of people over 50 have used a dating app, so if you’ve been tiptoeing around online dating sites, now’s a great time to step in and try it out.” Online platforms are a great way to meet like-minded people.

The ‘Right’ Way to Date

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The older you become, the more you understand that there’s no right way to date. Instead, you should focus on your personal preferences in dating and relationships to ensure you find a partner who is right for you. Celebrate the freedom that you have, and choose your own dating path.

Living in the Future

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When you’re younger and in a relationship, you can often find yourself living in the future, wondering when you’ll buy a house, get married, or even have children. As you get older, you realize you don’t have to over-idealize any future plans. Instead, you’d rather focus on your present happiness.

Marriages Are Perfect

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When you enter your fifties, you realize that having a perfect marriage is an unrealistic expectation, and no marriage is perfect. You start to understand that every relationship has its challenges. Instead of wanting to make your marriage perfect, you should be trying to embrace its imperfections.

Relationship Success

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Relationship success should start to be about what you deem to be a successful relationship rather than what society does. It’s more important that you have a sense of personal happiness in your relationship and fulfillment, and what you want may not be considered “the norm.”


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Turning 50 may mean you start to understand that relationships change as you age, and more often than not, this is for the better. This is supported by a study published by the National Library of Medicine, which writes, “With age, romantic relationships appear to become easier to handle. As youth become adults, they may feel more comfortable and secure in their long-term relationships.”

Giving Up Personal Growth

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As you mature in a relationship, you understand that your personal growth is just as important as the progression of your relationship. You realize you don’t need to measure your relationship based on how compatible you are. It’s important to celebrate both personal and mutual evolution.

Age-Based Relationship Milestones

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Becoming 50 means that you can question the relevance of traditional relationship timelines. It’s more important for you to focus on your own personal relationship milestones, regardless of your age, as this is what gives you freedom. Now more than ever, you should focus on when you’re ready to make commitments in your relationship.

Dwelling on the Past

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In the past, you may have dwelled on arguments that you had with your significant other, but maturing means you’ve realized it’s not healthy, and you should live in the present. You want to focus on the present and the future, and that means forgiving and moving forward.

The ‘Shoulds’ of Relationship Progress

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There isn’t a right way for your relationship to look, especially after you turn 50. You want to be able to choose what you want from your life and be the narrator of your relationship, not society. Your relationship should develop on your own time and as a couple, and you should have your own approach to milestones.

Not Apologizing

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You start to understand the power of an apology as you get older. This is backed by Marriage.com, which writes, “One of the not to be missed relationship rules is not to let your ego creep in and ruin your relationship. If your partner has done something to hurt you, but they are trying to apologize to you somehow, accept it gracefully.”

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