8 Relationship Rules That Don’t Matter As You Age

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By Emma

The dating game is a complicated one, though it does seem to get less so with time. If you’re in your fifties and testing out the dating pool, you may be pleased to know there are some rules you can ignore that you likely followed when you were younger. Check them out!

Waiting for Him to Make the First Move

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Life can be short—and there’s no time to waste. Take the initiative in expressing your feelings and break free from outdated norms and expectations. As you get older, you’ll find yourself feeling empowered by direct communication. Don’t wait around for someone else to take action!

Playing Hard to Get

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As people mature, they tend to value open and honest communication over games. According to Business Insider, “playing it too cool can mean you attract the wrong kind of people.” In order to skip past any “playing hard to get,” you need to be transparent with your feelings and intentions. The relief and clarity that come with direct interaction are well worth it—you’ll see!

Opposites Attract

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Growing up, you may have been told over and over that opposites attract. As you get older, however, you start to realize the importance of shared values, hobbies, and perspectives. Why waste your time with someone you have nothing in common with? Ignoring this relationship rule allows you to find sustainable and lasting connections, moving beyond the initial thrill to deeper compatibility.

Prioritizing Your Partner’s Needs Over Yours

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When you were younger, you may have found yourself prioritizing what your partner wanted or needed over your own needs and desires. When you reach 50, however, you learn the importance of balancing self-sacrifice with your personal needs. This way, you avoid resentment in a relationship through mutual respect and understanding.

Your Partner Must Complete You

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You’ve lived out a good portion of your life by now—there’s no longer a need to consider yourself half a person who needs completing. Instead, you’re able to foster a relationship between two whole individuals, cultivating independence within the relationship. By ignoring this rule, you build a healthier dynamic through self-sufficiency.

The Man Should Be the Primary Breadwinner

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Gender roles in financial responsibility have evolved through the years. Time says that “guys who are required to earn the lion’s share of the family income are less happy and less healthy than guys who aren’t.” There’s also a growing acceptance of women out-earning their partners and sharing financial responsibilities in a modern relationship. Especially in your 50s, when you likely don’t have plans to start a new family, there’s less pressure on the man.

The Man Must Always Pay on Dates

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Depending on how traditional you are, you may or may not like ignoring this rule. However, there should be a shift from traditional payment expectations when dating at this age. It promotes financial balance and equality. Alternating expenses can help foster a partnership.

There Should Be No Arguments in a Healthy Relationship

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When you’re younger, an argument in a relationship can seem like the end of the world. With life experience, however, comes the knowledge that conflicts in any relationship are inevitable. There’s a certain maturity in addressing disagreements, and resolution skills can strengthen your bond.