17 Reasons Why Older Couples Are Calling It Quits

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By Darryl Henderson

Throughout the years, people have always looked at older couples, assuming they are the epitome of true love. However, not all relationships are as rosy behind closed doors as they may seem on the outside. Here are 17 reasons why older couples have started to call it quits.

Growing Apart

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Age brings about various changes, evolving peoples’ interests and ambitions. This can, over time, pull a couple apart, severing their emotional connection. Communication between the couple can feel forced and more difficult than usual, with both lives feeling separated from each other. Sad, but true!

Technological Advances

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It’s becoming increasingly easy for older people to find partners online! In the past, many people stayed with their partners even when unhappy, but this is no longer an issue. In fact, a study by the Pew Research Center even found that a quarter of Americans over 50 had used online dating platforms!

Financial Differences

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When you retire, it’s natural to tighten the purse strings a little, as you no longer have a salary coming in. If one person isn’t willing to change up their financial habits to suit the situation, this can cause tensions, and sadly, this is a common reason that older couples call it quits.


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The importance of mental well-being isn’t just being realized by millennials and Gen Z; the older generations are also becoming more knowledgeable about the situation. The everlasting search for fulfillment may require an ending to a relationship, even in older age, but it’s worth the heartbreak.

The Kids Have Moved Out

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Parenting is rewarding but stressful, and this can, unfortunately, take its toll on a relationship. Ultimately, a relationship is lower on the priority list than a child’s well-being. Once the children move out, it may finally dawn on the pair that they are no longer compatible as partners.

Lack of Intimacy

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Aging can often bring about a reduction in intimacy in relationships due to lowered libido, and sadly, this can cause breakups. The National Council on Aging suggests that women tend to experience a loss of libido in their 40s and 50s, whereas men start to lose it in their 60s and 70s.

Inspired by Friends

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Sometimes, older people become inspired after seeing their friends split up with their partners, intrigued by the idea of newfound freedom. Knowing that they have a strong support network of friends around them can also make the decision-making process a little easier.

LGBTQ+ Acceptance

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Nowadays, there is widespread acceptance for LGBTQ+ people, which could cause some people to feel more comfortable with their sexuality later in life. This can cause people to leave their heterosexual relationships in order to find their true selves, and we think this is beautiful.

Living Longer

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With life expectancy on the rise, retirements are becoming longer, and this added longevity is leading people to reconsider whether they want to spend this time with their current partner. This blends in slightly with the added understanding of mental well-being and the need to find contentment.


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It seems that the older you get, the more desperate you are to cling to your independence and autonomy. When people feel the most fulfilled on their own, there is every chance that it could cause harm to a relationship, but at the end of the day, hapiness should always come first. 


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Some people reach an age where they believe there is no longer room for growth or excitement in their relationship, causing them to reevaluate their future. As Verywell Mind points out, this doesn’t mean there is any confrontation between the couple–just a lack of excitement. 

Different Retirement Plans

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Every retiree will have slightly different retirement plans, and this can cause a significant rift if they’re not on the same wavelength as their partner. If one person wants to go traveling and the other wants to enjoy some time at home, it can be the catalyst for deep tension.

Twilight Crisis

Old age can bring about all sorts of realizations, including a twilight crisis, adding a layer of panic and making them feel as though they aren’t making the most of their remaining years. This can cause them to make snap decisions on their relationship status, for better or worse.

Unresolved Conflicts 

Arguments are perfectly normal in relationships; after all, they show that you still care. However, it’s important to resolve the conflict, whether it takes half an hour or three days. However, not all conflicts can be resolved, so instead of bubbling up with resentment and frustration, many older couples call it quits.

Stress of Care

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Sometimes, couples will decide to separate by mutual consent if one of the two requires constant professional healthcare. The lifestyle brought on by illnesses can break a person due to a lack of rest and the stresses of making sure the person is alright. It’s unfortunate, but a part of life! 


While Live Science reports that people are most likely to cheat at the age of 39, adultery isn’t just committed by people who are below the age of 40. Infidelity can be the root cause of relationship breakdowns between older people, especially if a long-term affair is exposed.

Acceptance of Divorce

Last but not least, divorce isn’t looked down upon in the same way it was before the turn of the millennium. A couple may simply come to the conclusion that their relationship just isn’t working anymore, with divorce being in the best interests of both parties. As long as everyone is happy, this could be the best decision.