Older women want sex Towson

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T he news that the battered and bruised institution of marriage has apparently received the kiss of life — especially among those aged over 65 — was greeted with enthusiasm last week; everybody loves the cheer of wedding bells and a sprinkling of confetti.

Matrimony is at its strongest for a generation. It's never too late to say, "I do". One in 10 had been single, two-thirds divorced, and the rest widowed before tying the knot. So what's going on? Over the last couple of hundred years, for women marriage has moved through several guises.

First, it was a matter of "I must" so a girl had to make the transition from her father's house to her husband's household, as a wife.

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Next came "I ought to" because of society's expectations, notions of respectability and the fear of spinsterhood. This was followed in the 50s by "I want to" as individualism, the independence of the wage-earning woman and consumerism took hold. Finally — or so it seemed for marriage — we arrived at the 60s, feminism, liberation, and, for many, a resounding "I don't" as divorce soared along with cohabitation while church weddings waned.

Now those same baby boomer firebrands who set a torch to the "bourgeois institution" and orange blossom appear to have had a change of mind. Or have they? The playwright Tom Stoppard, 76, married year-old Sabrina Guinness, the brewery heiress, last month.

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The women say, 'I don't have to watch the World Cup. I don't have to wash his socks. I can see my friends whenever I want. I like having a companion, but I don't need someone to look after. I don't want to be a housekeeper again. According to Age UK, Among men in their late 60s, 3, became bridegrooms; among women 1, became brides. While the percentage rise is ificant, the s are small. However, given that there will be 20 million over 65s bya tiny show of wedding bunting, at this stage, could yet turn into yards of the stuff relatively soon. Practicality is one answer.

Longevity is another. People are living longer and healthier lives. But Dr Kate Davidson, a senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender and co-author of Intimacy in Later Lifesays what should not be forgotten, even for octogenarians, is the power of love. I thought I had stomach problems but I realised I was in love. Davidson's research shows that, in repartnering in later life, men seek a resumption of a private life; women seek a public life. Divorced women often say they are in their mellow years now and they hope to find a mellow man.

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Widows tend to remarry widowers, often someone they have known for years. Widowed men marry women, single, widowed and divorced. Across the classes, older women seek a man who has health and wealth one in five pensioners, says Age UK, is in financial difficulties, most of them women ; men seek a woman with good health — wealth is irrelevant — so they don't end up as carers.

Now retired, Davidson says she used to tell her students the story of a wealthy man of 75 who married a divorced woman in her early 60s. If you meet on a cruise and you live in Exeter and he lives in Newcastle that's a challenge.

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A book, Couple Relationships in the 21st Centuryis published next year. Couples of sixties-plus see a much longer term future for themselves; it's another adventure to be had in life. Denise Knowles, a Relate counsellor, says older couples have more time, some have more money and no longer have childcare commitments, they are free from the stress of work, but there are still rocks in the lagoon of love — for one, the reactions of grown-up children.

They are realistic, if there's a partner it may ease the burden of care on them later in life. In 24 years as a counsellor I've seen so many manifestations of what holds a couple together, including toy boys. Today we are seeing a huge diversity in what makes relationships work. In The Anatomy of Loveanthropologist Helen Fisher inelegantly referred to the impact of the baby boomers travelling through society, "like a pig moving through a python — visibly changing culture as they grow older". However annoying, now the plus generation may be turning the institution initially established to protect property, forge alliances and procreate, into something customised and private.

One that offers the possibility of contentment and companionship in older age that, in these material times, can't be bought at any price.

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For better or worse, Crimplene and cocoa is not for them. Relationship therapist Christina Fraser of Coupleworkssees hope and energy in that. They want a chance to stave off decay, have fun and enjoy sex. Men dye their hair, women have Botox, and they can all wear jeans in their seventies.

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They want to reinvent older age, but not just as youth reworked. In my case, next week, aged 65 and after 25 years of cohabiting, we celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Touch wood, and hopefully happily ever after, it's more of the same. The Observer Older people.

It's never too late to say 'I do': why the overs have fallen for marriage. The marriage rate is going up for people in their sixties. And the baby boomers who rejected convention in their youth now want to reinvent old age — and extend the adventure of youth. Paul McCartney and his new wife Nancy Shevell leave Marylebone register office in central London following their wedding in Yvonne Roberts. So what's driving the change? Reuse this content.

Older women want sex Towson

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