After investing many years in bringing up children, the ‘empty nest’ is often a challenging time for couples.
When the children leave home, many couples find that they need to adjust to a different lifestyle and to find new ways to connect with each other.
Make time for each other
While it can be helpful to have individual interests or hobbies, it’s vital that you spend time together as a couple. It’s hard to connect with each other if one of you spends all your spare time at the golf course and the other at the gym. Spending time with each other, even if it’s just to go for a walk or have a meal, will make all the difference to the quality of your relationship. Consider taking up a new hobby together. Whether it’s dance classes, DIY or Spanish lessons, doing something new will be a great way to spend time together as well as a new focus for your conversation.
Talk and listen about things that matter
Be open with each other and talk about how you feel about your current circumstances. It’s OK to say that you miss the children or that you feel a bit lost now that they’ve left. Make plans together and talk about the things you’d like to do now that you have the opportunity. Try to be patient with one another as you adjust individually and as a couple, and recognise that it might take a while to establish a new routine.
Keep sex alive
Make the most of having the house to yourselves and set time aside for sex and intimacy. Rekindle the romance of your early relationship by taking baths together, lighting candles, or cuddling without the risk of a sarcastic comment from one of your offspring. And enjoy the fact that you don’t have to worry about whether the door has been left open!
Have fun together
Be sure to make time for fun. Explore whether you still like doing the things you enjoyed when you first met, as well as discovering new activities. Play games together, go camping, do crazy golf or plan exciting holidays abroad. Be adventurous with your ideas, and make time to laugh, be silly and enjoy one another’s company.
While the feeling of the ‘empty nest’ can be a challenging time for couples, it also gives us the chance to really invest in our relationship, rediscover one another and create new and happy memories together.
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