Life only gets better in your 50s, study finds
A recent survey revealed that women become more active, enjoy better sex lives and have better relationships with their partners in their 50s than at any other time in their lives. Now, author Kate Figes explains to Guardian readers why this is.
“I can honestly say that I have never felt more content than since I turned 50 five years ago,” she begins beneath a picture of the beautiful 50-something Kristin Scott putting most girls in their 20s to shame. But just what is it about the 50s that marks such a turning point in the female lifespan? Kate puts it down to five points:
1. No more raging hormones
Gone are the days of being dictated by the amount of oestrogen racing through your bloodstream. Those Jeckyll and Hyde days of premenstrual, postmenstrual and during-menstrual tension tend to disappear once you reach your 50s, leaving you feeling calm and stable in a way that simply wouldn’t be possible with all those crippling cramps and raging mood-swings.
2. Children fly the nest
By this age any offspring should be fully-fledged and off seeking their own adventures in life. Messy bedrooms, the on-going war on curfews, homework, alcohol and all the other nightmares of teen-hood are a thing of the past and your parent-child relationship can finally take on a new dynamic. When they grow up and leave home, your children have a chance to see you as an occasional source of comfort, wisdom and friendship rather than the boring, nagging grown-up of yesteryear.
3. Me time
Kate says that with the children gone women suddenly have a lot more free time and, when they’re no longer dishing out tenners for taxis or bailing students out of overdrafts, they also tend to have a lot more spare cash to spend on other things. Now women can visit the theatre, play tennis, read, write and try new things. After maybe 20 or more years of motherhood, women in their 50s can finally welcome a new kind of freedom to explore the things they want in life.
4. More sex
Kate says that while her days of hoping to look like an underwear model may long be over, the trust and love that comes with many years of marriage changes the focus of sex. In their 50s, partners can focus more on the feelings – both physical and emotional, involved in sex, rather than how each person looks. The familiarity allows couples to experiment more and free themselves from all the old pressures and insecurities that come with sex in your youth.
5. Greater wisdom
With age comes wisdom. Knowing that there is limited time and that that limit is drawing ever nearer is not as depressing as it sounds. In fact, according to Kate, it can be liberating. Using and enjoying every day to the max is important. Taking pleasure in the small things – the company of loved ones, delicious food, beautiful scenery and tender moments is often something we don’t do as young adults. The pressures and expectations we feel to ‘make something of ourselves’ can often render us blind to the things that sit right in front of us. In our 50s, we learn to see those things.
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