Relationship Initiation Among Older Adults

Chaya Koren, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Relationships are desired at any age including later in life among older adults. This chapter provides a broad overview of relationship initiation (i.e., entering a new relationship) in the second half of life among older persons. The chapter reviews sociocultural and inter/intrapersonal factors that shape relationship initiation among older adults, including the influence of individualistic/collectivistic cultural values, the presence of children and grandchildren, the living arrangement, and the health conditions of the partners. We frame our discussion using a psychosocial ecological framework and several contemporary theories of aging, including successful aging theory and socioemotional selectivity. We conclude the chapter with suggestions for future research, which take into account the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and explore the experiences of different older age groups (65-74; 75-84; and 85+). Moreover, although the use of technology for dating purposes among older adults has been studied extensively, what is still missing is information about the use of technology across different cultures and for purposes other than dating, such as sexual pleasure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Romantic Relationships
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780197524749
ISBN (Print)9780197524718
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2023.


  • cohabitation
  • cultural diversity
  • intimacy in later life
  • late life repartnering
  • living apart together
  • older adults
  • relationship initiation
  • remarriage
  • second couplehood
  • successful aging


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