Restarting your life, an occasion that has develop into “commonplace” | EUROtoday

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HASnne and Yves are 48 years previous. She is a gallery proprietor, he’s an educational. Divorced and single for a number of years, they met one night in October 2020, throughout a dinner with mutual associates. Placed aspect by aspect, “the current flows”. They depart one another promising to see one another once more. “I’ll study later that it was organized! » confides the forty-year-old with fun.

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The scenario, nevertheless charming it could be, isn’t any much less traditional. While nearly one marriage in two (46%) at present ends in divorce – which happens on common across the age of 42 – and life expectancy reaches 82 years (79 years for males, 85 for girls). girls), increasingly French persons are “restarting their lives”.

“Repartnering” has “become a commonplace event in the life course”, concluded Arnaud Régnier-Loilier, researcher at INED (National Institute of Demographic Studies), in an unlimited survey dedicated to the topic, revealed in 2019 Half of French folks aged 25-50 discover a companion inside 5 years of breaking apart, he mentioned.

Intimate life doesn't finish at 50

“Morals and legislation today offer a form of flexibility in entering and leaving a relationship. And it is clear that we now break up more easily, when a situation no longer suits us or no longer satisfies us,” explains Christophe Giraud, sociologist specializing in {couples} and professor at Paris-Cité University.

An aspiration of all ages, if we’re to consider the clear enhance in divorces after 30 to 35 years of marriage: their quantity has elevated ninefold since 1985 (INED) and the speed of single folks over 50 desirous to expertise “a new love story” reaches 63% (Kantar for

“Where it was believed – particularly for women – that intimate and romantic life was over after the age of 50, it now seems natural to look for a partner at any age,” feedback Christophe Giraud.

This is evidenced by the proliferation, over the previous fifteen years, of courting websites (“Let’s say tomorrow”, “Meetic senior”, “Our beautiful years”, and so forth.) supposed for this class of the inhabitants. An different to which 38% of fifty-somethings and over are turning at present, “looking for a serious relationship” (Kantar).

Partners now not have the identical aspirations

Aspirations, wants, constraints… These tales of the second or third a part of life cowl, actually, a really totally different actuality from first-line relationships, underlines Catherine Demangeot, {couples} therapist and writer of the podcast “Who loves me follows me”.

After 40 years, she explains, everybody has typically constructed their skilled, social, household life and “the challenges of the relationship (succeeding, acquiring, pleasing, etc.) are no longer the same”: “Many perceive these stories as the opportunity to (finally) take care of themselves. »

A situation that is all the more appreciable since we “are neither in a situation of emergency regarding these accomplishments, nor, generally, in the impatience to be reassured regarding our emotional insecurity,” observes the specialist. “We invariably gain in lightness! »

These parameters no less push people who are rebuilding their lives towards “solid, reliable, sincere” companions, she notes. Because the query – acutely aware or not – can also be that of “aging together”, and “we must be able to count on each other”.

“I believe that these relationships, when they hold, are stronger and more lucid,” agrees Anne. More enlightened too: “We no longer lull ourselves into the illusion that there is a perfect partner, we also know better what suits us and try not to repeat the same mistakes. »

Olivier*, 60 years old, confirms this. In a relationship with Émilie*, 42, whom he is preparing to marry, the sixty-year-old has already experienced two divorces. Without acrimony, he confides: “Experience changes our sensitivity, reshapes our needs and we move towards different profiles. To an authoritarian woman, we may prefer gentleness…”

The weight of norms and “false beliefs”

If the observations are related, women and men nonetheless method this sentimental turning level in a definite approach. Thus, girls, Arnaud Régnier-Loilier famous in his survey, would meet their new partner earlier than males, who’re extra inclined, after a breakup, to have extra companions.

An inclination which doesn’t forestall the latter from being the almost certainly to start out a brand new life. Among different causes: the presence of kids – of whom girls are primarily entrusted with care – but in addition advancing age.

“The standards are slowly changing, but it is still difficult for women aged 50 and over to find love again…” confirms sociologist Christophe Giraud. In truth, if at 40 years previous, women and men equally continuously stay collectively, the statistics widen, at 55 years previous, a niche of seven% (83% and 76% respectively).

A state of affairs that {couples} therapist Catherine Demangeot attributes much less to age than to “false beliefs”: “Many – starting with women – still consider that, after 50, love is behind them. However, this limiting and self-validating idea is prophetic! »

A conditioning which is also not foreign to the context of separation – which can be particularly destabilizing on an emotional level and lead to caution. “Love,” the specialist reminds us, “depends above all on the mental and emotional capacity to be available for a relationship, to let in novelty, otherness. »

Olivier agrees: “Being open to a new relationship is not easy. After a failure, we lose self-confidence, we doubt, we say to ourselves “never again”. And but…”

* First names have been modified