Dyadic Experiences of Love in Late-Life Repartnering Relationships

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Love is desired at any age and has many meanings. Formulating new partner relationships later in life includes love as a motivation. However, experiences of love as a concept within such relationships have yet to be examined. Such an investigation could contribute to further understanding the meaning of love within new relationships formulated later in life. Thirty-eight semi-structured, qualitative interviews with older adults (19 couples) who entered a new relationship at old age after widowhood or divorce following a long-term marriage were conducted and transcribed verbatim. Dyadic interview analysis methodology was used. Unique experiences of love were identified: (1) Kinds of love: (a) pleasant love—not heated, (b) parental love—deep and quiet, and (c) sibling love; (2) phases of love: (a) being in love, (b) partial love, and (c) falling out of love yet caring. The discussion addresses late-life repartnering love as exclusive and as shifting from passion to compassion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2624-2646
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • dyadic interview analysis
  • emotion
  • late-life repartnering
  • love
  • qualitative method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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