Experiences of Happiness in Late Life Repartnering: Between Surprised Being Happy and Disappointed Not Being Happy From a Dyadic View

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research indicates that happiness increases with age, however, the common layperson perception is that happiness decreases with age. Late-life repartnering is a phenomenon developing with the increase in life expectancy, entered to enjoy life. It is not officially recognized as an option in Israel, culturally located between tradition and modernity. Within this social context, the aim is to explore the experience of happiness in late life repartnering relationships from a dyadic partner perspective and understand its meaning within the cultural society it is developing in. Data was drawn from a larger phenomenology study conducted on the meaning of late life repartnering from a dyadic view. 38 semi-structured qualitative interviews (19 couples) were conducted with functionally independent repartners, aged 66-92 who entered their relationship after a lifelong marriage. Happiness was an issue addressed by participants. It was not part of the interview guide thus results represent secondary analysis of interviews with participants who addressed happiness. Results illustrate a range of happiness experiences from a dyadic view related to expectations experienced on a continuum between surprised being happy and disappointed not being happy including six subthemes. Results are discussed relating to expectations and disappointment theory, and to how happiness is valued linked to culture. Implicit ageism is suggested for understanding why happiness is experienced as unexpected in late life repartnering, although entered to enjoy life. Implications are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-764
Number of pages17
JournalAgeing International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Disappointment
  • Expectations
  • Happiness
  • Late life repartnering
  • Qualitative method
  • Surprise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiences of Happiness in Late Life Repartnering: Between Surprised Being Happy and Disappointed Not Being Happy From a Dyadic View'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this