Document Type


Publication Date



Intimate relationships in later adulthood are understudied despite their positive association with health and well-being. This cross-sectional mixed methods study sought to redress this gap by investigating relationship maintenance in later adulthood. Our international sub-sample comprised 1,565 participants aged 55 + and in an ongoing relationship. Results from hierarchical multiple regression indicated that overall happiness with the relationship had the largest effect size on relationship maintenance, with 53% of the variance explained. Content analyses of open-ended questions identified companionship and laughter as some of the “best liked” aspects of the relationship. Housework/cooking and saying “I love you” were among the behaviors that made participants feel appreciated. Results illustrated the types of maintenance behaviors adults in later adulthood who are in enduring partnerships employ.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.