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With high school and college graduations coming to a close, summer is a time of year when adult children move out of their parents’ households to embark on the next phase of their lives. But after 18+ years of child rearing, such milestones can leave parents lost, anxious or confused, wondering: “what now?” As millions of married couples worldwide consider what the next years with their spouse will look like sans kids, take comfort in knowing that these can be the best years of your lives together.
Combating Empty Nest Anxiety
Though empty nest anxiety is a widespread concern among parents, a New York Times study found that marital happiness actually increases after kids leave home. For many couples, feelings of happiness continue to rise steadily during the empty nest years, and reach an all-time high at 35 years of marriage. “Parents were happy with their kids,” said Sara Melissa Gorchoff, a specialist on adult relationships who contributed to the article, “it’s just that their marriages got better when [their kids] left home.” As parents grow accustomed to the empty nest, having enjoyable interactions together is key.
Finding Renewed Togetherness
Rekindling excitement for outings with your significant other, without kids, should be number one on the list of empty nest to-dos. Start by having conversations about topics other than kids or jobs. Think about outings that both partners want to experience, but didn’t have time for with kids. After narrowing down desired activities, research offers online by checking out the AARP Member Advantages website. Looking for an uninterrupted, quintessential date night? Take advantage of discounts on dining and movies at Regal Cinema. If outdoor adventures or a group fitness class sound more inspiring, check out local offers available to AARP Members through a Special Merchant Offer provided by Groupon*. Alternatively, experience the arts with jaw-dropping performances like Cirque du Soleil available at a discount for AARP Members through Ticketmaster.
Whatever activity is chosen, the importance lies in carving out stress-free time together. With fewer interruptions and more opportunities, take advantage of the options and enjoy more quality time with your significant other once your kids have flown the coop.
*Special Merchant Offer. All goods, services and discounts are provided by third-parties, not by AARP or its affiliates. AARP and its affiliates do not endorse and are not responsible for these goods, services and discounts. These offers are available for a limited-time and may have restrictions. Please contact the merchant directly for full details. Merchants may pay compensation for purchases made through these links.
These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.