The secret of a long-lasting relationship? Laughter, apparently


It’s not just trust that makes a relationship, but a good dose of laughter too, according to a new survey.

Older women have been spilling the beans about sex and relationships in later life on Gransnet, whose new research found that trust is ranked highest for keeping a relationship working over the long term.

The vast majority of those surveyed (92 per cent) cited being able to laugh as critical to keeping a good relationship alive.

Sex was rated as important by just 65 per cent of those surveyed, and more than half agreed that people are squeamish about older people having sex. Some said, “I feel I have to keep quiet about it with friends and family.”

A third of those asked reported having sex once or more every week, with two per cent citing ‘daily’.

But it is mutual support, kindness and good communication that are really important to keeping a relationship alive. Three quarters of those asked cited having a good imagination as an important factor.


The survey also found that 40 per cent of those who have been in relationships for more than a year said that sex with their partner has improved over the years. The impact on the menopause has mixed effects, the research found. Just over 40 per cent agreed that it had a big impact on their sex lives.

Gransnet editor Cari Rosen said: “Lots of younger people don’t like to think about older people having loving relationships and good sex, which is odd when you consider that for many of us it’s the best case scenario. While passion is undoubtedly important for most people, it turns out that the glue in successful long-term relationships is compassion, kindness, generosity and friendship – which is advice that people of any age can use.”

Further data from the survey found that 37% said they would be unwilling to discuss sexual problems with their GP, but 47% indicated that it would not be a problem. Single grandparents are also taking todating sites, with 34% of those who said they’d found love after the age of 55 reporting that they met their partner via online dating.

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