HOUSTON – At 50 years old, maybe you're in or approaching an empty nest or maybe you need to reconnect with a partner.
Whatever you're looking to fulfill you, a local marriage and family therapist explains how to embrace the change and prepare for the future.
Emily Jamea, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, said now is the time to be proud of your children’s blossoming independence.
"What used to feel more like a parent-child relationship can start to take on some elements of a friendship. There's a little bit more of a camaraderie there. You go out to dinner and you can have conversations about topics that maybe you would with your friends or with older family members and so that can be a lot of fun," Jamea said.
The key to doing that is never losing the willingness to get to know them better.
The same willingness to learn new things applies to your relationship with your spouse.
“Starting the process of reconnecting before the kids leave can really buffer some of the symptoms that come with the transition,” Jamea explained. “Having conversations that aren't just about logistics and what they're planning with the kids but instead their future hopes, dreams, wishes. I think that that can really help stave off some of what comes with an empty nest.”
If you're back in the dating world for the first time in a while, Jamea said, it's a new scene but in some ways, you've got a leg up om younger people.
"The reason for that is the younger generation, I think, is learning everything online. To the extent that sometimes they lack some very basic relationship skills, they can have a harder time sitting across the table and having a conversation than someone who didn't grow up in the world of technology,” Jamea said.