Later-Life Companionship.

August 25, 2021

Later-Life Companionship.

May 29, 2023

Are you up for a little workshop exercise (best-suited for those 60+, although anyone could try this)? This exercise is designed to help you identify what you’re looking for from a companion later in your life.

Below, you’ll see ten choices with one of them being Fill in the Blank so you can add your own customized response.

  1. My Best Friend & Emotional Confidante
  2. Traveling Companion & Fellow Epicure
  3. Satisfying Sexual & Sensual Relationship
  4. Great Domestic Partner at Home
  5. Someone to Take Care of Me If I’m Ailing
  6. Trustworthy Financial Partner
  7. Someone Who Shares My Spiritual Curiosity
  8. A Loving Collaborator with Our Families (and possibly kids)
  9. Someone Who Gives Me Space
  10. Fill in the Blank


First off, stack rank these choices from 1-10 in terms of how important they are to you. Secondly, create a pie chart and take your top 5 or 6 choices and assign a percentage to that choice knowing that all of your choices will add up to 100%. So, if you chose the top six above in that order (your choices will likely vary from that), you might assign 30% to "My Best Friend & Emotional Confidante," your first choice and 5% to "Trustworthy Financial Partner," your sixth choice with the other four choices between 2 and 5 each being assigned something between 30% and 5%.

Turn this into a pie chart, either by hand or using an app like Excel. Then, take a look at your priorities with respect to the person with whom you may spend the rest of your life. If you’re already partnered, bonus points for creating a second pie chart that defines what seems most relevant with your current partner/spouse. When you compare the two charts visually, you may have a “what am I pretending not to know?” moment.

I did this with a friend who has been with her husband for thirty years, but has a hard-to-pinpoint feeling that it’s not working any more. Here were her two charts of her top five choices: ideally and in reality.

It was jarring to see this, but it stimulated her to ask her husband to do the same and then they compared charts which gave them the opportunity to dive-deep into what they both wanted from each other now that they were Empty Nesters.

Maybe this exercise feels too cerebral for you and you’ve found "The Five Love Languages" to be your guide to understanding what’s important for you and a partner. Or, maybe you have no interest in just a single companion for the rest of your life. No problem. I just offer this exercise as another tool for your relational toolbox.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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