Using a matched-partner dataset of 660 midlife couples, this study examined dating relationships at midlife from the perspective of both male and female partners. It also explored ways various life course factors such as marital history, children, cohabitation, relationship length, and social approval related to partners' perceptions of one another and to subsequent relationship quality. Findings indicated heterogeneity in midlife dating experiences. Actor and partner effects of enhancement were most often linked with greater satisfaction and fewer problems for never-married couples, yet enhancement was not related to relationship stability for them. For couples where only one partner had been previously married, partner enhancement was linked to stability but not to other relationship outcomes. Life course factors played an important role in midlife dating relationships. Further research is needed to examine longitudinal trends.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage, Family, and Human Development
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sheffield, Rachel, "Dating in Midlife: A Dyadic Approach Examining Partner Perceptions on Relationship Quality" (2008). All Theses and Dissertations. 1578.
dating, midlife, middle age, human relationships, divorce, remarriage