However, it’s always better to wait until you have a chance to get over your surprise and can think of the relationship objectively.

It is important to keep in mind that the situation is not about you, but the future happiness of your parent.

As University of Washington sociologist Pepper Schwartz says, “We are looking at very long periods of time.

With age, men generally become more tender and less aggressive, while women become more assertive and have little need for outside validation of their worth.

By age 65, many people are comfortable in their own skins and are willing to accept others as they are.

In some cases, the couple will decide to get married, although a growing number of seniors are content to just live together.

Nevertheless, the new arrangement adds another dimension to the parent-adult child relationship with emotional, financial, and generational complications.

As novelist Barbara Neely said when turning 65, “I look in the mirror more often, smile at the lovely lady, and hope I look as good as she does when I reach her age.”Inevitably, a widow or widower will turn to other people, seeking to rebuild the social life they experienced before the death of their spouse or partner.

Dating after 65 is both similar and different than dating as a teenager.

By the time you reach 65, after decades in a marriage, many of the rough spots have been worn smooth with the currents of time, just as a stone tumbled and tossed in a river.

Older couples frequently say their senior years are the best times of a marriage, being able to focus on each other without the conflicts and responsibilities of children and careers.

For most of their lives, they’ve been on the short end of the stick, facing unemployment and moving back home to live with parents, but the tides are turning economically and socially.

In addition to solving the problems of excessively expensive healthcare, deteriorating infrastructure, and growing income inequality, Gen-Xers must also cope with the likelihood that Dad or Mom will not retire quietly and simply settle into babysitting, knitting, or teaching grandkids how to whittle.

As an adult child, you need to handle the situation carefully, honestly, and lovingly.