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Empty Nester: Ways to Reconnect with Your Partner

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Many parents are thrilled when their kids go back to school because they have some free hours during the day again. But some parents this fall launched their young adult children into the world of college, military, or the workplace and out of their homes. It is a big transition to go from having hours of free time to weeks and months of free time ahead.

Launching young adult children into the world can be a challenging transition for families because of the mixture of expectations and the changing family dynamics. Parents and young adults have expectations of what it will be like once their young adult have moved out. Often times parents fantasize and expect to have time to return to individual and couple interests such as starting up an old hobby or having romantic evenings together.

But parents put a lot of love, time, and effort into raising their children and sometimes through the parenting years couples loose sight of each other. When the last child moves out parents are left with no choice but to face each other as a couple without the distractions of children and family life. For some couples this is a welcomed and celebrated time while for other couples this is a frightening and disappointing time. Either way it is a good time to reconnect; plan a trip together, go on dates, and ask each other questions even if you think you know the answers.

Here are some questions to get the conversation and reconnection going:

  • What is something new you like lately such as a TV show, song, restaurant, or drink?

  • Is there something that you've dreamed of doing but haven't yet? What's prevented you from doing it?

  • What are you looking forward to lately? Why is it important to you?

  • What do you hope to do together now that the kids have moved out?

Jennifer Wilmoth, LMFT

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