6 reasons not to marry in your 50s and 60s and why getting wed will kill your relationship | The Sun

STRICTLY judge Shirley Ballas won’t have a wedding band on her ring finger anytime soon – at 63, she is perfectly happy with her relationship “just the way it is”. 

Shirley has been dating 50-year-old actor Danny Taylor for five years after the couple met in panto but has no plans to marry.

She's already been down the aisle twice – first to Sammy Stopford from 1980 to 1984, and then to Corky Ballas from 1985 to 2007.

According to dating coach and author Hayley Quinn, who has appeared on Celebs Go Dating and The Apprentice, Shirley is onto something.

NOT marrying in your 50s and 60s could be the key to a lasting relationship. 

Here, she talks about the benefits of not tying the knot in middle age and why it spells doom if you do…

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Don't feel forced to get married, says Hayley, as it'll only cause cracks to develop

Not feeling the need to get married is one of the massive benefits of dating and interacting with people at a later life stage.  

For people in their 30s or 40s and maybe even their 20s what they're often really focused on is finding a partner, getting married and having kids.

Not having anything to prove and not needing to go through with the wedding demonstrates a lot of security in the relationship. You already know how much you mean to each other and you can enjoy it all and have fun. 

If you start to feel like you should get married because of what other people are thinking, this can actually speak to more insecurity within the relationship or cracks developing.

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Hayley claims you'll have more money for your pension pot if you avoid tying the knotCredit: Copyright Dazeley

You save a lot of money on not having a wedding. In 2022 the average wedding in the UK cost £18,200. 

You’re obliged to splash out on a dress, a venue, food, drink and then there's also the expense of the honeymoon which on average costs around £4500. 

According to a survey by Zola, 40% of couples claimed that wedding planning was extremely stressful, and 71% responded that it was more nerve-wracking than other major life events such as finding a new job.

And for people that are widowed, not marrying also might mean they retain their former spouse's pension, which of course they would lose if they married a new partner.

A lot of the time getting married isn't beneficial, financially. 


There's research on the optimum time to get married, In terms of how long you've known one another. The numbers say that if you marry in less than 18 months of knowing each other there’s a high chance of failure. 

The sweet spot is around two and a half years after meeting so if you've actually known one another for a longer period of time – like Shirley and Danny – and then retrospectively decide to get married, it often ends in divorce. 

And according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the chances of divorce get even higher as we age – especially if it's not our first nuptials.

They found that divorces among the over-50s have doubled since the 90s and researchers expect this to triple by 2030 – and it’s women driving this increase.

Plus, couples who embark on a second marital journey are up to 2.5 times more likely to face another divorce compared to those in their first marriages.


I conducted a survey about dating at different ages and life stages. What I found is that a lot of the younger women I worked with felt a lot of anxiety around dating, but a lot of the women who are having the most enjoyable dating experiences were in their 50s or 60s or beyond. 

Women can be prone to thinking that once we're not young and pretty, that no one's going to want us. And in fact, the complete opposite is true. When you’re dating in your 50s or 60s, women often feel very, very liberated sexually. 

And that's about women really discovering libido in a postmenopausal way, and being able to have unapologetically sexual relationships because you’re not having to date for a particular outcome. 


There's real benefits to dating later on in life. You know who you are and you have better awareness of which partners to choose. 

You feel more confident about communicating your needs and preferences. You have clarity about what style of relationship you want, and also the compulsion to actually have an open conversation around it and being candid is often something that people feel improves as they age. 

A lot of women in this age range reported that they felt that they had a lot more choice with dating because they can date men who are younger, older or the same age as them. 


If you're dating in your 50s and 60s, being able to communicate with a level of candidness is a real plus. 

You are able to have fun and enjoy yourself in bed and on nights out and really date on your own terms.

Better yet plenty of older women live healthy, vibrant, exciting and fun single lives. Some are creating new businesses, taking up new hobbies, or hanging out having a laugh with their friends. 

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Many older women are happily single by choice and having a ball. 

Women in their fifth and sixth decades truly can have it all.

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