I’m 64 years old and after knowing and caring for elderly friends and relatives it seems to me that most are not intimidated by solitude; and that those who are open to partnership find it easily.
As life fades away and mental capacities diminish I think most people revert to basic immediate mundane pleasures such as a favorite ice cream flavor. Whether the ice cream is there or not seems more important to them than if there is a life partner there to share the enjoyment with or not. If their healthy practices in life, religious or otherwise, raised their capacity for joy; then they get to find more joy in these simply pleasures, compared to others; whether alone or not.
For most people the last “good” years are from 60–80. The wise and humane will not find it difficult to find partners to share these remaining enjoyable years. It doesn’t matter whether that partner has been a “life partner” or not. By that time all partners automatically become life partners. When the wise and humane are close to the end they no longer take tenderness, affection, and companionship for granted.
After 80, most are at the mercy of physical and mental decline. My Mother is fond of saying that everyday after 80 was a blessing and that everyday after 90 is a bucket of shit (she grew up on a farm).
Because of such diminished capacity it is rare to see couples over 80 who are truly independent and able to both equally give and receive pleasure.
I’m glad my “life partner” (2nd spouse)from age 39–64 and I had the wisdom and humanity to recognize that we would both be happier divorced and open to other “life partners” during our last few good years. My current life partner, as well, is happy that we did.
Don’t take the pleasures of life for granted and every partner is a life partner.