This paper reports findings from a research project on intimacy and emotional satisfaction in the ageing process. The principal theoretical guidelines are taken from Anthony Giddens's recent work on the transformation of intimacy in modern society. The data from interviews do not in general support the notion that people experience ‘ontological insecurity’ in the life course with respect to significant changes in identity. In everyday life, there is little evidence of widespread self reflexivity, which in Giddens's recent theory is the hallmark of high modernity. There is generally an attitude of pragmatic accommodation to the vicissitudes of ordinary life events.