When Your Happily-Ever-After Happens Later in Life: Guest Post by Lauri Barnes
My newest contemporary romance novel, Catch a Falling Star, tells the story of a romance between a man and a woman in their thirties — their late thirties, to be exact. The romance is of the “are these two really right for each other?” kind.
I’ve talked with others about whether there’s an expiration date on romance — I even wrote a blog post on it for RT’s daily blog! I’ve also loved hearing real-life stories of later in life romances. Today, my friend, Lauri Barnes, shares her story!
When I was growing up, I always imagined that I would marry young. I was eager to find the love of my life and start a family of my own. God apparently had different plans!
After I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I began teaching and working on my first master’s degree, and I had a very small social circle. I didn’t have much time for dating, and when I did have time, I wasn’t meeting anyone that seemed compatible.
As I passed from my twenties to my thirties, and then when I passed 35, I became discouraged, picturing myself as the prototypical old maid. I had begun to lose hope that there was “the one” out there, and seriously considered settling for Mr. He Likes Me rather than Mr. Right.
When I told a godly friend how depressing it was to think about growing old alone, she told me that God didn’t call me to be single the rest of my life; He only asked me to be single “today.” One day at a time made the wait a lot easier, and I’m so glad that I waited!
After I finished my doctorate just before my 37th birthday, my mom made it her mission to find me a husband, and she scouted out Dale on an online Christian dating site. Both Dale and my dad worked at the same Air Force base, so my parents met him for lunch one day.
When I first heard about this “great Christian guy,” who was 47 and had never been married, I was sure that he would be like all the other awkward blind dates I had been on (why, thank you for taking me to look at tools in the Sears automotive section—how romantic!).
I was pleasantly surprised by Dale when we met at a local Mexican restaurant. The conversation flowed easily, and I felt so comfortable with him. We met March 7, dated every weekend (we lived in towns an hour apart), and on Memorial Day of that same year, he asked me to marry him.
Our wedding was two months later, and the adventure really began! Trying to combine our two homes into one (for a brief while we had three houses!), renovating our homes so they could be sold, doing all of this while I was pregnant or nursing our two children (who are 17 months apart) … not easy!
Nevertheless, we are so grateful for each other that we would rather go through all of the challenges together than to spend our lives apart. When it is true love, it really doesn’t matter what you are doing, as long as you are doing it together–stripping wallpaper, spackling, repairing ductwork or plumbing, or living with a room full of boxes (even 5 years into the marriage)–it’s all worth it!
If happily-ever-after came true later in your life, what did you learn while you waited? If you’re still waiting … what makes the waiting easier — or more difficult?
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