This fun photo strip was taken at a photo booth set up at a wedding reception for two mid-single friends a couple of weeks ago. We thought it was a great idea. Each guest got a momento of the event and the couple got a picture of everyone who attended their reception.
It always feels joyful to me when I hear about a mid-single couple being engaged or married. It suggests people having the resilience and courage to try again. It suggests hope in the idea that blessings can come to us later in life than we thought and still be joyful. Even before Cathy and I got married, seeing other mid-singles getting married always renewed my hope.
I know that, for some of you, seeing a wedding announcement from a mid-single couple triggers some pain -- particularly when the wedding involves someone you dated or had hoped to date. I feel for you. I know many of you have despairingly asked the question, "Why not me?"
I want to suggest that you ask the question rhetorically and hopefully, "Why not me?" as in "Why not?" Because one day it could be you. One day it will be.
You might have tried over and over and feel like it never works. My friends, it never works until it does. It really only works once right? Then you stop trying with new people. It only HAS to work once! So, if a loving marriage is the desire of your heart, don't give up.
I want to suggest a few important ideas on this subject that I hope might make your search happier:
I give this advice with a little caution. I am not suggesting it because I am assuming there is something wrong with you that needs fixing before you can get married. You are worth marrying right now, just the way you are.
Suggesting personal development will bring more joy into your life independent of getting married, as well as prepare you for marriage. I also believe it will make you a more attractive dating partner. Quality people are drawn to others who are thinking deeply about their purposes and seeking greater joy and fulfillment.
There are so many great resources today! You can listen to the free "gospel library" app reading the scriptures to you while you drive or take a bath. Our LILY Pod podcast is available on the major platforms. Give us a listen and see if it gives you hope and good ideas for your life. It's a resource created for mid-singles and it's FREE with new content being added every week!
You don't need to make your first date in 5 years a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. Meet her for a Jamba Juice and see how it goes. And strive to date consistently -- not in flashes. You may need to "try on" a lot of people before you find one that fits you. If you make finding new people to date and regularly dating a part of your life, it won't be very long before you find someone you want to date exclusively and consider marrying. Remember, I am suggesting that dating consistently is a part of your life -- not that it take over your life.
3. Enjoy Your Life Otherwise
Two happy people rarely get together and have a lousy time. If you are a happy person, chances are good that you will be happily married. If you are unhappy and waiting for someone to come along and ease your burdens and otherwise make you happy, you are going to have a harder time getting married and a lower chance of being happily married. Do your best to figure out your life and be happy where you are.
There is a lot more I could say. (Actually, I did. Cathy and I have a 350 page book coming out this fall, so stay tuned!) But I think these few ideas can help. Remember, above all, that happiness is the object and design of our existence, and remain hopeful. Let every wedding of a mid-single couple renew that hope.
HaPpY StaR WaRs DaY!!! May the force of God's love and the spirit of personnel revelation bless your life today and throughout the year. And HaPpY CiNcO MaYo!!! We enjoy celebrating obscure holidays and this week, we celebrated two-in-one! For Star Wars Day, we watched Return of the Jedi and for Cinco de Mayo, we ate Jeff's mouth-watering carne asada tacos and Emily's amazing guacamole. Watching a Star Wars classic while eating homemade Mexican food is a great combination!
17th century English poet Robert Herrick penned these immortal words about a very mortal subject:
Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.
(Robert Herrick,To the Virgins to Make Much of Time.) One of the great advantages of middle-age is that you are old enough to know but young enough to do. The great disadvantage of middle-age is being painfully aware of how fleeting it is. Childhood felt like one eternal summer. Youth passed more quickly but still seemed to go on for a good long while. Middle age snuck up on me. I don't believe there was one day when I woke up and just realized, "Okay, I am no longer a young man. I am now middle-aged."
So what rosebuds will you gather while you still have time? What kind of memories will you make with your children if you have them? What contribution will you make to the world?
Will you follow Herrick's advice, "Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry"? (I think a lot of us are pretty "coy" when the subject of marriage arises. Nothing makes a middle aged single feel more vulnerable.) When Cathy and I were married I was 50 years old -- which is three years younger than I am now. I don't lament that I didn't meet her when I was a newly returned missionary. (She was only 9 anyway.) I am glad that we have an eternity because we started a little late. With an eternal perspective, starting at 50 isn't much different from 21.
On the other hand, however old you are today, you are younger than you will ever be again. It is ok if you went through some trauma and don't feel ready to get married yet -- as long as you know what you want long-term, and don't become complacent about it.
We started Love in Later Years in part to encourage you to live the second half of your life with more enthusiasm than the first half. We want you to rediscover the belief that marriage and family life can be joyful and rewarding. So take that trip to Disneyland with your kids, take those art classes you always wanted to take when it never seemed practical, get that college degree, start that business, and pluck up the courage to ask that beautiful or handsome friend to have dinner with you.
We often talk about the trials that inevitably come in every human life. But life is to be lived, not merely endured. So gather your rosebuds and live it well.
A smile creates high vibrational energy and high vibration leads to smiling easily and effortlessly. It has a synergistic effect. We can share that energy with others just by holding it within ourselves, by focusing on the good in our lives and in the world no matter our circumstances. Gratitude boosts joy and is a great catalyst for natural happy smiles!
As humans, we tend to be hard on ourselves. It's easy to see where we fall short and get overwhelmed by all the things we have left on our to-do lists. We have found that by intentionally recognizing and celebrating what we do well each day, we can celebrate our "wins." It's therapeutic to the soul and leads to more smiles, inside and out. Cheers to intentionally cultivating happy high-vibrational thoughts!
"Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love comes along and brings you a fairytale."
We were living ordinary lives as single parents until we finally found each other. And even then, it wasn't a typical fairy tale but we love our love story anyway. What we felt was missing before is even better than we imagined now that we are creating it together.
Wishing all the best to our mid-single friends who are busy living ordinary lives while diligently seeking and patiently waiting for their own special love story to come along.
HaPpY SaiNt PaTriCkS DaY!!!
Here's a fun little story about luck in finding love. This photo was taken 5 years ago, when Cathy was a mid single, actively looking for her "lucky charm."
I vividly remember the moment when I took this selfie on March 17, 2016. Intending to share it on singles pages, I thought it would be a cute way to attract potential dating partners. At the time, I was feeling discouraged by all the effort I was putting into dating. I was meeting great guys, but that one special person I could really see myself with long term had not shown up yet. I remember thinking, "this will not likely attract my future spouse." I also remember thinking, "oh well, I'll just keep trying anyway until I do!"
That day, Jeff and I became Facebook friends. I made absolutely no connection to that fateful selfie. It wasn't until two years later, when we were engaged in 2018, that we were reminded by Facebook that St Patrick's 2016 was our "Friendiversary." It turns out my future forever spouse did come into my life that day! It just took us a while to figure it out.
Happy searching and best of Irish luck to all our single friends out there!