Love, Self

How I Beat The Odds And Got Married (For The First Time!) After Age 50

Photo: courtesy of the author
The True Story Of How To Find Love After 50, And Even Get Married

According to the 2011 U.S. Census, if you're over 40, your chance of marrying is a whopping 15 percent —  yep, that's it. 

Well, that's uplifting. 

Looking at those stats made me cringle — kind of like going to the grocery store on a sunny, 75 degree Saturday afternoon. Finding love after 50 seems impossible.

But guess what? I beat the odds and married the man of my dreams at 53 years old.

When I was a little girl, my mom was driving us to our family-owned restaurant to open up for the day. Here's what came out of my 11-year-old mouth: "If I'm not married by the time I'm 24, I'm going to kill myself."

Obviously, I didn't have the emotional fortitude or the vocabulary to state this in a less threatening manner. But you get the point. My mom threw me a look that could have melted paint off a wall.

"Never say something like that!" she said!. "You'll be fine with or without a husband." She had that right because it wasn't until almost 30 years later that I took my marriage vows.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Falling In Love After 50 Is The Best Kind Of Love

I was very lucky to have parents who didn't pressure me about personal issues. I had other friends' parents trying to marry them off at 22, which is crazy. Who's lived life yet?! I traveled to Bermuda, the Bahamas, and other cool places. I had great friends and spent weekends partying for so many years.

I had the time to stay in school and get a graduate degree and after that, spend 12 hours a day working to advance my career. I received promotions and compliments from leadership like, "You're our rising superstar" and "Motivation will take you far, young lady."

Wow, this all felt great but what didn't feel so good was being lonely or being broken up with for unknown reasons or being ghosted and left to wonder if I'm truly as horrible as I feel. I was skilled in the art of distraction as I masked my confusion and pain by looking like a champion in all other aspects of my life.

While life was soaring by, my personal relationships were a cluster. A breakup for me was agony because I formed a depressing pattern. It would be at least two years between each relationship — and that's just unreasonable.

I'm sure it was due to the fact that it took my heart forever to heal. It was a vicious circle — the breakup, next sadness, then holding on to hope for reconciliation, leading to being closed-off to other opportunities, and looping back for more sadness.

It's almost as if I willed this Ferris Wheel of madness to happen each and every time. I wouldn't have recognized a good thing if he did a cartwheel on to my front porch. I finally hit rock bottom and gave up on love for a very long time.

I had my first small glimmer of hope, even though I didn't recognize it at the time, when I discovered the Law of Attraction while watching an Oprah show. I was so intrigued by the logic of it all, that I could not get my hands on enough books and information about it. I practiced it and introduced it to others as it's become a staple in my life to this day.

I began to ponder life's bigger questions such as how I fit into the universe and what am I supposed to be doing for myself and other people. I dug deep in the study of religions and various spiritual practices. I felt something inside pushing me toward a more harmonious relationship between myself and something bigger.

What I realize now is that I was moving toward love. Not romantic love but infinite love in all its forms.

The most impactful example is the rescue of my dog. She taught me how to be a mom and what it meant to take care of another's needs. I learned patience, more kindness and selflessness and how to handle challenges better, among many other good qualities.

RELATED: 6 Real Ways To Rev Up Your Love Life After 50

Additionally, after the death of my beloved mother, I began to be more in tune with others' feelings, more compassionate and better able to deal with challenges in a calmer manner. I was truly growing into the person I was always meant to be.

The urges to unite with a loving partner started to bubble up to the surface again, but this time was different. All the love that was within me was coming out into the world.

I learned the practice of gratitude, self-love, and happiness principles and I practiced all of them every day. It was so easy and natural. I realized I didn't have to do more, but do things differently and in ways that made me feel good all day long.

I finally had the courage to begin making different life decisions and doing what's best for my soul. I took a giant leap of faith and changed careers so I could do what I loved each day. I now look at other people in a more caring way, even if they hurt my feelings, and that's not easy to do.

I felt so good about myself and the life I created that I came to the realization that every moment can be a good one, significant other or not.

That's how I lived — not a care in the world other than me feeling good and putting my best self out there.

One Friday evening, I'm running through our local, family-friendly tavern towards the back to find some friends. My former neighbor of 16 years literally leaped out of his bar seat and hurled himself towards my face, scaring me to death!

There sitting next to him was this man throwing a gleaming smile my way. It happened to be my neighbor's friend which surprisingly, I never met.  The three of us spent a few hours talking and they came back to my place. My new friend had a strange look on his faced as he stood and looked around.

He asked, "Are you a big football fan?" I laughed as my Dallas Cowboy bobble heads sat neatly in a row in my family room. We discussed college football and I actually knew more major head coaches than just the one in our own state. He looked shocked and thrilled. He came back the next day, the day after that, and never left.

We spent four years getting to know each other. I didn't want to have children and he had one son. I wanted an older guy and he was over eleven years younger than me.

As time went on, we realized these things were not deal breakers. His kindness, open heart and gentle demeanor toward me were of utmost importance. His open communication and laid back personality fit with my more outgoing, vivacious ways. It just flowed so easily — the way it's supposed to be.

We got married at his beautiful family home near Lake Erie and had a wonderful reception at a local winery. It was one day after my 53rd birthday.

I beat the odds because I relaxed. I released the need to be married and focused on having a beautiful life. I slowed myself down and loved life more, allowing him to finally find me.

RELATED: 5 Things That Opened Me Up to Passionate Love, Post 50

Lori Peters is an Author, Speaker, Radio Show Host and Dating Coach. Find her Happiness Hangout and get your free relationship happiness resources.

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