The Beauty of Patience: Inspiring Journeys of Three Women Who Found Love and Married a Little Later

It’s not an unknown fact that society often sets a timeline for women, suggesting that marriage should happen early in life.

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This societal pressure often creates unnecessary pressure, making it seem like there’s a deadline for finding love.

The truth is, everyone’s journey to marriage is personal and should happen in its own time, not because society says so. This Women’s Month, we’re celebrating three women who didn’t let such “deadlines” rush them. They found love and got married when it felt right for them, proving that the path to marriage is as individual as the person walking it.

The Beauty of Patience: Inspiring Journeys of Three Women Who Found Love and Married a Little Later

On Rejecting the Rush and Embracing True Connection

Abby, who got married at the age of 36, is a journey that’s a testament to personal growth, resilience, and the courage to live life on one’s own terms. Reflecting on her experiences, Abby shares, “When I was single for a couple of years in my late 20s, I considered the possibility that I may not get married anymore.”

“I got tired of online dating. You match with someone, get to know each other, and repeat the process over and over again until that chat becomes a face-to-face convo only to find out his real name is different, has a kid, and is separated from his toxic wife. That was the last straw for me, I stopped after that and enjoyed my singleness,” she says.

Abby at 36 years old on her wedding day

Her candid admission is a breath of fresh air, shedding light on the expectations we have of ourselves and the society that influences how we see marriage and the appropriate age for such engagements. But more than that, her narrative delves deeper into her own identity and what it means to be prepared for a lifetime of companionship, going beyond the simple story of her a little later in life marriage.

Not-so-ironically, Abby was no exception to navigating family expectations. Introducing her younger boyfriend (now husband) to them brought about its own set of pressures. “Introducing my boyfriend entailed high expectations from my parents and relatives,” Abby explains. “As he is 7 years younger than me, talks about getting pregnant at an older age being hard and risky would come up from time to time; thus pressuring him to bend a knee and propose. It did not stop there though.

<strong>Pull Quote: “Society's default life plan of graduating, getting a job, getting married, and having kids all in your 20s is exhausting to hear.” - Abby</strong>

We still experienced pressure from our relatives even after we got engaged! To do it sooner than planned thus pushing us to choose a wedding date a few months early. Even though our original wedding date was only two months after the month they want,” she adds.

<strong>Overcoming Challenges and Celebrating Long-Term Love</strong>

Just like Abby, Jhowee navigated the complexities of societal expectations and personal readiness. Her path to marriage was shaped not just by personal choice but by circumstances that tested the strength and resilience of her relationship.

Jhowee explains, “There are many factors why I got married late and had never considered what society expects from me. First, my husband has a first family and was not yet annulled when we started to have our relationship. Second, when he finally got his annulment, I was having second thoughts if it’s really necessary to get married, because our relationship was on the rocks at that time.

Her reflection reveals the complexity of the relationship’s dynamics, involving legal hurdles and personal doubts.

Her situation was further complicated by her role within her family. “Being the eldest in the family, I always want to set a good example. However, our situation at that time was not in our favor.

<strong>Pull Quote: "I told myself that if God wants me to get married one day, I am 101% sure that He will give it to me.” - Jhowee</strong>

Alas, at the age of 46 and with many years of waiting, God gave their Jhowee’s relationship the ultimate blessing.

Jhowee at 46 years old on her wedding day

Jhowee and her husband’s decision to marry was a culmination of years of overcoming obstacles together, proving their commitment and love for each other. “After working and fixing our differences, we made it together and both decided to take it to the next level,” she says. “We finally found ourselves at the altar after 15 long years of being together because we realized we really needed and loved each other.

<strong>From Heartbreak to Healing</strong>

Kat’s narrative adds another layer to the experience of getting married later in life. Her story begins with a sudden end to a relationship that she believed was heading towards marriage. “I had this boyfriend whom I thought I was going to end up with. And then everything was shattered in just one day,” she shares.

I thought I had everything planned. The ideas were there, but it was not with the right person,” she reflects. This moment of abrupt change forced Kat to reevaluate her expectations and the path she thought she was on. The breakup, unexpected and unexplained, left her questioning the pressure and ideals that both she and her partner had internalized.

Following this pivotal event, Kat embarked on a journey of self-discovery and independence. “I focused everything on myself. Time, energy, effort, even money. I got to know myself more by going out more alone, doing things alone, going to retreats, doing things alone there.” And through this process, Kat distinguished her likes, dislikes, and aspirations without the influence of a partner or the expectations of a relationship. This period of solitude and introspection allowed her to understand herself deeply and what she truly valued in life and love.

Kat at 33 years old on her wedding day

<strong>Pull Quote: “Choosing to be alone, for me, what helped is my disposition of being at peace. What I want to do alone. When you're lonely, you're in a bad place. Being alone, you are just at peace with what you are doing in life.” - Kat</strong>

Her story takes a turn towards the development of a new relationship, one that began without the initial spark of attraction but grew into something deeply meaningful. “When I met him, I had no attraction to him. Because I was all about myself and my business, etc. So, I think he appreciated me. I remember one date, I told him that I appreciate you when he expressed his intentions towards me. The words that I could only use are, I appreciate you. I can’t reciprocate. I just appreciate your support.

As Kat focused on her self-growth and passions, she found that this new person played a significant role in her healing process. “It’s time to try again. And I think this guy is worth it. I think it was a plus that Jay was there during my healing process.” And at 33, she finally walked down the aisle on her own terms when it felt right.

<strong>How Age Shapes the Search for Love</strong>

Each woman’s journey reflects a transition from initial, perhaps more superficial criteria, towards a deeper, more nuanced understanding of what truly matters in a partner.

Abby captures this transition eloquently, “When I was younger I wanted someone the same or close to my age, taller than me, financially stable, family oriented, goes to church, has career or business goals. Some of those wants changed because of past relationships and experience.

Abby and her husband Allen on their wedding day

Her shift in perspective reflects a maturation of desires, moving from superficial criteria to valuing a partner who is willing to build a life together, support mutual goals, and navigate life’s unpredictability together. “I put into perspective what characteristics of a partner I want to have when I am old…I realized what I need in life is a person who will build a life with me, support my goals but also have his own, and to have a well planned life but also accept its detours.

Jhowee’s journey resonates with a similar theme of evolving criteria, “Having a criteria in finding a partner was in my book when I was young…not all were given to me and the process of accepting the person you love was a game changer for me.” She underscores the realization that adhering too strictly to a checklist can hinder finding a lifelong partner. The mindset change from having strict standards to accepting a partner for who they are—beyond the checklist—signifies a profound advancement in our knowledge of love and relationships.

Jhowee and her husband on their wedding day

Kat reflects on her own approach to finding love, “I’m a promoter and an advocate of checklists…Love was a project back then.” Her journey evolved from treating love as a project, complete with checklists and checkboxes, to recognizing the importance of a deeper, healing kind of love. “Because we grew in a deeper kind of understanding, it helped this love grow more by trying to understand the differences and trying to choose to understand each other when faced with challenges. Because even doing that checklist at that time, you don’t know if that is the person that you want to end up with 5 years from now. Because I changed, too.

Kat and her husband Jay on their wedding day

<strong>Life, Love, and the Beauty of Waiting</strong>

Through their unique journeys to love and self-discovery, Abby, Jhowee, and Kat share invaluable lessons on life, love, and the importance of walking one’s path with courage and authenticity.

I enjoyed my life a little bit more,” Abby shares. “I traveled on my own, met friends I cherish, dated, fell in love, got hurt, and learned. Take your time. Do not let society, family, relatives, etc dictate where you should be in life. You live the life you have the way you want without stepping on people. Sometimes people think you get to do what you want just because it is yours, but do not step on anybody just to get it. Stay humble and stay strong. When life kicks your booty, get up and try again.”

On the other hand, Jhowee’s reflections offer a perspective on the value of embracing singleness and the journey to finding love on one’s own terms. “The only advice I can give to a young woman out there is to savor and enjoy being single first. Never pressure yourself because society is expecting something from you. It’s your life so nobody will decide when you need to get married. It’s your life, it’s your decision.

She adds, “Just put to mind that there is no perfect guy nor a perfect relationship. If you find a guy who is worth fighting and willing to work on all your differences, then that’s it. Only God knows because When the time is right, the Lord will make it happen.”

Kat, too, shares a profound understanding of the non-linear nature of life and relationships, highlighting the importance of individuality and mutual respect in a partnership. “Life is not linear. What worked for the others, may not be the same for you, and that is fine. We are designed uniquely, others for marriage, others for single blessedness. Marrying does not mean graduating from being single and being promoted to wife.”

Abby, Jhowee, and Kat’s stories are poignant reminders that the timing of marriage, like love, cannot be forced into a societal timetable. Because marriage, as the world we live in might’ve collectively told us, is in fact, not one size that fits all.

Kat and her husband Jay on their wedding day

This viewpoint pushes us to reconsider marriage and its role in our lives. Maybe, we can look at it not as the end goal or an accomplishment, but as just one option among many in the quest for happiness and personal satisfaction. That making the choice to marry is based on personal readiness and the genuine feeling that it is the right step, rather than conforming to external expectations.

One way or the other, the message is clear: there is no right or wrong time to get married. What matters most is that the decision comes from a place of love, self-awareness, and readiness. And just like Abby, Jhowee, and Kat, we are reminded that marriage–like all of life’s journeys–is best embarked upon at one’s own pace, with a heart open to the myriad possibilities that come with doing things in your own time.

From all of us here at Bride and Breakfast, Happy Women’s Month! We’re firm believers that marriage is a journey that should unfold in your own time, a beautiful choice when you’re truly ready. Celebrate your path, embrace your timing, and let love find you when the moment is right.

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