Woman Who Waited 33 Years for Marriage Teaches Younger Women a Lesson


There is a myth in pop culture that if a man hasn't proposed by the fifth anniversary, it's never going to happen. But it isn't true. And one couple in England has proven it. After a 33-year courtship, Robert Whittle, 84, and Vera Lawrence, 93, were finally married on New Year's Day. 

It's a lovely story, one that includes some switch-ups -- she proposed! -- and also some romance. She called it the happiest day of her life (and it has been a long one so far).

Some couples wait three years to get engaged, others fly to Vegas in a matter of months and get hitched before they have even made it to their first anniversary. For some, the wait to get engaged is so stressful, they issue ultimatums and refuse to wait any longer, but there is no doubt that good things come to those who wait.

For many young women, waiting for the ring is a stressful and emotional process that involves hand wringing, high emotion, and often some anger. It shouldn't have to be that way. And usually friends don't help.

"If he wanted to marry you, he would have asked," they will tell you, which is really not all that terribly helpful for most of us. Some will encourage ultimatums and still others will give a time line. But the truth is, there is no "right" time to get married or engaged.

In my relationship, my now husband proposed on our one-year anniversary, which was perfect timing, but for some, it would have been way too early. Now, 11 years later, we are going strong, so for us, it clearly worked.

There is no right time and, in the end, there are no rules. A couple like Whittle and Lawrence prove this fact and all women should take a page from them. The fact is, women shouldn't have to "wait" for a proposal. If they want to get married, they should ask. If he loves you, he will say yes. If not, then what's the point?

Life is too short to never marry if it's something a woman (or a man) really wants in their life. I am inspired by this story that after 33 years, this couple would still want to make it until "forever." There is something sacred and lovely about marriage and especially marriage at that age. It's hopeful and romantic and certainly should inspire us all. At 93, she has learned a thing or two and younger women might do well to learn from her.

Did you worry about when your engagement would come?


Image via Paul J Everett/Flickr



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Kritika Kritika

So the message is, if your boyfriend finally proposes on his deathbed, after he has ran out every other single option and lived his entire life as a technical bachelor, it was well worth waiting for? I know personally that early engagements aren't for everyone (we were engaged at 6 months) but that's just desperate on her part. God bless her I know she's old but no one should be taking notes here.

froggy80 froggy80

My parents have been together over 32 yrs. My father's proposed several times and has been turned down several times.

But they've made it this long... 3 kids, 3 grandkids, a house, and a bunch of dogs later, I think they're in it for the long haul. A piece of paper, a religious ceremony, & a ring don't make the relationship.

Rhaps... RhapsodyG

If you live together for over 7 years, aren't you common-law married anyway?

And froggy, there is much more to marriage than a piece of paper, religious ceremony, and a ring.

count... countrygirl670

I guess its easy to take a vow of "forever" when you only have about 15 minutes or so left.  Is that what this lady had to teach me about marriage?  'Cause that's what I got out of it....

nonmember avatar HigherStandards

Nothing romantic about this silly article or the people involved. If someone is not on the same page with you, keep it moving. It's that simple. Don't waist your life longing for something that the person who supposedly "loves" you refuses to give you. That old couple has a few years left on earth at best. Taking a lifelong vow isn't all that special when the rest of your life is probably 2-10 years. This is pathetic!!!

nonmember avatar Laura

Rhapsody. Depends on the state. Every state is different and not all have common law marriage. The ones that do have common law marriage have different requirements. In Colorado, I know that you are only common law if you represent yourself as married. You could have lived together a minute. Alternatively, you could live together for 90 years and not be considered common law. I lived with my husband for 7 years before getting married - we were always careful not to represent ourselves as married (I was opposed to acquiring his law school debt as marital debt). We got married once he was done racking up the debt.

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