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