By Janet Ong Zimmerman for YourTango.com.
“Marriage is more than finding the right person. It is being the right person.” —Unknown
I used to wonder if I would ever find true love. When I was in college, I thought I’d be married by the time I was 25. When 27 rolled around, I thought I would get married in my early 30s. Then I thought I’d be married by the time I was 35 years old. In hindsight, it’s easy to see why it took so long for “the one” to find me and me to find “the one.” I wasn’t being the person I needed to be in order to have the love I desired.
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I focused on my career for so long, assuming that my love life would fall into place. When I was in my late 30s, I began to understand that having a successful love life required conscious effort and focus. This was the beginning of many firsts: focusing more on my love life than my professional life, understanding the unhealthy relationship patterns I was repeating, learning to love myself, and accepting my self-worth.
When I reflect back on my life, I realize I wasn’t meant to take the traditional path. Mine was more of a winding path with many forks in the road. Although it hasn’t been as direct as many other people’s paths, it’s been just as rewarding.
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I’m 46 and was married on June 8th, this past summer. One of the benefits of being an older bride is that with age comes a different perspective. I know if I had gotten married at a young age, I would have missed out on becoming my own person. Marrying at a later age has given me the benefit of knowing who I am and experiencing life as my own complete person.
If you’ve experienced many forks in the road, rest assured that these forks are for your greater good. Know that everything is working out in your best interest. Your difficult life and love lessons are opportunities to learn and grow from. Take the time to focus on your love life. Learn to love yourself and know your self-worth.
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Keep walking your path and stay open to what the universe has in store for you. Remain hopeful — believe and know that you will have the love you desire. You’ll find that love will be even better than you expected.
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This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: The Benefits Of Getting Married Later In Life.