Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Life After the White Dress and Tuxedo

on June 10, 2014

The other day my mind wandered and soon I was daydreaming about what it might be like to be married. Then I realized I wasn’t really daydreaming about marriage, it was more the meeting, falling in love and the wedding. I started doing some soul searching and came to the knowledge that most of my thoughts and dreams about meeting Mr. Right end with the white dress, the ceremony. They often never go beyond to the day-to-day life after all the fun of getting to the being married part.

It reminded me of a scene from the movie, Sleepless in Seattle. Annie and her friend, Becky, are watching An Affair to Remember when these lines occur:

Annie Reed: Now that was when people knew how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance . . . nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was . . .

Becky: A movie! That’s your problem! You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.

Image courtesy porbital/

Image courtesy porbital/

That’s when one of my little voices said, “Hey, Tammie, that sounds like you. You don’t want to be in a marriage, you just want to be the bride.” Ouch! The thrill of meeting someone new, the exhilaration of falling, the anticipation of the first kiss. It’s all so intoxicating and if I’m not careful, it would be so easy to forget there’s more to marital bliss than these things.

I’ve never been married, but I have plenty of friends who are married. I come from a large family and there are many long-term married couples among my kin. I’ve seen the truth. The wedding is beautiful and perfect, but soon the human beings who walked down that aisle show up again. Laundry gets left on the floor, dinner is burned, stress seeps in, Prince Charming belches the National Anthem whenever he feels like it. Suddenly that idyllic day is a distant memory and real life is slapping you in the face.

From what I’ve witnessed, it is in those moments that true married life happens. I suspect it’s in the day-to-day that the sharing and growing closer to each other takes place. When I’m honest and put the fairy tale aside, this is what I long for — the doing life with someone else part. Sometimes the hardest thing about being a single person is missing out on the intimacy of all the messy details of a shared life.

It’s easy to imagine the happy times that come with falling in love and getting married. It takes more courage to look beyond that and imagine what life will really be like after the white gown and the tux are replaced by sweat pants and t-shirts.



2 responses to “Life After the White Dress and Tuxedo

  1. Carole Brown says:

    You’ve got this right. I’ve counselled young people who wouldn’t listen; all they wanted was to get married! They were prepared for the mundane, everyday, boring, irritating life that comes after the honeymoon is over. Sigh. Good post.

  2. Thanks, Carole. It was really eye opening the day I realized how much I thought about the up to, but not the after part.

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