George Clooney has become famous over the years for his career as an actor and director, and on the personal side, his love life. In an interview years ago he revealed that marriage and a family weren’t something that he thought were for him. As it turns out, never say never! In 2014, at age 52, he found true love in British human rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddin, and the once confirmed bachelor became a husband and a father of twins in quick succession. From all accounts George is a happy man living a life he’d never envisioned.
Well it isn’t just George Clooney who has been taken by surprise by matters of the heart. Canadian TV and radio personality Marilyn Denis just announced that, at age 59, she has become engaged – to her high school prom date! On Marilyn’s personal Instagram she revealed, “In 1975, Jim, who lived down the street, asked me to prom. We had a blast and he moved away. Forty years later, we reconnected, fell in love, and last night he proposed!” During her morning radio show ‘Roger and Marilyn’ 104.5 CHUM FM, she shared that common interests and a rekindled friendship that began in their high school years had become the foundation from which their new love grew.
A friend of mine found later life love as well and married for the first time at age 62. Jane, a Torontonian had enjoyed a fulfilling career, strong family relationships and was comfortably enjoying her retirement. And while she’d had a number of serious relationships over the years none had resulted in marriage. Jane isn’t one to sit still so in her retirement she continued to work part-time, tended to her garden and embraced travelling adventures. With family roots in Italy, it was often her destination of choice. To celebrate turning 60 she planned a trip to Italy and signed up for a hiking trip as well that departed from Rome. As no one in her circle of friends was able to join her she set out on her own, first visiting family before meeting up with the other hikers in the group. As with any tour group, there was a mix and mingle the first night to encourage participants to get acquainted before setting out on the trails in the morning. That’s when she first met Rob.
At 61, Rob was a divorced Englishman with two grown daughters, still working but looking forward to retirement. As an avid hiker he’d taken numerous trips over the years that allowed him to blend his desire for travel with his passion for walking. If not for their common interest in travel and hiking Jane and Rob’s paths would never have crossed. But they did and a spark that was ignited during a friendly conversation grew as the week progressed. Seven days later as Rob boarded a plane to London, England and Jane headed back to Toronto, they exchanged contact information. Fortunately, the Atlantic Ocean proved to be only a minor obstacle in their pursuit of this new love, and for the next two years they both regularly traveled the more than 5,000 km – each way – as their relationship grew. Nearly two years after that first meeting Rob proposed and they were married in Toronto. As with any relationship there have been adjustments to make including which country to live in. After much conversation the decision was made to split their time in both! Three years later they still marvel at the synchronicity of their paths crossing at a time when neither of them was looking for a relationship – let alone a new spouse.
Like George and Amal and Marilyn and Jim, Jane and Rob were open to new experiences and looking outside their own circles of friends to connect with others. Sometimes that sense of adventure leads to the unexpected. And the unexpected can lead to, well, ….. happily ever after. You gotta believe!