It's a luscious experience, falling in love as a grown-up. You're wise to the relationship hazards that used to snag you, you know what's important in a partner and won't settle for anything less and you're ready to meet a man as an equal on every level, including horizontally!
And those are all good things.
We wrote this book just for you.
If you're single and wondering whether you'll ever find someone to love, if you're dating a special guy and not sure whether you should take your relationship to the next level or if you're on the fence about going after grown-up love with all the hope and passion in your heart, the Garter Brides say, "A thousand times yes!" We know, because we did itand we're on a mission to show other women how.
The Garter Brides' Guide to Love for Grown-ups is a relationship book full of field-tested advice from us and from other women who found lasting love and happiness after our thirty-fifth birthdays had come
and gone. We're not psychologists or relationship experts, but honors graduates of the School of Relationship Hard Knocks: we've forged happy, successful, sexy, fun, grown-up marriages not when the storybooks predict, but when we and our husbands had histories, careers, furniture, sometimes children, ex-spouses and all kinds of responsibilities.
We knew there were lots of other women out there who had done what we did. We've sought them out, tapped into their insights about what works and what doesn't and want to share the tried-and-true wisdom of this special sisterhood with you.
What can we tell you about grown-up love? Between us and the many women we've interviewed, quite a lot. We won't insult your intelligence with babble about getting in touch with your inner beauty. Let's talk turkey: you're a hot babe with a busy life you'd love to share, a cozy bed into which you'd welcome a good man for some great sex and great fun, and a well-oiled BS detector you didn't possess in your twenties. You're mature enough to handle grown-up love, to move forward without looking back and to appreciate how great a gift that is.
Like you, we took some extra time to find our own true loves and it was well worth the wait. But marrying later in life isn't as simple as finding Mr. Right, getting married and having a family. We know a lot of grown-up women whose relationships failed because they didn't know how to handle some of the situations they faced. We want to make sure that doesn't happen to you.
Who Are the Garter Brides (GBs)?
It all started, as many great adventures do, with girlfriends having dinner (i.e., drinks). Nina, Ann and Pat were business colleagues and longtime friends, all over the age of thirty-five. All had successful careers and were going on dates (approximately 9,000 of those by Pat alone, according to her), but none of them thought she'd get married.
Six months later, Nina got married. Six months after that, Ann got married. Six months after that, Pat got married.
Nina said, "At my age you wear a garter, but you don't throw it." She slipped it off and gave it to Ann, who wore it at her wedding. Ann then gave it to Pat, who wore it at her wedding. They named themselves the Garter Bridesand a new tradition was born!
Today, this good-luck garter has been worn by girlfriends ranging in age from thirty-eight to fifty-seven, and it has traveledin a FedEx boxall over the United States and even to that city of ultimate new-lywed bliss, Venice!
Everyone who's heard about the Garter Brides has been captivated by the story of how this little scrap of lingerie was part of so many happy endingsor shall we say beginnings? One of the many women who loved hearing the Garter Brides story was Tish Rabe, because she kept on believing in grown-up love when she found her own happy beginning: she married for the first time at thirty-sixto a man she'd known since high school! She encouraged Ann and Pat to share their stories, and thus the idea for The Garter Brides' Guide to Love for Grown-ups came to be.
From a Tiny Garter, a Sisterhood Grows
All of the Garter Brides have been questioned repeatedly about how they met their husbands and made new lives with the men they loved. How is a mature marriage different from when you get married in your twenties? Keep reading!
Where dating books leave off (although we talk about dating, too), the Garter Brides' book continues. We know that a grown-up woman's wedding is just the beginning of a rich, rewarding life one she probably couldn't have handled when she was twenty-five. (As one woman we know says, "Thank God I met my mother-in-law when I was thirty-fiveat twenty-two, she would have eaten me alive!")
We're writing this book on the best authority: our own life experiences and those of women we've interviewed around the world, from ages thirty-seven to eighty, who have applied their grown-up life experiences to forge happy, sex-filled marriages in all types of circumstances. We are producers, lawyers, actresses, teachers, masseuses, psychologists, yoga teachers, agents, writers, fashionistas, art critics, financial advisers, nurses, real estate brokers and even a dancer of the bump-and-grind variety!
Some of us are first-timers at marriage; for some it's husband number two and for others it's husband number three. Some became step-moms, first-time moms or stepgrandmoms and a number of the brides adopted children. We met our true loves in all sorts of waysblind dates, parties, online dating, the commuter train, even while taking flying lessons. Our dream weddings ran the gamut from ultra-glam to super-casual; our households are filled with everything from antiques to running toddlers to crazy Jack Russell terriers. And we have great "here's how I did it" stories to share about moving in together, becoming a stepfamily, navigating finances and the art of joining two full and complex lives.
As a result, we have a unique handle on what it takes to make grown-up relationships work. We and our fellow brides are living proof that finding the right guy and making a wonderful marriage is possible at any stage of life. We've learned a lot, we're still learning (as Pat says, one great thing about being married is that there are plenty of do-over opportunities) and we're still laughing. It's this mix of real-life lessons and strategies for staying flexible and enjoying the humor along the way that we want to share with other grown-up brides and brides-to-be.
We know how woman-to-woman supportbeing able to turn to others who've been therehelped our own loves flourish. Grown-up life is both wonderful and complicated. Sometimes it may feel lonely when you're dealing with relationship challenges. What we've learned from connecting with so many women is that you are never alone. We've laughed and cried together as we've shared experiences and insights. We've become more convinced than ever of the importance of our mission to gather and share women's wisdom about this unique time in life. We've formed a sisterhood of womenall Garter Brides who want to encourage all women to take a chance on grown-up love and have the life they always dreamed of.
What to Expect from This Book
If you're still looking for that special someone, we'll show you how to take a fresh approach to dating, stay open to the promise of grown-up love and have funwhether the next date is Mr. Right or Mr. What-Was-I-Thinking?
If you've found the terrific guy you deserve, we'll share ideas for developing your relationship and combining two busy lives.
Grown-up love raises a lot of questions: Are one or both of you divorced, or widowed? Are exes in the pictureand just how pretty is that picture? What's the best way to welcome stepchildren and build these new relationships? Speaking of children, does anyone hear a biological clock ticking? What's important to know about living together before getting marriedand should the new "we" live in your place or his? Who makes the move if it's a long-distance relationship? How should grown-up finances be handled?
To help you quickly pick up the take-home info, each chapter is organized by the key questions women commonly ask (or should). We reveal the issues and answers women need to keep in mind as they find true love and build a life together. We flesh out our ideas with anecdotes and examples from our experiences and those of other grown-up brides, all served with a double scoop of Garter Bride attitude. We've also created a website www.thegarterbrides.com where we offer additional up-to-the-minute tips and advice on real-life situations and you can visit us on Facebook and Twitter. On our site you'll also get to meet other Garter Brides who share their stories and you can share yours. We want to get to know you, too! We also invite you to ask us questions so we can help you in creating a new life with the man you love.
So get ready to meet The Garter Brides because for every woman seeking the love of her life or embarking on a special relationship, we are here to bring hope, help and hilarity.
Meet the GBs
Before we launch into our advice, you should get to know us better. The first things you need to know about us are that (1) we laugh a lotespecially at ourselvesand (2) although we have opinions about everything, we're far from perfect. Our lives are full of the usual stuff: work complications; kid crises; pesky relatives; missed deadlines; messy drawers; unruly hair; pounds gained, lost and regained; purchases we regret; girlfriends we can't live without.
One thing we all also havewhich both delights and humbles usis husbands who absolutely adore us, regardless of the aforementioned usual stuff. The wonder of being adored by a man for everythin...