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BEC: George and Amal just proved it's worth waiting for the right person.

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin

By REBECCA SPARROW

This past weekend George Clooney gave all of us a lesson in love.

And it’s possible we missed it.

It’s possible that amongst all the swooning over luscious designer gowns and Armani suits and Venetian canals and tequila and hang-on-was-that-Emily-Blunt-on-that-gondola? – we missed it.   We missed the real take-away from the four-day extravaganza that was George Clooney marrying Amal Alamuddin.

But it was there and as lessons in love go, it was big.

It was a lesson in not settling.

If marriage is something you feel is important, if it’s something you dream of for yourself and you’re privileged enough to be legally permitted to partake in it, then Clooney’s weekend wedding was a lesson in the value of being prepared to stay single unless a phenomenal person comes along who tips your world upside down for the better; who enriches your life rather than drains it.

Amal and George in Italy this week.

It was a lesson in flipping the bird to society and its constant pressure to get married simply because you’re single and over 40 and WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? WHY AREN’T YOU MARRIED?

It was a lesson in standing your ground, holding out for the real deal. In being happily, comfortably single (and yes, maybe even childless) rather than miserable and married to the wrong person.

It was a lesson, I think, in taking the concept of marriage seriously.

And by George, it was good to be reminded.

Because society seems deeply uncomfortable with people being single over 40. And at a time when friends and family and the entire world seem to be chanting “YOU’RE OLD! JUST PICK SOMEONE AND GET MARRIED” – it’s a courageous move, I think, when any man or woman resists the pressure to ‘settle’ and instead holds out for something special. Something remarkable, someone remarkable who makes their heart sing..

At 53-years-old George Clooney has been badgered and mocked for years about his apparent refusal to remarry (he was married to Mad Men actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993) and sire a brood of kids.

Flick through to see some of George’s famous past relationships… (post continues after the gallery.) 

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George and then girlfriend Stacy Keibler.

And while we certainly (read: unfairly) view older single men as ‘mischievous rogues’ and their female counterparts (like say Sandra Bullock or Jennifer Aniston) as ‘unlucky in love tragics’ – the truth is there is pressure on all single people of all sexual persuasions over 40 to conform and get hitched be that through a marriage or commitment ceremony. Married people, it could be said, want everyone else to drink the Kool Aid.

I should know. In the past I’ve been one of those obnoxious women hounding my friends about their single status.

And while I have tended to tread lightly around my single female friends, the same cannot be said of how I have treated my single male pals.  In hindsight I frequently accused them of refusing to grow up rather than acknowledging that – like my female friends – maybe they hadn’t met the right person. Imagine that.

Last year in an interview with W Magazine (and following his break-up with Stacy Keibler),  Clooney said as much when quizzed about why he was 52 and single  AGAIN.

“I haven’t met her yet,” was Clooney’s reply.

Five words. I haven’t met her yet. The one.  It’s that simple.

Clooney’s own parents Nick and Nina Clooney have been married for 55 years. It’s not a stretch to assume the benchmark was set fairly high on what a successful, loving marriage takes. On what a strong marriage looks and sounds and feels like to George Clooney.

And in a world that loves a wedding (The dress! The cake! The presents! The flowers!) but is ho-hum about staying married, I say “Good on you, George.”

Good on you for taking your time.

Good on you for not settling.

And good on you for being smart enough to recognise the right woman when she eventually crossed your path.

So here’s to everyone out there who is happily single and refusing to settle.

Keep the faith.

Want more photos from George and Amal’s wedding? We think you’ll enjoy these too…

First pictures of George and Amal’s actual wedding.

IN PICTURES: Feeling inspired by Amal’s amazing wedding pants? So are we.

Amal Almuddin is officially married to a guy called George. You might have heard of him?

George declares his love for Amal and her family in an incredibly sweet and public fashion…

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