Ah, this will be a tough one. Right now, my only relationship is with my characters in my writing. That wasn’t always the case.
That was in high school, of course, and the person I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with was different from every other boy in the school. Then came college and the death of first love. I think I whimpered a little.
In college, there were dates, a few, but no one stood out as “the one.” There was a professor, but that went no further than flirting. There was also a Vietnam vet in several of my history classes. We talked about politics, the war, revolution, and almost anything else. However, I wouldn’t do drugs with him, and he moved on to someone who did.
So, rule one. Never date someone your mother likes, especially if you think it will improve your relationship with her. He was a policeman and a racist, and I wasn’t my authentic self with him. He didn’t see handcuffing and having nonconsensual sex with me as rape. He was also my infamous stalker after we split, the one I had to hold a gun on to get him to leave me alone.
Oh, and when we split, guess whose side my mother took?
I found “the one” at work in the early 1980s, and it was bliss for 20 of our 22 years together. The last two he spent in an alcoholic daze, and I wish I could say we drifted away. Rather, we both turned our backs and walked away: him because I wouldn’t enable any longer; me because I couldn’t live the rest of my life the way I had started it, with an alcoholic.
I’ve often said he was the person I was put on earth to love, and I do. I still do, 11+ years after. I always will.
A couple of years ago, I put my toe in the waters and had a couple of dates with a man in my area. Lunch dates only, and we decided on a “real” date–dinner and a movie. He didn’t call to set it up as he indicated he would, and I’d built up a good head of resentment. Then, I found out he’d died at home, alone, a couple of days after we’d chatted on the phone. I felt ridiculous, of course, for being angry, but I also thought it wasn’t my “right” to grieve. We’d barely known each other.
Even almost two years later, I think about what might have been.
That, and my life is full as it is right now. I’ve been on my own long enough I can’t imagine sharing time and space with anyone other than my friends and family. However, I miss male companionship. I miss the Sunday mornings sharing coffee and the newspaper in bed. I miss the walks, the boat rides, the long drives in the country where we talked about any- and everything.
I think about the promise of forever made by “the one” and wonder why on earth I believed in that fairy tale.
Excuse me, while I go back to writing fiction that’s happy ever after–more or less.