I’m a woman, 39, single, and wondering why I’m still alone. I was married briefly at 20. My high-school boyfriend was going away to university, and I convinced him that we should elope so that my parents couldn’t win their struggle to keep us apart.
They believed we were both not ready for marriage and were proven right when my now-ex had a blatant affair with someone in his class. I was so distraught and mortified that I didn’t return to university for five years.
Meanwhile, I got a good job in a mostly-male industry and met a number of married men who sought me out for affairs. I was an easy catch.
It was a time when my single girlfriends and I believed that casual sex was our right as feminists. (We forgot to care about the feminist wives who were being cheated on).
After several such relationships, I met someone who was legally separated. I fell for him and thought it was mutual. But he announced one day that his kids’ changed behaviours had convinced him that he must give his marriage a second chance. We’d only dated for four months but I felt the loss deeply.
I went back to school, graduated, and had my first serious love relationship, living together for a decade. We talked about marrying but he got a serious illness and felt he couldn’t commit to a life in which I’d end up being his caregiver. He moved out and has since died.
Now, after COVID-19 made dating difficult and worrying, I need fresh understanding of what I should be looking for in a life partner.
Seeking Love that Lasts
Your parents meant to save you from the heartache you soon experienced, but instead, they inadvertently turned you into someone who reacts.
Your ex-spouse cheated on you, so you had no conscience about having affairs with cheaters. Your post-divorce story could’ve ended up much lonelier, if your inner drive and self-worth (the positive influences from your upbringing) hadn’t helped you experience good men too, and enjoy a 10-year live-in relationship.
Now, with some precautions in mind from the teachings of COVID-19, start dating again as a free agent with men who are equally free. Whether you meet through friends, by chance, online through dating apps, even a matchmaker if you can afford the fee, the following applies in all cases:
Take time to get to know someone a while, look for shared interests, commit to telling each other about your most essential needs/wants in a relationship and include feeling mutual respect and trust in your list.
FEEDBACK Regarding a younger sister’s new-baby shower which she insists must include the older sister who’s estranged from the middle sister who’s the hostess (June 21):
Reader – “I strongly disagree with the suggestion of rising above, and trying re-engagement with the difficult estranged sister.
“I tried that once and I have significant regret in wasting my time engaging with that relative. I wish I’d never even bothered.
“I’ve learned that people rarely change. Spending more time with them just reinforced my decision to cut them out of my life.
“I think better advice is to cut the negative people from your life, and don’t look back.”
Ellie - In friendships that turn sour, disengaging may be the healthiest move. In difficult family relationships, the decision’s more complex because it can reverberate through several relationships. Here, the hostess would insult both sisters on a special day. Invite her.
Reader’s Commentary “As a University of California molecular geneticist and author of DNA Demystified, I’m informing your readers that, a reader promoted a for-profit website purporting to use a client's DNA analysis to direct dieting regime weight control (June 26 column).
“However, DNA analysis - especially the simple SNP-DNA data used by Loseit.com and similar sites - can do no such thing.
“At best, these DNA data suggest only some statistical correlations associated with genetically-influenced weight gain or loss.
“These nutrigenomics analyses are NOT verified/endorsed by scientific or medical professionals for practical diet regime purposes.
“DNA Demystified, written for the layperson, describes the various DNA tests and what the tests can and cannot do. Nutrigenomics (the DNA analysis conducted by various websites) is still in its infancy.”
Ellie - I’m grateful to geneticist Alan McHughen for alerting us all to not accept as facts the responses of non-scientists and non-medical people that come from and promote commercial sites.
Tip of the day:
Value your own self-worth while seeking future love.