I've just posted this over on The View From the Pond but it seemed to fit the bill so well here that I couldn't resist sharing it with all you fellow Prunes and Rosehips as it suits my present mood perfectly...
I've been making progress in my approach to my relationship with The Climber. It struck me today in a moment of tranquility that I am still really angry about being widowed and that somehow I expected The Climber to make it all better and then couldn't forgive him when he didn't.
For seven years I was in recovery mode after the death of my almost-childhood sweetheart. Then, when I decided that I was ready for a new relationship, I absolutely expected it to lead to marriage or, at least, living together in a committed way. I dated four men before The Climber and would have contemplated marriage with two of them. I don't know whether I had become cynical about true love (yes, I do know - I had) but I believed, and still do, that a good marriage doesn't have to be founded on thinking you've found your twin soul. When I set out on the internet dating circuit, I thought, "I will, in due course, find a man that excites me, makes me laugh, makes me feel safe and, if he finds that I tick his boxes, we'll grab a bit of happiness, get married and stave off the loneliness of a solitary old age." And, with The Climber, I thought I'd found it. Three years later, I am at last beginning to realise that he does not find the idea of marriage as appealing as I do, and that there's nothing I can do to make it more appealing to him.
So I've found myself bouncing between the idea of trying to turn myself into a happy-go-lucky, independent girlfriend who's just in it for the fun, and splitting up with him and trying my luck again in the dating pool (or giving up on the idea of marriage completely and make the best single life I can for myself.)
A good friend gently suggested to me recently that instead of looking for a new man to lean on, I might try to become my own support. I dismissed her comment at the time but now I am beginning to get what she was saying. Maybe all these years after the death of The Golfer, I am still hurting, still grieving for the life I had and lost...and maybe the solution to this pain is not to try to go back to what I had with a new leading man but instead to move into a completely new room and genuinely, authentically live a good new life as a single person.
Only trouble is, I don't think I can do that without saying goodbye to this lovely man I've had in my life for the last three years.