Love + Dating, personal
Comments 21

Thanks dear friend: the relationship end CAN indeed be a good thing

Going on a date night over 50 for my wellbeing and pleasure

#over50 #queer #rainbow #australia 

One of my dearest friends (who is actually a proper, published ‘writer’), still finds the time to follow most of my news by reading my little blog. Thanks H! She’s in a very longterm, very committed relationship, and is one of my inspirations in that regard. She calls me once in a while, or we meet on the beach for a walk and non-stop talk, while I update her on all my romantic gossip and adventures.

Today she sent me this article called ‘A Non-Tragic View of Breaking Up’  , who’s opening paragraph drew me right in:

News of the end of relationships tends to be greeted with deep solemnity in our societies; it is hard not to think of a breakup except in terms of a minor tragedy. People will offer condolences as they might after a funeral.

This in turn reflects an underlying philosophy of love: we are taught that the natural and successful outcome of any love story should be to seek to remain with a person until their or our death and (by implication) that any break up must be interpreted as a failure governed by overwhelming hostility on one or both sides.

But there’s another scenario in which we understand that we are separating not because our relationship has gone badly but, precisely, because it has gone well; it is ending because it has succeeded. Rather than breaking up with feelings of hurt, bitterness, regret and guilt, we’re parting with a sense of mutual gratitude and joint accomplishment.

I emailed her back immediately: ‘YES!’

Of course it’s sad to say goodbye to the intimacy and future plans you’ve made with someone; after all, I was going to move to Melbourne for a year with my old long-distance flame in 2018, and I’m a bit bummed that didn’t happen; HOWEVER, I have had an incredible and unexpected year’s adventures instead with ‘The Comet’ (for example, trekking for 3 weeks in Nepal with my son and hers was certainly not on my radar when my old love and I broke up), so I’m full of gratitude.

Ideally, I would one day like to find myself in a committed, monogam-ish relationship with an amazing human being, and I’ve known since my early 20s that I’ve got big work to do on myself to get to that place.

Hello therapy.

Hello relationship books, especially on Attachment Theory.

Hello online dating.

Hello challenging cultural norms around monogamy/hetero and homosexuality.

Hello journalling and self-reflection/analysis.

Hello long periods of singledom/celibacy, mixed with periods of multiple dating/polyamory.

Hello to turning 53 in a month, yet drawing closer to my authentic, loving self at last.

Loving and saying goodbye. Loving and leaving. Loving and weeping while knowing it’s ‘the best thing for both of us’.

Yes, I’ve done that a few times, and I’m so grateful. Digging down into the expectations or needs of your partner in your relationship is not comfortable, especially in the beginning, when it’s a delicate seesaw of growing your connection while not falling too fast or inappropriately if that’s not what the other is seeking.

Communication is indeed key.

I’m coming up to a year now with ‘The Comet’, and there have been some very uncomfortable conversations, especially for 2 feisty, independent, adventuresome women who don’t particularly conform to expected boundaries of behaviour.

Being honest but remaining kind is a good tactic; and walking while you talk it out helps too.

I’ve said all along: ‘I’ve no idea where this is going, nor even where I want it to go yet. We are very different, plus you’ve come out of a longterm relationship fairly recently. However, I’m willing to take a risk, because you inspire, delight, teach, and nurture me. I already know I’m a better person for spending this time with you [I could say that after just a month to be honest]. So let’s just keep seeing what happens. And whether it’s You, or the Person who comes after you, or the Person after that, I know I am moving slowly and steadily along the Path of Love, loving as well as I can in each moment.’

For which I am truly, madly, deeply grateful.

Back to the article:

Normally, we imagine love as a kind of ownership: full of admiration, two people agree to buy one another as they might a static beguiling object. But there is another, more dynamic and less hidebound way to interpret love: as a particular kind of education. In this view, a relationship essentially comprises a mutual attempt to learn from and teach something to another person; we are drawn to our partners because we want to be educated by them and vice versa: we love them because we see in them things that we long for but that are missing in us; we aspire to grow under the tutelage of love.

Check out the article HERE if you didn’t already. Especially if you are a dating person; I think it’s a beautiful, philosophical approach that resonates perfectly for me.

Thank you again H, and Happy Pride month to everyone too: Love is Love ❤

Online dating for the over 50 can be a fun adventure in self exploration

Love is Love #rainbow #queer #lgbt #over50 #onlinedating #romance #australia #love

21 Comments

  1. zlotybaby says

    Thanks for your thoughts and sharing the article. I’ll totally send it to my sister. She’s 19, a few months after her first big relationship ended. She’s unwilling to do any dating, self-exploration or anything, convinced that the One will appear one day at her doorstep. I’m really happy for her to be single as long as she wishes but at her age I was a Romantic myself and I wish someone would at least introduce me to other more pragmatic and true to life ideas about love and relationships that you won’t find in mainstream books and movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes- the naive folly of Youth 😃😬
      Your sister probably just needs more time to grieve; she’ll start looking when she’s ready; 19 does seem very young to be wanting to meet ‘The One’ though…

      On a side note, I had a boyfriend many years ago who’s favorite T-shirt said “No, I’m not The One” 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby says

        I’m totally okay with her not looking but I’m a bit concerned she’s fixated on the idea that she needs The One and a baby ASAP… She says she will not date or actively look or experiment. She’s “not that kind of a person to do dating or to have a few boyfriends, she’ll know when she meets The One”. I wouldn’t be too concerned about her youthful idealism and romanticism, if not for the fact that the last boyfriend was an abusive douche (both physically and psychologically…) and they were literally a step from moving in together and she thought that he was The One for a long time. I don’t know, you have a teenage son, any advice on how one can encourage them to see outside of what they think is right?

        Hahaha. So cheesy and so funny at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • OMG that’s so young! At 19 I didn’t even know what hair colour I wanted that month… she sounds like she’s clinging to a concept for comfort, rather than exploring and enjoying life… which includes failures and successes, as well as pain and joys of course. That would be hard- she needs to just play- and yes, I’d be very concerned if her last (one and only) choice was an abusive loser!
          Counseling? A women’s group? An inspiring team- what about circus, or netball or something, full of strong women who don’t take shit from men?

          Other than that, how about some good movies? You could research ones where women realize they don’t actually need a man to be whole & fabulous: she obviously needs different role models. Is she a reader? Research some inspiring books for her? Good luck- it’s very important we don’t let our young women settle for less than they’re worth 💪🏼❤️💪🏼

          Liked by 1 person

          • zlotybaby says

            This sounds a lot like an iChing reading 😀 (it’s a compliment!). She doesn’t want to do counseling and try new activities because most people are sh*t so there’s no point. I’ll try to find some feminist computer game to reach her 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

            I don’t know whether it’s her generation or just being young because she reacts to most things with “I’m entitled to my own opinion”. I’m at least trying to encourage her to be open to what other people with more experience have to say.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure I can see every end to a relationship as a success. But I do think that it can be applied to some! Not any of mine that have ended lately…all of those were colossal mess ups haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely philosophy. It’s true we usually see a break-up in sad terms. Of course there are also those where we think ‘wow, lucky escape’ or ‘at least I now know what I don’t want’! I wanted The One, not everyone does, and I waited a lot of years for him. At a time when I wasn’t even looking! We complement each other in our differences, so we’ve had much to learn. It’s a gift when you find those people. Lovely to see you here. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lockwood for your kind words and sharing- yes, I’ve totally had those ‘lucky escape’ ones too! But I think it’s important to keep evolving our understanding of love and relationships- this article certainly resonated for me, and I’m proud of my emotional evolution that allowed it to feel true! Onwards ever onward hey? 😊
      Thank you for reading 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post a lot! The less you post G, the better they are! Which is not to say they weren’t equally funny and interesting before! Anyway, so much resonating here for me, especially with the idea that a marriage or relationship ending is a big, fat FAIL – when actually, a pretty damn large percentage of people choose to stay together not out of love, lust and commitment, but out of fear, loneliness and cowardice. (Ignoring for a moment that some people are sadly trapped in unhealthy relationships for other more dangerous reasons). So, great post – I’d like to reblog soon if I may?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Re-blog away honey- yes, this post came over me in a rush, I just had to get it out! I absolutely loved the article, and I had a feeling you would too 😉 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Unleashing the Cougar! and commented:
    Today I’m sharing a post from a fabulous woman I follow. Her post (which takes its inspiration from another excellent article) really resonated with me, especially with the idea that a marriage or relationship ending is a big, fat FAIL. In fact, a lot of relationships are boltholes for people who choose to stay together not out of love, lust and commitment, but out of fear, loneliness and cowardice. (Ignoring for a moment that some people are sadly trapped in unhealthy relationships for other more dangerous reasons). Read on if you dare!

    Liked by 1 person

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