None of those loves had much in common except for one thing: I had to shrink and stay small if I wanted to remain in them. I have yet to experience a relationship container expansive enough to hold all of me. The moment I outgrew or no longer matched their projection of who they thought I was when we first met, things fell apart. In recent years, I’ve learned some big lessons, including that love is not enough and that you can both forgive and hold people accountable for their actions.
And now, five long(ish)-term relationships spanned across 20-ish years later, I find myself single. I’ve been single for two years, not counting the ongoing much-younger lover and that short two-month error-of-judgement a year ago.