When I posted a link to my review of Succulent Wild Love: Six Powerful Habits for Feeling More Love More Often on December 9th, I said I’d only read the book because of its authors. I’m in a strong relationship so didn’t figure I’d learn from it. Instead, I ended up devouring the book and finding so much that was rich and thought provoking and life enhancing. Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy nudged me to share something about my relationship here. I’m finally getting to it:
I admit it. My relationship record is fractured. When my second marriage ended, I hung my love hopes on the meat hook of my broken heart and vowed never to open that door again.
My problem with “nevers” is what the universe does with them. I blithely toss them around in a conversation, and the universe hears them as a wish.
As I neared the three-year mark of my solo status, I met a man who wanted to talk. He still insists that’s all he wanted, though we soon found ourselves talking so regularly we decided to live together and keep up the conversation.
Life with Robin has proven to be the easiest relationship I’ve ever had. We each bend over backward to make life smoother for the other one. We compromise without friction. We enjoy being together yet make room to pursue our separate interests.
He is as extroverted as I am introverted and brings home interesting stories from all the happenings I choose not to share. His energy rises in direct proportion to the number of people he is with. Mine wanes in exactly that same proportion. Instead of a source of friction, that difference has become an opportunity for collaboration as we seek the best balance for each of us.
Socially, Robin is an energizer bunny and brings more people and events into my life. One afternoon he called from the Visitor Centre where he volunteers to ask if he could bring a family home with him. They were from Australia, the country of his birth, and were staying nearby. I gulped, did a mental tally of refrigerator and cupboards, and agreed. Since we both value good food, I knew we had enough on hand to cobble together a meal.
The family of four came. The adults were on a journey of discovery, seeing the world with two of the most delightful children we’d ever met. Here’s the thing. I would not have initiated that dinner, but I enjoyed every minute of it, from preparation through all the shared stories.
My sweet partner and I have been around for a long time. Later this year he will turn 74, and I will enter my 70s. Learning excites us both. We support each other’s forays into new online territories and other projects. We have the most amazing group of friends, with boundaries open to newcomers.
We’ve made enough mistakes to be tolerant of each other’s foibles. We can laugh and empathize at age-related inroads on our physical and mental states. And every day we remember to thank each other for the love we bring into each other’s lives.
Have we achieved the perfect relationship? I don’t even know what that is. What I do know is that we keep learning about each other, about being in relationship, and about celebration. It is the easiest relationship I’ve ever had, and I am grateful. And I am grateful to Susan and John for a book that opens even more possibilities to us.