Never been (truly, seriously) loved

Whoa! If it’s one thing I’ve learned from blogging…people love a whiff of misery. I’m expecting a tsunami of hits on this post. It’s human nature: people like to read about those who are worse off than they are so they can feel better about themselves. Or, we like to read about someone who has the same problem, so we feel we’re in the same boat.

Well, no misery here except, very simply:  At this august moment in my life, I can look back and say:  I have never been properly, truly loved by a man.

Yes, I have loved deeply. I have intimate friendships. I had boyfriends. Yes, I was married. And had children. But I have never experienced being truly adored, cherished, appreciated by a man. I have not had a relationship of equals, where each partner allows and helps the other to fully realize their potential. I am stating a fact. It was not meant to be my luck.

Yes, luck is the word I want to use here.  Relationships take work, but luck is crucial in meeting the right person in the first place.

We all see many marriages and relationships. There are but a few that I admire. The ones that I do admire don’t cause me envy, but rather put me in a rapturous awe. I get giddy being around these couples; they make me so happy!  Wow, look at that. It actually is possible to be loved and respected and cherished and celebrated for being exactly the person you are!!!  It is actually possible to have a lifelong partner!  It is actually possible to state your opinion, fight even, and come back together again.

Pish on self pity. First of all, I am healthy. And if you are healthy, that’s everything. Next, take a look at the front page of any international newspaper. Self pity goes away instantly when you learn of the true misery that much of the world’s population lives in and calls a life. The Syrian refugees in Jordan. Aleppo. The Yazidi. Life in the vicious Congo. Fleeing refugees in boats, walking miles as they escape oppressive regimes. I mean, really.

So here I am, a femme d’un certain age and at this point, I don’t believe this connection will happen in my life. I no longer think in terms of finding, “the one.”

When I was young I’d think:  “Oh Liza, surely you’ll meet someone. You’re such a fabulous woman. There’s someone out there for you.” Well, I’m not in my 30’s, 40’s, 50’s anymore. I’m not searching for completion. Connection, yes. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of living, giving and loving to do. Enjoying to do. Celebrating, reading, traveling, swimming, knitting, cooking, museum going, music listening, jumping in the ocean you name it —  to do.

Love? Maybe the next time around.

xo Liza

P.S. I thought a long time before posting this and then decided to hit the button. I used to feel shame and less than because I didn’t succeed in the husband/partner department. Well, screw that. My head’s up high.

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17 thoughts on “Never been (truly, seriously) loved

  1. Good morning dear Liza. I’ve always said that marriage is like Russian roulette. You just never know and it is sad when you get the bullet.

  2. Miss Liza, I am right there with you and I have pretty much reached the same point in life. I am just trying to be the best me that I can be and enjoying the things I enjoy. I have had one marriage that ended long ago, many relationships since then, and I have a wonderful, loving son. That is as close as I will probably get to having the unconditional love of a man, but I will take it and be grateful. Thanks for posting this and reaching into my own heart.

  3. Dear Liza: leaving a marriage of 34 yr. I wonder what my life would have been without marriage? I was the wage earner, the educated, the planner, the financial student and the one who tried to please the partner instead of myself. Who and what could have been runs through my thoughts…I am enjoying discovering me. Just what and when do I decide that I enjoy, cook, sleep, travel, befriend and what makes me happy without imposing ” should” “share”, or sacrifice my happiness. My last third of my life is without marriage. Bon voyage!

  4. A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
    Partnered up, as in marriage, is only one way to make your way through life. If you resist all the unworkable agreements we are asked to make about how we find our way, one has to admit that the institution of marriage is really only Big Business and has nothing to do with how we are actually wired.
    I applaud your decision to hit the send button on this piece and share it.

  5. Liza
    As always you get right to the heart of the matter. No pun intended. I have, much to my surprise, been cherished by a man for nearly 50 years. Don’t get me wrong. We fight and often disagree dramatically about everything from what to have for lunch to how to best encourage our adult children and granddaughters to important financial matters. But at the end of the day (literally), we both know we prefer each others’ company to that of any other human being’s. It’s a gift, we have come to agree. I am often asked what is “the secret” to staying married for so long and I usually answer that I don’t think there is one. There is the initial dumb luck of finding a good man worthy of your love, followed by daily commitment to staying together just one more day while you build a satisfying life in common. And, oh yes, enduring physical attraction helps a lot to keep you facing the future hand-in-hand.

  6. Liza, you wrote my life!
    Not only that, but at 68, the pickins are pretty slim, and I really don’t want to become someone’s nurse – or purse.
    Connection – not completion – what a wonderful way to put it.
    If you and your readers don’t know “Love after Love” by Derek Walcott, google it. It’s a very short, wonderful poem that sums it up for me.

  7. Sorry, forgot to say that “couplehood” is not for everyone, and the vast majority of those who kind of expected it to happen for them but found it didn’t,of course, live amazing, full, satisfying lives.

  8. Love is a big word. I find it difficult to speak about loving and being loved. I am still learning about it. But yes I think I can respect and accept another as he/she is, and if I see I have some difficulty I work on myself, on the prejudices, the criticism, the judging. It is so difficult to have relationships! The other is always a mirror that reflects the whole of what we are, and it is so difficult to look straight in the eye those personality aspects that we do not like in ourselves. I cherish relationships of all kinds. They are the way of spiritual development and the best tool for self-investigation. A partner is not necessary, it can be anyone we chose, including ourselves.

  9. Lisa,
    I have a dog. The purest, unconditional love bestowed upon me everyday. Never has an unkind bark, will share food with me, snuggles at night, and a very protective attitude. No burglar will cross my doorstep without paying the very direst of consequences! A very rewarding relationship! Oh yeah, I have a husband too. LOL

    Glad you hit the send button. You always have such interesting posts. I am trying to think if I know any of the above men and wonderful relationships you referred to. Still thinking. At this stage in my life, almost 70, I look back and reflect on what was and what might have been. Can’t believe it has gone so fast. So many things I wanted to do, still do, but the body just laughs when the mind thinks it would be a good idea. I admire what you have done, where you are now, and the way you have the nerve to move forward. Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. Have been signed up to Camp Liza for about a year but this is the first time I have responded to an article..
    What courage to write so honestly about such a sensitive and personal topic! I agree luck plays a part – if you’re married to a wrong ‘un, doesn’t matter how much effort you put into the relationship, it’s never going to work.
    But if both partners really do love, cherish and respect each other, I think it becomes much easier to overcome the ‘irritations’ that living together can bring, thus paving the way for a happy home.
    Thank you Liza for sharing your thoughts x

  11. Not having a man does not define your life! You were born alone and you will die alone. If you’re lucky enough (Yes, I agree luck is a big factor), to meet a fellow soul, be happy. Very happy. If you don’t meet a fellow soul, be happy anyway! There is so much we can do as solo women; it isn’t like it was even 20 years ago …

  12. As I approach my 50th anniversary, I have realized that the secret to a long marriage is…inertia. How sad is that!

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