What brought this up? Well, this is going to be a long post, so...
Well, as you all know by now, I turned 51 years old this past week, and I was talking about my love life, and it got me thinking about my past relationships. I've not been in that many relationships in my life, some seven or eight in total, and to be honest, none of them were meant to last (except the one where I got married for all of eight weeks, but I ain't discussing that one!), with the possible exception of the one that I'm in right now. (I hope.) (See one of the more recent posts on this.)
I'll be the first to admit that my first two relationships were more about lust on my part, rather than love or even emotional attachment. Mind you, I was in my mid-teens at the time (although I had had a girlfriend or two along the way when I was younger). It wasn't purely physical in either case, since I always felt that I wanted more than that (even if I didn't know the meaning of "love" yet). While people talk about love and the like when they're young and say, "I'm in love with this person" or whatever, let's face it: In one's teenage years, when the hormones are raging and libido is flying all over the place, love is one of the last things on one's mind. Now, bear in mind that I can't speak here on behalf of the female population, I can only say this based on my own experience as a man, and what I've heard from others.
My relationships matured after that, and when I was in my 20's I had a long-term relationship with Janet (no last names here, okay?) that was good for five years. We had a wonderful time together, but our goals and needs were very different, and eventually broke us up. After that, there were a couple of other relationships that went nowhere, but things picked up in my 30's. I don't really have much to say about the relationships I had in my 30's, other than to comment that I learned an awful lot about life and love and emotional heartbreak.
The 40's were another matter. I opened the science fiction bookstore, Basilisk Dreams Books, here in Ottawa in 1996 (and yes, the bookstore is a topic that can be left for another time, if anyone's interested), and had relationships with three women that I met through the bookstore. Okay, well the first one was the reason I opened the bookstore. I met Kim Stevens on the Internet, actually back on Fidonet (talk about the old days of on-line stuff), and our relationship developed to the point where we met each other and thought we were in love. She moved up to Ottawa and convinced me to open the bookstore. The relationship with Kim fell apart within three months of opening the bookstore (the hassles with Canadian Immigration and all didn't help), and in some ways the bookstore never recovered. The other two relationships with Alison and Susan were different. I suppose I needed both relationships, but in retrospect, the one with Susan was very short in duration and was one where we both had expectations that the other couldn't live up to. The relationship with Alison, on the other hand, started with true
friendship and some stuff in common, and became physical. We stayed good friends, even after the break-up, and I haven't heard a lot from her since she moved from Ottawa.
And then there's Stef, who I think is the love of my life.
So, there you have it in a nutshell, my relationship summary. Comments are welcome, thoughts are invited, and you can even guffaw from time to time.