I have figured out that as far as relationships, I'm good for about two years. I was married for ten (he died) but I recently realized that the only really great years were the year we lived together and the first year we were married. Then he made his big mistake, and I stupidly forgave him for it. But once trust is broken you can glue it back together, but it's never the same again. He kept making smaller versions of the mistake, and while I never stopped loving him, I trusted him less and less. And with the trust, a little of the love went too.
I dearly wish we could have been a team. I never felt we were after the big mistake. Maybe if he hadn't kept doing it, the trust and love would have healed. I mourn his good qualities, the things I fell in love with him for, and I'm trying to forget the rest. It's hard.
After all these years, one marriage and a lot of boyfriends, the pattern of my relationships has come clear. Some dates were one and done, disinterest on both sides. Others were three dates before the big 'nah.' Sometimes the thing would last a few months. But all the serious relationships lasted about two years.
I seem to be an odd woman. I don't play games or manipulate. I'm straightforward and ask for what I need, though I rarely get it. Even with my late husband, I had to do the whine or the pouty face when I wanted something. I hated that. I hate pulling that fake little-girl crap. I'm smart, independent, self-sufficient, and evidently most men hate that.
I know I never want to be married again. I don't even want a live-in. I like my solitude too much. I would like some occasional companionship, and yes, sex. But the price I'm willing to pay is a LOT less than it used to be.
Once, clear back in college, some class or other had us all figure out what we wanted in life. I wanted to be a good novelist, find a good man to love, and own a home. At that time I thought I could have all three at once; a lot of people do. Well, I've had the man, I'm on the third house. Maybe the rest of my life is going to be for the writing.