Cosette, thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts. Truth be told, I’ve often reflected with gratitude on exactly that: on the fact that the years allowed me to travel my own path and to meet (and love) all the men I found along the way. I’ve had a lot of genuinely life-affirming experiences, and if I had to “give back” the moments of joy and self-discovery and healing I experienced on my own — or in affairs with those other men — I wouldn’t want to.
But if the fuller truth may be told, then I also must admit this: even having had all of my adventures, and all my other wonderful connections with other wonderful men, nothing I’ve ever felt for any of them has come even close to the sentiments I describe for the man in this story. And that feeling has been my standard ever since, for better or worse; now that I’ve felt it, I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone who doesn’t make me feel the same. So someday — I don’t know when, I don’t know where, I don’t know with whom — I hope that I can feel that way again. And that that time, it can be mutual, and it can be real. :)
Thank you again for your supportive words!