I was ready to settle. Compromise.
In fact, we'd already made an appointment with both our lawyers to prepare pre-nups. What was his before marriage remained his after marriage and vice-versa.
It seemed sensible. After all, I was 60 years old. He was nine years younger. He was the one with the assets and equity. I was broke and deeply in debt.
All I had was a sense of pride in the way my children turned out after my first husband died at 40.
Ten years apart, my children were my pride and joy. I had enjoyed the autonomy of raising them. They had grown up to be good, kind human beings with full, productive lives.
But suddenly I was alone. Then I met a man who asked me to marry him.
I deserved a second marriage, didn't I? He was a good man: He didn't drink, didn't smoke, he was generous and kind, hard-working and there was a lovely home he wanted to share with me. We had great sex and he loved me. What more could I possibly expect or want?
Yet, something was wrong. Something was missing. My inner voice kept asking the same nagging question: Is this how you want to spend the last part of your life? In comfort, security and boredom?
Yes, that was it. That was what was wrong with the relationship. We had gone together three years when we decided to marry. But I always knew something was missing.
Finally, my emotional voice told me what it was. We weren't soul mates. We didn't complement each other. We didn't like the same things, believe in the same causes. In fact, we were polar opposites.
When we talked, the conversation was superficial — about jobs, about what was headline news that day. He listened to talk radio; I listened to music. We rarely laughed at the same things.
What to do? What chance does a 60-year-old woman have of finding a soul mate in Cincinnati? Or anywhere else? Probably zilch. Yet, I knew what I had to do. I was going to take that chance. I wasn't going to compromise.
During my life I'd learned to like myself. No, I'd learned to love myself — so much so that I would rather face life alone than settle for a relationship that shortchanged both of us.
Frankly, I think he was relieved when I broke the engagement. I know I was.
I'm not living a lie any longer. I look forward to the last part of my life.
Perhaps I'll find that soul mate. It wouldn't surprise me — or even disappoint me — if, in fact, that soul mate is myself.