I have heard it said that over time, women actually forget the pain of labor and delivery. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why they decide to have more than one child. I find that theory interesting. I often wonder if it holds true when it comes to matters of the heart.

Consider two sides of a coin: on one side – the pain of a broken heart too great to consider traveling back down that road. On the other side, a person risking being hurt in order to have true love. You can’t have the baby without the pain of labor and delivery.

The question becomes, is the risk worth the possible reward?

I think about this often because I am single, divorced actually… okay twice-divorced… and I wonder if I want to marry again. I am in my early fifties and in excellent health, and it is conceivable that I could be around for another 40+ years.

I ask myself, do I want to spend those years alone?

There are days when I am perfectly content in my singleness. I make my own money, spend it however I choose, and I make decisions without having to consult someone first. I enjoy traveling, dining, and going to the movies alone. I am fiercely independent and I cannot imagine living differently.

I realize that there are plenty of independent women who are happily married – I actually know a few -and they seem to make it work. I don’t know how exactly.

I’m sure there is a certain amount of compromise that goes on behind closed doors and I don’t have a problem with compromise, but in my experience I have found that if you’re not careful, compromise could turn into surrender.

This is where my problem lies.

There are days when I am feeling particularly joyful and wish that I actually had someone to share that joy with. It would be nice to occasionally share a good meal and a bottle of wine with someone.

Then, there are times like right now, when I am curled up on my loveseat writing. It is completely quiet except for the sound of the school busses outside and my cat eating her breakfast. I love these moments of solitude. If someone else were here, I would probably be extremely irritated by their very presence.

I go back and forth.

Then there’s the whole pain issue. We seem to heal much quicker from physical pain than emotional pain.

Do broken hearts ever completely heal? I have not forgotten the pain that I’ve experienced from past relationships. The pain of being betrayed by someone who claims to love you cannot be compared to anything else, and it is that memory that often keeps me from pursuing another relationship.

I truly admire people who are able to forgive, forget, and move on with their lives. I admire them like I admire astronauts; it sounds like a really cool thing but I’m not sure I’d want to do it. It takes an extreme amount of courage to continually risk heartbreak in order to find love.

But when is enough finally enough?

[tweetthis]It takes courage to continually risk heartbreak in order to find love. But when is enough finally enough?[/tweetthis]

If “true love” is your goal, I suppose it’s never enough until you actually find it.

I have been devastated by love, to the point where I had to ask myself, “Is it me?” I had continually put myself out there in an attempt to find my happily ever after until I considered the possibility that “happily ever after” may not mean marriage.

At the end of my last relationship I decided that I needed time alone in order to heal. Now, almost seven years later, I have found myself again and I am happy. I am at peace and I have no desire to disturb that.

For me, the answer is clear: I choose peace above all things.

I believe Virginia Woolf said (or was it Nicole Kidman?), “You cannot find peace by avoiding life” and I can honestly say that I am not avoiding life. On the contrary, I have a very full life. I have a career that I love, family, friends, and I sleep like a baby at night…right in the middle of my queen-sized bed.

I don’t long for a partner to be by my side. At least not all the time. Although I wouldn’t object to sharing the occasional meal and bottle of wine.

RELATED ARTICLE: A Jones For You: A Personal Essay

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