I almost married the first woman I had sex with. We were engaged, we were in love, we were nineteen. Then I went to university and discovered an entirely new world, one so far removed from what I “thought” and “felt” at the time. I became “aware” which is what you’re talking about. I moved on, learned, dated, etc. until my forties when I married. My wife said the one thing I’d never heard from anyone before: “I get you.” Well, she didn’t “get” me, but she figured I “got” her, and that formed the basis of our marriage. I was “allowed” into her world, her family, etc. And I learned the greatest lesson in life and in marriage. The greatest loneliness in the world isn’t isolation, it’s admitting that you, through your own volition, entered into a relationship wanting to be what someone else wanted you to be. That, folks, is the greatest loneliness in the world. Sorry you spent so much money discovering this, Duncan. It took me four years to recover financially and emotionally. It hasn’t soured me to marriage, but it has made me “aware” again. We aren’t what we “could be,” we’re only what “we are.”

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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