I'm 31 years old and have an 8-year-old daughter, and although I am not chronologically "aged", I consider myself worldly because of all the stuff I have done and been through good and bad.
I met my ex husband when I was 14 years old, I never dated anyone else but him through my teenage years (big mistake) and ended up married at 18. This distressed my family because I was always the smart one in the family, most likely to succeed in high school and all that. I was supposed to go to college and make something of myself not marry an unemployed musician.
Life was hard for us, we had NO money and lived in an abandoned house with no heat, water, electricity. I educated myself enough to eventually get a job at a high tech company, my ex on the other hand allowed me to support him. My ex had some serious psychological issues and a real problem with fidelity. He cheated on me and I on him, although I am not proud of my own infidelity, I am proud of the beautiful little girl that I was gifted with as the result of a one-night-stand.
Time went on, and my ex eventually turned his focus to God and became a Jehovah's Witness. This was a real problem because I do not believe in God and personally I feel the JW's are a cult. He tried to force his views on me and this is what led to the demise of my marriage.
Divorce Was Hard
Divorce was hard for me, I had no experience being single, I didn't know where to meet men or even what to say once I did meet someone. I became terribly withdrawn and focused all my attention on my one-year-old, my job and dated sporadically.
For about 2 years, I floundered between lackluster dates with men who couldn't challenge me intellectually or men who were obviously using me for sex. I missed being married, I missed sharing my thoughts, hopes and dreams with a partner.
A Wonderful Man
I had all but given up and committed myself to the convent when I met a wonderful, gentle, loving man (my current boyfriend) on-line in an adult chatroom. 4 years later and going strong. All of this has taught me that relationships consist of 2 people, each an equal, but with different points of view, it's work and the work is hard, it never ends but it is a labor of love.
Cherish the Differences
Relationships have always intrigued me, I have several philosophies on the subject. Men and woman are different, biologically, psychologically, physically and emotionally. I don't believe that we can ever truly understand the nature of the opposite sex but we can learn to accept it and cherish the differences.
Respect and Trust
I believe in fidelity, as it is much more than a physical issue it is a respect and a trust issue, if you don't respect your partner well then it may be time to move on.
Love Is Like Growing a Plant
Most importantly I believe in love and the great power it holds. I look at it like growing a plant, you prepare the soil (your heart) and drop in a little seed (the relationship itself). You water it (emotional bond), care for it (mutual concern and communication), expose it to the sun (interaction with the outside world) and make sure it has room to grow (maintain individuality). If you do all these things correctly you get a strong plant that bears much fruit.
Kinda corny analogy, but you get the gist.
Insight on Online Relationships
My point of view is somewhat askew. I think I bring an on-line perspective to the table, a lot more people are using this medium as a means to finding a partner, I have used and it worked for me. Now I want to advise others on how it can work for them.
I've been through a lot in my life and can relate to many different people. My friends and close acquaintances tell me that I have an insightful and compassionate nature that most people respond well to.
Female, age 31, New England, USA