A personal note

This is a very difficult message to write.

About 7 years ago, as we were getting to know each other and finding common ground, Catherine and I agreed that we'd put ourselves above our relationship. We'd seen too many marriages where people had put the institution and social construct above their own lives, and we wanted to make sure that we never put our commitments to each other above our personal growth, that we never let the perception of lost opportunity breed resentment and anger.

In the intervening years, Catherine has been my best friend, my closest supporter, my confidante and my lover. We've had glorious successes and grand expeditions, wonderful times and good fun.

Occasionally we've sat down and talked about whether we're still flowing in the same direction, whether the relationship serves us rather than us serving it, whether we were true to ourselves rather than compromising to each other. And each time before we've said "yes".

In the past couple of months the question resurfaced. This time the answer was "no".

There are all sorts of "what if?"s, but it's much better to dwell on the "what was", the great times together, than to beat ourselves up over things that won't happen.

So we're separating.

I want to remain best friends with Catherine. I don't know how we're going to do this, it's easy to let a friend slip away 'til they're just another person silently acknowledged in the crowd, but we've managed to live and love independently from so many other of the tribal relationship models that maybe we can manage it.

I dearly hope so. I cherish Catherine and value the wonderful time we've spent together. I hope that we both go on to lives and experiences that have been as fulfilling as the ones we shared. And I hope that we can cheer for our separate successes as we have for our collective ones.

Thank you, Catherine, for being my best friend. May your years ahead be even better than the ones we shared.


Monday, May 24th, 1999 danlyke@flutterby.com