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I've been thinking about Rob's and my past a lot lately. Dating him was fun.

He was a great comfort, maybe because he presented solutions to my biggest problems. I felt isolated and a bit depressed; he helped strengthen my connection to mutual friends. I was living paycheck to paycheck; he fronted me cash when things got tight. I craved a love connection; he was available, and horny as hell.

Indeed, before dating, in the very beginning, what is now a quagmire was just pure and simple lust.

Rob was in the midst of a rash of one-night stands when we hooked up. I didn't know this, and expected a repeat performance. He complied, but it didn't evolve quickly enough for me.

Rather than building a connection, we just sort of repeated the one-night stand. I tired of meeting for what was only pre-sex drinks. "Whoa," I said, and announced I was done unless we added dinner or a movie to the agenda. He balked, and I figured that was the end of it.

Instead, Rob called a few days later to ask me out to a movie. He was probably just giving me what I wanted so he could get an easy fix. (He says he doesn't remember.)

In any case, I so desperately sought validation then that I took his invitation as a declaration of intention. He heard me, I thought. I had been deemed worthy of attention beyond the bedroom. We started dating.

Of course, dating gave way to marriage, and along the way the sex waned and now we have none at all. What is a confused marriage could have been a cherished memory of a fun fling, no strings attached.

I wonder if my self-love were enough back then, would I not have caved to his too-little, too-late attention, and would I have left it at that?

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