I’m 50 and disillusioned about love. How should I be in my next relationship? | Leading questions

Changing the things you love about yourself to avoid being alone seems like a trade off, writes Eleanor Gordon-Smith, but its really a trade off between two ways of being alone

I am an energetic, capable, intelligent woman of 50. I earn a good salary, I am good at DIY and all other household chores. I am loving, caring and supportive with a good sense of humour. However, I have had a 20-year marriage and an eight-year relationship both end. Men (or at least the ones I choose) say they love independent women, but all they really seem to mean is they love women who will support them. How should I be in my next relationship? Should I pretend to be a pathetic helpless female who needs a man to save her? I am so disillusioned, I wonder what I am doing wrong.

There’s a Japanese folk story about a crane who tricks a man into marrying her by pretending to be a woman. She knows that her beloved won’t want her if he discovers she’s a bird, so at night she stays awake and tears out her feathers with her beak. CJ Hauser wrote a beautiful memoir recently that called on the story: “To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work.”

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/dec/04/im-50-and-disillusioned-about-love-should-i-change-my-approach-in-my-next-relationship

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