Rescue HumansCategory: General   Sep 24th 2013  11:59AM   2

Twenty years ago I walked out on the love of my life. We'd been together over 5 years, were engaged to be married, and loved each other very much. We also fought constantly and made each other increasingly miserable. Our lack of communication skills, self-awareness, and overall maturity made a healthy, long-term relationship impossible. As painful as the breakup was, under those circumstances the wise thing to do is usually cut your losses and start fresh with someone new.

Which he did, more than once (seriously, I've lost count of the number of his marriages, by now). I, on the other hand, took a different route and remained single for 19 of the past 20 years, so afraid of repeating my mistakes that I wasn't willing to let anyone get close enough to call himself my boyfriend (other than one amazing man whose life goals were just too divergent from my own to be compatible long-term either).

It was a lonely, frustrating, and cowardly way to live but I like to think I approach romance with a more courageous and open heart these days. That said, working as a professional companion severely limits my personal romantic options. Until I retire, when that (hopefully) changes, my goal is to alleviate for others the crushing loneliness and frustration I lived with for almost 2 decades.

A new client recently asked why I so love this work. The answer is simple. After 19 years of emotional isolation I understand better than anyone how painful a life without companionship and intimacy can be. If I cannot have those things for myself right now, I can at least find great purpose and joy providing it to others. I think it's similar to what takes place when people who've experienced abandonment rescue animals from a shelter. It heals something in them, to provide the love and affection they themselves once lost or were never given.

Everyone has emotional scars, some deeper than others. My patrons help heal some of mine (especially those gents I've been with for years) just as I'm helping heal theirs. My experiences as a companion are making me a better future life partner for someone, but until then, I'm happy to shower all my energy and affection on clients.

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