Can we really mate for life?

Knowing that I desire a life different than the one I live creates a thinking space in my mind where I wonder if I am meant to be with this (or any) person for the rest of my life, or if possibly I am meant to be with many (or few) people at different times throughout my life.
06/21/2016 11:06 pm ET Updated Jun 22, 2017

I have often watched in wonderment and amazement at couples who have been together for 20, 30, 40+ years. I love the notion that you can still be in love with someone after all that time, and seeing that love in action truly brings a smile to my face.

Throughout the years of my life and the relationships that have existed within those years, I have wondered on more than one occasion if we truly are meant to find love with one person for the rest of our lives. Obviously with the current divorce rate being what it is, my question seems warranted.

I have had the extreme pleasure of being madly in love twice in my life, once in my early 20's to a man ironically that was separated from his wife (he later ended our union to rekindle their partnership) and currently to my partner and father of my children. The question about one partner, for me, actually has nothing to do with questioning my feelings for him or wondering if I could do "better" with another partner. In fact, I have no doubts about how I feel about this incredible man, and I could sing his praises every day for the remainder of my natural life and it still wouldn't do justice to the amazing being that he is.

Rather, this wonderment for me comes from a long line of inner questions about who I am as a person and how I intend to grow and change throughout my life. Based on the 32 years of my existence so far, I am very aware that people and relationships change over time and often those changes can cause once solid foundations to crack, or fall away all together.

I was lying in bed this morning watching him sleep, filled with so much love for this man who gives us everything he can, is the most incredible father that a mother could ask for, has the kindest heart for those he loves and those who he hasn't met yet......and still I wonder, is that enough to keep us going 20 years down the road?

Most of my wondering comes from the desire to run and be free, I have always been a free spirit with no desire to be tied to one person or one place for very long. These desires, or wanderlust, have been the cause of many arguments and several breakups in my life already as it is hard to sell the idea of the nomadic life to someone who doesn't desire it for themselves.

That is one area where we (my current partner and I) are very well paired, we both have gypsy souls and have resisted the notion of being grounded and setting roots in any one area. In our short 3 years together we have travelled all across Canada, and have lived in 4 provinces stretching from the West Coast to the East Coast. We have become the family joke for both of our relatives to laugh at and say jokingly that they never know where to send our mail because by the time it reaches us, we likely have moved again already. In my head, I thought this pairing of limitless boundaries and constant roaming would be just the glue that I was looking for to keep us together through all of the other stuff that can tear you apart, I mean we have survived two cross country road trips once of which included a two day break down in a non-English speaking area with a road trip hating toddler. If that didn't cause us to call a quits, surely nothing could right?

You see, I have a desire to do and see everything in this life. I mean that in the most literal sense, I truly desire to be in constant motion, traveling, learning, experiencing, touching and tasting all that this life has to offer. I can be hard on the head, hard on the heart and hard to handle with my stubborn, reckless ways. Knowing that, I often wonder how long this seemingly perfect man will want to be by my side for those desires and adventures.

Once I knew that I was about to become a mother, I was scared about how my life would change, going from a fairly selfish existence to one that required constant responsibility and forward thinking about the welfare of someone other than me. I was terrified that I was going to miss out on so much in life because I could no longer pack up and leave at a moments notice, when the mood or feeling struck. Having children seems to be the turning point in life where you start putting down roots, and live in one area long enough to get to know your local barista. I have never desired that, and even with baby #2 on the way, I still don't. I envy the families that I see traveling the world with their kids in tow, having the time of their lives, living in the moment and living minimally knowing that the true value is not in their stuff, but in the experiences that they are building with their children. I realize that I want that life more than anything, and now that I have children with this man, I can only have that life if he desires it too.

Knowing that I desire a life different than the one I live creates a thinking space in my mind where I wonder if I am meant to be with this (or any) person for the rest of my life, or if possibly I am meant to be with many (or few) people at different times throughout my life.

Can we really have it all, or is that a supremely selfish way of thinking about live and relationships? Where is the line between compromise and settling drawn? Is love really all you need?