I don't have a tale of woe that compares with some of you here. I've taken it in the shorts, to be sure, but in theory I have a lot to be grateful for. I grew up in a loving, intact family that didn't abuse me and wasn't particularly weird. Though I'm not by any means wealthy, I've never known true financial lack. My health is currently good -- in fact, considerably better than it's ever been. I could stand to lose 25 or so pounds but am not a bad looking guy, especially for my age. I am fortunate enough to be in a profession that I like a great deal and earn six figures without having to work ridiculous hours or even commute. Without going on at length about several personal disasters I've endured, I'll simply say that the only thing I ever really cared about in life was to reproduce the stable, intact family I grew up in, and share a lifetime love with someone without vast complications. At this I have utterly failed. I've had one divorce, been widowed, and am now in a relationship with a woman who keeps me at arm's length emotionally. I turned 55 this week and she took me out to dinner and a movie but today, apropos of basically nothing, popped a cog and said that she's not sure our relationship is going to work out. It was basically the "You're a great guy and I love you, but ..." speech combined with the "It's not you, it's me" speech. The details don't matter. It is what it is. We may or may not be able to work this out. My basic problem is that on top of not having ever found life particularly compelling, I am just tired of trying to be with someone and be happy without a lot of complications, and know myself well enough that life alone with my work and my thoughts is a pretty bleak thing. I really need to be with someone to keep my head out of my butt. Plus, I'm old enough to feel just plain tired of all this effort with no real connection with outcomes. I feel I'm past my "best used by" date, the women available to me are all damaged goods, and I myself am damaged goods. Kind of inherent. Goes with the territory. Call me an idealist but it's starting to feel a bit ghastly to be trying to do the Tap Dance of Love at my age. My apologies to people older than me who feel differently. I know it's just me, but I can't help feeling how I feel. It's just not empirically worth it to me. I feel that if this is the loggerheads I'm at after all this time, the only rational and self-respecting response is to opt out. I'm not terribly depressed, though god knows I've done my share of weeping this particular day. I think my basic problem is a defect in my pleasure feedback loops, they have never worked right. I'm not easily amused, don't get much in the way of positive emotional feedback from things as it is. Now this. Again. My daughter is 32 and has her own life. I barely know my two grandsons -- long story, but let's just say that wife #2 was a bit of a disaster for my daughter and our relationship is ... complicated. My son is 25 and struggling with some echoes of his mother's mental illness. I help him out some but it's kind of a quixotic effort. He's not going to end well, with or without me. My two surviving brothers haven't bothered to call in months. And my ... well, I call her my fiancee, since we have engagement rings, but we probably will never marry if she has her way ... at any rate, my fiancee seems willing to part company with me which tells me that a couple years down the pike she won't be giving me a second thought, dead or alive. I don't have it in me to endure another grieving process, find another woman, win her trust, figure out her quirks, have her discover and respond to mine, and maybe or maybe not, several years from now, have a nice relationship, by which time I'll be pushing 60 and trying to enjoy something I should have enjoyed when I was at most half that age. Even if I'm finally lucky in love I'll probably have a frigging stroke or something. It's just nuts to have any expectations or hopes in this department anymore. And I'm tired of the pain and disappointment. I pretty much embarked on this escapade under the premise that it was my last hurrah. If felt like it was a stretch as it was, but wanted to give it one more try. I could live comfortably and probably travel and such, but I find moving through the world like a lost shade, subsisting on superficial acquaintances and business relationships to be empty and pointless, and frankly, I it's an indignity I don't deserve. Philosophically, I've been disabused of all my illusions and I no longer believe in anything other than relationships, which I can't seem to get right. I never thought it would come to this but I really have no plan for going forward other than to set my affairs in order and wait to die. I know myself well enough that after 2 or 3 months of that I will need to end the pain. It will just hurt too much. For the first time, I'm seriously planning an exit strategy. I don't believe I'm being rash, or irrational. I don't believe I'm giving up easily. I just feel that I've earned some peace. I don't see how this is different from facing my eventual death which is going to come at some point anyway. Perhaps I might be ill and in pain and would want some self determination and dignity in my death, and I might hasten the end, if only by refusing heroic measures. How is this any different? I feel very pragmatic about the whole thing. What, if anything, am I missing here?