When I was married to my first wife a long time ago, I spent a LONG time without her showing any romantic interest... maybe 10 years leading up to the final divorce. That divorce happened after I got a good job in Boston that not only saved us financially but set us up for the future, and all my ex at that time could do was complain about the changes that she would have to do for the job.... despite not having a job herself and after YEARS of me taking care of our infant during her post partum break. There was no... I'm proud of you or well done or congratulations or etc. It was never said, once.
Years later with my 2nd wife, before she divorced me, we had a similar situation with me getting a well paying job in Texas. I checked with her and her kids and etc before taking the job and we moved there. Afterwards, I would spend months fighting her ex that sued to drag us back to Oklahoma, which we ended up having to go. As a result of that move, we were living in some of the poorest circumstances I have ever been through in my life, but I made it work financially. Yet, my ex nor her kids thanked me for the job or the move or even the efforts to move back. It was just... expected of me. For a long time before that marriage ended, I was doing a lot of things for for that family, and... again.. I was not getting gratitude, respect, or more back to me for the things I did. Indeed, my bringing up the disparity was the initial fire that would grow to end the marriage, when that ex said, "I don't want to feel bad for not doing things back to you that you do for me."
So, this time... when I do finally connect with my mate for the rest of my life.. it will be with someone that displays a couple qualities that I have determined is important for a long lasting relationship:
1. Empathy - There must be care for me and my well being that is being actively shown.
2. Loyalty - I don't want to feel like I'm walking on eggshells and might be abandoned at some point.
3. Interest - They don't need to share my opinions or all of my interests, but they need to be able to support them and connect with me through some of them.
4. Desire - I want to be desired... not just being the source of that satisfaction for another.
Until I see those 4 things, I will not be joining with anyone, and if that means I do not ever ... so be it. But, I do believe that there are others out there than share similar qualities and have potential. One thing is for sure, though. I am not going to be sacrificing those needs only to lead to divorce number 3, which I never intend to ever have.