However much we may love another human being and however important their role in our lives, we must never seek to possess them. Even if we are linked in marriage or a civil partnership we have to learn to stand on our own feet, work out our own problems, rather than lean too heavily on our partner – who will be on their own unique journey. We also need to recognise that in a long-term relationship it can sometimes seem as though love has died. It is important to trudge on through the desert, knowing that if we persevere we shall in due course come to a new oasis where love flourishes afresh. We have but to persevere.