Despite Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki’s breakup, it’s still possible they will end up together and have the kind of lifelong, ’til-death-do-us-part marriage people dream about. Love often grants second chances. People change. Peoples’ priorities change.
McIlroy may have been—may still be—in love with Wozniacki, but the relationship was missing something that caused him to call off the wedding. I subscribe to the Gary Player theory that she is not a good partner for him, that they are both focused on their careers and have different goals. Close similarities between a man and woman in love sometimes don’t help their relationship. That’s not a bad mark on her. Compatibility is or it isn’t.
Player was vilified for suggesting a wife for McIlroy who would support his career. The offended countered that Wozniacki would make as good a wife, if not better, being McIlroy’s equal. Equality in a partnership is secondary to compatibility. The golfer-caddy relationship isn’t equal, but it’s mutual and fruitful. The Frodo-Samwise relationship isn’t equal, but it works.
If I were to write a romantic movie script with a happy ending, here’s how I would have the rest of McIlroy and Wozniacki’s story play out:
McIlroy continues to be great at golf, and he continues to date other women, affection for whom pales in comparison to the passion he had—has!—for Wozniacki, whom he dated for 3 years. She, meanwhile, continues to be great at tennis, but she is forced to retire as injuries catch up with her at age 30. The career span of a tennis player is shorter than a golfer’s. By then, McIlroy is 31 and still in his prime. Retirement for Wozniacki is a radical adjustment. She immerses herself in charity work and sponsoring tennis camps in her native Denmark. She meets McIlroy by chance at a charity benefit and they rekindle their love. Except this time she’s able to accommodate his schedule, whereas before he had his career to tend to and she had hers. McIlroy is delighted, but at the same time he is racked with guilt over the sacrifices she makes to be with him, as well as the sacrifices he didn’t make to make the relationship work the first time. Eventually this tension builds inside him and he calls off their wedding a second time. She seeks him out for an explanation, and he shares with her the guilt he feels. She assures him she doesn’t hold anything against him, and that she would sacrifice even more to be with him, because calling him her man has made her the happiest. McIlroy is touched, and he loves her more deeply than he thought possible. He accepts her as a partner, and he shares responsibilities with her that he previously regarded as his alone. They have three kids and live the next 50 years in marital bliss.