1) A relationship founded on guilt is a bad idea.
2) "Normal" is a tough thing to define, it's nearly impossible to seek out, and doing so is often not worth the price of trying. Despite all that, specific kinds of non-normal situations are just plain untenable. EDIT: Maybe the problem is just the reliance on the word "normal," then. After all, that makes it sound like this particular problem is just a failure to fit an accepted social role straight out of a sitcom, but that's not it at all.
3) It was an interesting weekend. By the straightforward measures, it was a bad one, but there's been a ray of hope or two.
4) Being cautiously optimistic is a very unfamiliar feeling, so much so that it was almost uncomfortable. I'm not sure if that's how I'd describe my mood this minute, but it fit me a week or two ago. And to be clear, it's not just optimism that was unfamiliar — if that were the case, yes, it would be extremely sad — but that specific kind of it. In the past, I've been either pessimistic (Think of it as a time when I would say "Things aren't that great right now, and they'll probably get worse") or optimistic (A time when I'd say "Things are pretty good right now, and they'll probably get better"), but it's been five years at least since I've been able to say "Sure, things aren't that great right now, but they'll probably get better."