The desire to be loved by someone is one thing that connects us all. While some see me as bitter on love, I keep wondering why we need to find “the one.” I don’t need a ring. Been there, done that (although big, bright diamonds do look really good on me). I got divorced at 22. Technically, according to everyone else I got married, but when I walked down the aisle and vowed to give all of me to someone else I completely divorced myself.

I now realize that what I truly desire in life is someone who has my back. Someone who doesn’t want to save me and who doesn’t need to be saved. Someone who adores me as me, not who they think I am or want me to be. I wonder what it would be like to be with someone that makes you laugh and creates with you. Someone who looks into your eyes and sees what you see is possible and wants to play.

It doesn’t have to be a lifetime commitment. What if “till death do us part” actually meant until the relationship is no longer generative and creative?

We hope (and with that have despair & judgment of ourselves) that Ryan Gosling will show up at our door and sweep us away. And while I’m definitely not opposed to that, what if what we are actually seeking is something far more? In waiting for our fairytale to come true we miss out on the ability to actually create connections with others that goes far beyond a pretty girl and pretty boy getting together. I wonder what it would look like if we stopped looking for that mythical relationship and instead chose to be with someone who adored us without judgment and an expectation of something we aren’t.

I recently realized while teaching a class on the history of violence in America that homicide rates over past three centuries directly correlate with a person’s sense of possibility in life. Not surprisingly, they have basically continued to rise since the Romantic period. I can’t help but wonder how changing the way we think about relationships could create possibility for everyone in our lives. And, perhaps, change what fuels the destruction of each other and the world.