A friend of mine, after reading Whither Thou Goest, asked me if Ken returned to Orange County, whether our relationship would be viable. That is an interesting word. Viable. My first thought when I heard the word had to do with sustainable. Upon looking it up, I added a few more definitions: feasible, practical, possible, realistic… And of course every successful relationship has to be viable, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that despite our previously “good enough” relationship, and our excellent friendship, whether or not it’s viable isn’t really the point.
Because I don’t want just a viable relationship, or a “good enough” relationship; I want a relationship that is thriving. I guess that’s the advantage of being older and wiser and recognizing that I really do want someone to spend the rest of my days with. And my nights. Ken and I were OK not living together, and not spending every Thanksgiving together, and retreating to our separate spaces after dancing. But I want to live with the next man I fall in love with. And share our families. And our holidays. And quiet reading time. And passionate discussions. And our bed. Even if we only have 25 years together instead of 50. And I want the next one to be “The One.” And the last one.
It makes me think of Steven’s post, I Just Need Someone to Love, where he writes: “[Women] say that a romantic relationship would be ‘dessert’ or ‘icing on the cake’ or ‘the cherry on top.’ I don’t feel that way. For me, a romantic relationship, or what I’d prefer to call a primary relationship, is not dessert; it’s the main course. I want a partner who also wants a main course, who won’t think of me as dessert. I want to be the priority in her life, as she will be in mine… My partner is the person who will stand by my side through the remainder of my life, the person who will be there for me whenever I need her, the person who will always be available when I need to talk, the person who will pick me up if I fall. She will be my soft place to land. And I will be all these things for her…”
I want the same. Truthfully, I think the only reason that I’ve been OK living alone all these years is because deep down I knew that I didn’t want “good enough.” And despite economic dating theories to the contrary, at the end of the day, merely “viable” isn’t good enough for the last relationship I ever hope to have. I want it to be spectacular.