When I got to my friend’s house Sunday afternoon, I didn’t know his wife was going to be there. I hadn’t seen him in awhile and we had some things to talk about. We normally communicate by email or text, and I was looking forward to sitting down with him in person for the first time in several years.
It turned out that his wife joined us and we spent the next three hours having the best conversation I have had in a long time.
We had a wide-ranging discussion that covered bits and pieces of things ranging from psychology and family history to the nature of reality and the future of the human race, but all of it was very personal and every piece connected back to everything else. For me, it was a bit like being offered a hit of my favorite addictive drug.
I left feeling grateful for the time I spent with them — and it left me craving the meaningful conversation which I need from a romantic relationship.
I haven’t had this sort of meaningful conversation for quite some time, but there was another side of it, too. I got to observe the two of them interacting with one another about ideas and experiences — in exactly the ways I remember from my best romantic relationships.
They’re both intelligent, insightful and empathetic people who have interesting things to say. They clearly love each other and know each other deeply.
What I saw and heard from them made me hungry for something I haven’t had for a long time.
Most people don’t interest me in the least, but the truth is that I probably don’t interest them, either. I don’t want to talk about the things which are most popular in our culture to talk about. I don’t want to tell others they’re wrong in their interests. I don’t want to tell them they ought to be like me. I simply know what I need and I know how hard it is for me to find it.
It’s shockingly rare when I find a potential partner who needs to have the sort of deep interaction which I need. When I find it every now and then, it’s like finding gold.
I remember when I was getting to know a woman about 15 years ago who fits this description. We met online, so our earliest conversations were by email. By her second email to me, her subject line was, “The longest email of my life, just for you.” We were writing what amounted to short books back and forth to one another. We both had a lot to say and were both interested in hearing what someone else had to say.
In the years that followed — while we dated — we had regular long conversations, both in person and on the phone. We never ran out of things to talk about. We were both endlessly curious about ideas and personal growth and philosophy and pretty much everything under the sun.
Those three hours at my friend’s house Sunday afternoon reminded me how much I miss that — not so much that particular woman, but that sort of experience. And I find it painfully difficult to find someone who wants the same thing — especially someone who wants to have a family built around those sorts of relationships.
I enjoyed the experience today. I left their house — after three hours which felt nowhere near that long — feeling emotionally satisfied in a way that I haven’t felt lately. But like someone who’s been starving and gets just a little bit of food, I was soon left with a craving for more.
It’s great to experience such conversation — and observe such a loving relationship in others — but what I really want and need is to find it in a romantic relationship for myself again.
There has to be someone who wants what I want — who also wants me and who I also want. But I don’t know where she is.
I desperately wish I could find her tonight — and start a conversation that could last for the rest of our lives. Where is she?