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Finding singles in Seattle means knowing where to look for them, and making a good impression means knowing what other singles are looking for in potential dates.

Once the pool of mutual friends has been exhausted, single men and women alike are increasingly relying on meeting people at bars, using online dating apps or frequenting networking events to find people to date.

This longing–I was recently affirmed (as I often am) by a Tara Brach podcast–is extremely human. While mindfulness and other self-help-ish dogma can counsel that the most important love is for and within ourselves, she reminds us that we’re programmed with the biological need to connect with others.

It makes sense, then, to desire that firm belonging in the form of a connection to a solid community.

I dated my college boyfriend for 10 years and then dove into marriage with him for the next 7. So it isn’t useful to cross your arms until things change.

John Gottman, my favorite relationship researcher, points out that fighting is a predictor of divorce! No, most marital arguments can’t be fully resolved (69% of them aren’t resolved according to Gottman).

As I shared that day with my tablemates, I’ve always longed to have one intimate, cohesive, close community. “It kind of seems like you set it up that way,” my friend R once commented, on an evening walk around a Minneapolis lake.

“Like you enjoy having a lot of different groups you shift between; like that’s what you want.” In fact, as my tablemates and (and other conversation partners since) have affirmed, my experience is common, perhaps even typical: even for those who hang onto groups of friends from childhood or college, people tend to acquire additional groups through work or neighborhoods, hangouts or hobbies. But I also find myself envious of those like my oldest brother, who has maintained the same friend group since growing up in Brooklyn in the 80s: now in their late 40s, they still gather for regular dinners and weekends and parties, share childcare.

That evening we were supposed to be reading one another’s tarot, but she and I had (somewhat quickly) arrived at the edges of our interest in said endeavor, so returned instead to the subject of writing: I sought her advice on how to put together my first poetry manuscript–or rather, : should I be thinking of the potential judges whose reign over first-book prizes is my most likely path to publication? * A couple months ago, I attended a racial justice conference on the theme, “Decolonizing our Minds.” It was magic.

I wake up much later than the alarm clock says I should. I take in the room: decent sized, comfy queen bed, there is a vintage bike mounted up high on one wall. The light through the window is high and hitting the floor, it’s almost noon here.

There are books and comic books high on the other wall.

There is no one else in the bed, I slept alone, but then a memory comes fast and sneakily: a perfect morning almost two years ago, not this bed, when I had flown in overnight and got under the covers.

I kissed the back of his neck repeatedly; he made a soft, pleased murmur in his half-sleep every time I kissed it, his neck always got so so bristly in between haircuts.