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A really talented artist died today. I didn’t know Carlos Batts well, but he and his wife, April Flores, were so in love and just exuded so much sweetness, that I’ve been sad all day thinking about him and about her.

I’ve been single for a long time, but watching the two of them together reminded me of how love can–and should–be. It was love at first sight, or as April says, lust at first sight. They had been married for ten years, during which not only did they sustain a functional relationship, but they also worked together, producing a lot of beautiful work. To keep a relationship functional is hard enough, but to love and work with your partner is a lot, and they managed it with grace and style.

So despite the fact that I have no regrets, and that I’m much happier being single than compromising just to change my relationship status, in honor of the love they charged, I’m going to indulge a maudlin moment and list the things that I miss about being in a relationship, those very specific things I ache for, and which no amount of sassy singlehood can replace.

1. Holding hands in that way that feels effortless, accidental, and familiar.
2. Waking up next to someone whose body feels as known to you as the bed you sleep on.
3. The feeling of safety you get when someone wraps their arms around you and just holds on.
4. When going to bed becomes an event, not just an anticlimactic decision to turn off the lights.
5. Always having a date to the movies.
6. Always having someone with whom to share trips to the grocery store.
7. Having someone to call in a crisis, or even just to talk to while you’re waiting for a tow truck or a jump start.
8. Someone to be there when you’re sick, perhaps to bring you food or share the bad tv.
9. A person who makes romantic weekends a thing worth doing.
10. Knowing whom to write in as your emergency contact.

These are the things I miss.

What about you?

April Flores and Carlos Batts