A few years ago, in the middle of a surprisingly sedate breakup conversation, I tried to explain what it was I wanted out of a relationship, out of marriage, out of life. It wasn’t simply that we weren’t right for each other, I tried to say; it was that our relationship didn’t lend itself to a certain kind of openness, to love of the world. What I wanted out of a partnership, I said, was to be standing together, around an enormous table, with piles of food heaped high, with prosecco free-flowing, with all manner of ragtag people in silly costumes and vintage furs showing up, unbidden and welcome, at the door.

“You’re breaking up with me,” he said, astounded, “because I won’t cohost parties with you?”

He wasn’t wrong, not exactly. Nor was he right.