As I explained last week, kirists vote for intimacy. They can certainly live alone; they love solitude; but they also know the joys and pleasures of intimacy.
If such an intimate relationship is to stand the test of time, the individuals involved must have not just some reasons for staying together. They need sufficient reasons. This sets the bar uncomfortably high but there is really no other place to set it.
How should such a relationship look? When will it be worth it? Well, to begin with, a kirist would love her mate to be her friend, her lover, her partner, her soulmate. But she also has some other special—and mandatory—requirements.
She needs her mate to provide her with real freedom, the freedom to hold her own ideas, to make mistakes and messes, to spend time in solitude, and, in a sense which can stretch the fabric of any relationship, to live a genuinely independent life.
A kirist is an individual first. She has her own ideas, her own ideals, her own principles, her own self-obligations. If her relationship supports her autonomy, it is a benefit. If her relationship counters it or constrains her, it is an albatross.
She likewise needs her mate to be “in it” with her. This “being in it together” is different from love, from respect, from empathy, from caring, from compassion. It is a decision that two people make that they will face life together, shoulder-to-shoulder.
The two of you have made the decision to take the other person’s side. You both have pledged to side with that person above all others. The love-making, the quiet conversations, the like-mindedness, are frosting on that cake. Rock-solid solidarity is at the forefront.
You might conceive of this excellent relating as the creation of a subversive unit, a resistance cell deep inside occupied territory, where two like-minded partisans work to defeat a common enemy. That’s how “in it” they are: they are in it completely.
There is only one marriage vow: you are the most important person in my life. When that changes, when the person you sleep with is not the most important person in your life, your subversive unit has again become just two individuals sharing a bathroom.
No legal document creates such a unit. No amount of love guarantees such a unit. It happens in a simple but rare way: two people shake hands and agree to become partisans. They agree, maybe without a single word having been uttered.
For a relationship to reach the level that kirists require, each partner must give a serious damn about the needs of the other. Lip service won’t do. Bouquets of roses after the fact won’t do. Fine anniversary speeches won’t do. That care must exist daily.
That is what love looks like behind enemy lines: two resistance fighters joined in a common cause and in mutual support, kissing in the dark while awaiting instructions.
Eric Maisel is the author of 50+ books. You can learn more about him at www.ericmaisel.com, subscribe to all of his blog posts at https://authory.com/ericmaisel, learn more about kirism here, and write him at [email protected]