Gen and Francis: The Pen Pal Project #9

The illusion of romance and how my checklist for a partner went out the window.

Francis Lee
7 min readAug 29


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Welcome to our collaborative series where Gen (Genevieve) and Francis (both Medium writers) become companions of the written word. Through these intimate letters, we embark on a poignant voyage, sharing our innermost thoughts, cherished experiences, and profound discoveries. As pen pals navigating the digital landscape, we weave together the threads of our lives, exploring the depths of both profound and everyday subjects. Each letter offers you a glimpse into our worlds, an open invitation to join us in forging connections and engaging in contemplation. Come, embark on this journey of shared expressions, as we unravel the captivating intricacies of friendship and the enduring power found within the written word.

August 29, 2023

Dear Gen,

You asked me in your last letter about whether I had a checklist for a partner:

Do you have a checklist? I’d love to hear yours. Ten things? What ten things are your expectations of a perfect, blissful relationship, your ultimate Zepherine? As I got older, my checklist started to dwindle from ten (10) to the following top three (3).

Must give 100% the entire time to each other when together

Must be willing to Live, Love and Laugh.

Leave the past behind.

Oh yes, I’ve been there before. I have created checklists and even a vision board for a romantic partner. Then what I found was that the next person I would meet had most of the items on the list but then they had an undesirable quality that I didn’t think of. So I added that to the list. But then it happened again with a new partner. So I kept adding to the list and finally I saw the futility in creating a list.



Francis Lee

My daily intention is to live in Nothingness. In this space of nothingness, there resides pure joy. There is no wanting or waiting here, just surrendering.