My Relationship Goals Don’t Involve Celebrity Couples

I’m more about that elderly couple who shares the same bench in a booth


Setting genuine relationship goals is quite different than saying a celebrity couple is #relationshipgoals. My first relationship goal (I’ve taken a full inventory of them) is to have a relationship. That’s followed by achieving a level of comfort in said relationship that allows for sitting on the same side of the table at a restaurant without fearing that our connection might dwindle if we lose eye contact.

This seating arrangement, where a couple shares the same bench of a booth, was introduced to me when I was a restaurant server by an older couple who I will refer to as “Stan and Judy.” Every Saturday, Stan and Judy would traverse all three stop lights in my hometown and arrive at our Italian café at 6:43 p.m. They’d wave to the kitchen and proceed to seat themselves in the dining room, amid a parade of bubbling tomato pies, on the same side of the corner booth that had a clear view of the other tables that were filled with people from town.

Stan and Judy’s parallel outward gazes appeared ready to plunge into the personal business of these other regulars, such as the church organist, the swingers who took turns at tipping and their clumsy waitress with a wandering eye. Never did they once force a smile upon one another to assure that they were having a good time, nor did they press for mundane conversation about how nice the candle holders were. Social media and cell phone usage did not interrupt their meal either. While the pies of other plugged-in couples grew cold, Stan and Judy ate together and they thrived.

It was as if they knew how to satiate their hunger and enjoy the company of each other in silence because they had sat at so many tables together prior to this one in our restaurant. They had conquered their first date — which is never easy, no matter how much wine you order — their second, their third, their rehearsal dinner, their wedding reception, their first dinner as a family of three, their first dinner as empty nesters. Corner booths were just for snooping and sharing fried calamari.

It’s hard to break past the appetizer round of a relationship and achieve a dinner date ambiance that’s as comfortable as theirs appeared to be, but to hope for a Stan, who impulsively asks for a separate plate for his onions because he knows that they give me indigestion, can’t be a pipe dream. Until I find someone like him, I’ll just eat around the rings.

Special thanks to Jack’s Wife Freda for hosting our date; follow them on Instagram @jackswifefreda. Photo by Krista Anna Lewis.

Want more relationship goals? Clutch your heart and click here. Prefer the single life? This is for you.

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  • Ashley Flores

    Everyone deserves their Stan! I enjoy sitting on the same side as my lovie because then we can whisper in eachother’s ears and neck nuzzle. I know, disgustingly sweet but keeps the spark strong and it’s comforting. It’s like the line from Pulp Fiction about uncomfortable silences and moving past them… “That’s when you know you’ve found somebody really special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence.” And the same side of a booth.

    • Perla

      Couldn’t agree more!

    • going to find a way to somehow work that Pulp Fiction quote into my greetings on a first date. that can’t be too detrimental to a first impression, right?

  • Samantha Lee

    This is so cute. It’s amazing to think how many meals a couple shares together through a lifetime. <3

  • Grace B

    Awwww. But, I agree wholehearted with the great Kingsley when he said, “I don’t need to sit on the same side as you. Like, I KNOW we’re together!!!”. #tbt 2010.

    • this is a great cultural reference. thank you for bringing Kingsley to the front of my mind

      • Grace B

        I will never forget crying with laughter the first time I saw, “Things I hate” and watch it every so often. It never gets old (“Listen, bitch!”). :p

  • I find it funny that so many people look to celebrities for relationship goals when 99% of celebrity relationships fail.

    • I know!!!!! Someone explain.

      • I feel like with celebrity couples, we build a game of House and fill in idyllic details about their relationship that are so far from the truth because we know nothing about them, no matter how “transparent” they are about their lives. Celebrity culture is an unending season of reality television that we produce in our heads. It’s escapism that can be destructive for us when we use these people as “goal” anything. We often forget that what we see of these people is just their image – not their whole truth. That’s why I only ship mannequins in department stores

  • Savannah

    Who are the models in the picture?

  • You guys are always describing my feelings. lol

    Once again, love this.

  • Natasha

    I think the moral of the story is: the couple that people-watches together, stays together.

  • Chloe Bruderer