The permaculture principle 10, as listed by David Holmgren, states “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It might be the most applicable one to our relationships as well as our economies. It calls for diversity. How about a diversity of friends! If we focus all of our energy on one person and put all of our relational eggs in one basket, we might end up feeling rather lonely. Many of us who have been in seepy relationships know how alone one can be in those… It pays to have lots of relationships, intimate and otherwise. Close friends can help us sort out our life path. Acquaintances can be fun to hang out or watch a movie with. Why would anybody but their eggs in one basket? Because that’s the cultural messages we’re getting: You have to find The One and then you’ll do everything with him/her. It’s almost as if the ideas from agriculture have filtered into the rest of culture: Monogamy is the monoculture (huge fields of the same crop) of relationships. Maybe it’s time to diversify! That doesn’t necessarily mean polygamy. My parents have a pretty strong marriage and one of the things that seems to keep it strong is that they have a diverse set of friends – each has their own and some are in common. And such a diversified approach would probably help us all by increasing the social capital associated with involvement in civic groups since research points to marriage as a time and energy-sapper.