Everyone asks: why am I writing this book?

In 2009, I started an e-commerce company. It did well and I opened an office in Miami. It did better and I opened an office in India. When it continued to grow, I opened an office in China. The company was ranked the 125th Fastest Growing Company in America and the 4th Fastest Woman-Led Company in America.

And I felt shitty. I had moved cross country away from family and friends after heartbreak and felt lonely amid crowds. Around that time, I heard Esther Perel speak about how thousands of years ago, we had a community to fulfill our needs. We had fun with some people, took advice from others, raised kids with more, had sex with someone. Over time, we gathered up all our needs and dropped them on the shoulders of one person: our romantic partner. This setup, Perel explains, leads us to want more. That sometimes leads to affairs.

As a problem-solver, I coolly decided I would create a community to meet my needs. One problem: I didn’t know how to do that. I wondered whether community was the stuff of villages and sitcoms or if everyone else felt deeply connected to their Instagram followers. In an effort to understand why we feel distant, I began researching and writing. I talked to sociologists, psychologists, biologists, government workers, educators. I read about the impending doom of the loneliness epidemic in America and the health consequences of it.

After much research, though, I found a more hopeful voice—one that I’d like to share with you.