So you’ve decided to commit to a single person, and are trying to survive the never-ending temptation of “the other.” A wise choice, young reader, but one fraught with danger. If this is your first time in an adult relationship, then you have no idea how complicated it can get. You know that scene in The Matrix Reloaded where the old guy that looks like Michael McDonald tries to explain a bunch of technobabble nonsense to Neo? A relationship is like that, plus a 70-question exam right after that.
It only gets harder the longer you’re together. I’m engaged and we can’t even decide to run the air conditioner some nights. It’s 80 degrees at 3 AM and I can’t run the AC? That’s fucking crazy.
The only way to survive is to go in prepared. Learn from my mistakes, and you might luck out and GET MARRIED (which is its own article for another time).
1. Say Yes
Don’t waste of bunch of your time trying to convince your lover that they’re wrong about anything. Don’t fight if they ask you to take out the trash, fold your clothes, or run a mindless errand. Just do it, and you’ll be rewarded with respect, affection, and (maybe) sex. Maybe.
2. Sometimes Say No
You might think this contradicts my last suggestion, but it doesn’t. In fact, it’s very, very complimentary to that one. If you say yes all the time, you’re going to be labeled a big pushover and your significant other will not take you seriously. Say no to dumb things, like getting sushi instead of pizza, having a “game night” with couple friends, and morning sex before brushing your teeth. That’s just gross.
3. Do Not Forget Holidays
Never before have there been so many ways to not forget important dates. There are calendars everywhere; in your pocket, on your wall, on your computer, in the bathroom, the kitchen, and definitely at work. You can’t fuck this up unless you try. Set a Google Alert. Update your iCal with a reminder. If Valentine’s Day rolls around and your significant other doesn’t have a fairly substantial gift in their hands, you’re probably not going to be around much longer.
Be Nice to Their Parents
The most intimidating part of any relationship (and a common deal-breaker) is meeting parents. In a perfect world of sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns that have ice cream cone horns, parents are just glad that someone loves their kid and are super hands-off about everything. That world does not exist. If your significant other’s parents aren’t totally suspicious of you during your first meeting, they probably don’t have a great relationship with their kid (or are heavily medicated…or both).
Bring them a gift, try to pretend to like the same things they like, and definitely make lots of eye contact. A shifty person who can’t look at the person they’re talking to is not fit to copulate with anyone.
Pretend a Lot
This is hard to do, but it’s absolutely vital to remember. You don’t like everything they like. If you think you do, you just haven’t been together long enough. I thought an ex and I had everything in common, then she told me she really loved the band Hanson. After thinking to myself, LOL, Hanson sucks, and getting very worried that I’d have to quickly break up with her, I said, “That’s awesome. It’s very bold of you to like that band.”
We went to a Hanson concert at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, and I pretended to have the BEST TIME EVER. I could be way off, but I think my performance rivaled even the Hanson brothers’ that night. She was none the wiser and we stayed together for another three years before my own love of Star Trek fan fiction drove us apart.