Ladies: when you take his photograph, and he doesn’t want to take yours in return, it means he doesn’t love you. Let him go.
Gents: when she won’t return your phone calls, texts, and emails, it doesn’t mean she is flighty, forgetful, or “in danger.” It means you’ve done something wrong. Give her some space. Leave her alone.
Ladies: the “other woman” is not competition. She is not a “better,” “alternate,” or “new” you. She is a signal that it is time for you to move on to someone better. Do.
Gents: if you sense her body clench, close, freeze, shrug, shift, or shake, stop touching her. It is acceptable to ask her if something is wrong. Be ready to accept the fact that the “something wrong” might be you.
Ladies: there is no shame in crossing to the other side of the street.
Gents: if she spends more time texting her friends than talking to you, she’s either rude or not interested. In either case, move on.
Ladies: if he tells you he’s “damaged,” move on. If he tells you he hates his mother, move on. If he tells you that “some crazy bitch” tried telling people that he date raped her, run.
Gents: if she tells you her father is a criminal, it does not mean that she is a criminal or that crime runs in her blood. If she tells you that she was raped, it does not mean that she is broken. If she tells you that she grew up poor, it does not mean that she is poor of spirit, of loyalty, of character.
Ladies: men are scared that women will judge them by their assets. If you’re going to judge him, judge him by his character. Does he treat you like his equal? How do his actions make you feel? Does he care if you are cold or warm?
Gents and Ladies: Debt is a real thing. No two people relate to money in exactly the same way. If you would like to participate in a long term, mature relationship, be prepared to talk about debt and money in a sane, calm, hopeful, and constructive manner. Plan for the future. Your future. Your future together will follow.
Ladies and Gents: Here is a list of things you can give or do to show someone that you care – free of charge. Pick a flower from the side of the road. Give it to them. A dandelion will do. Fetch them a cold glass of water. Give them a shoulder rub when they come home from work. Tell them their hair or smile or socks or braces is or are awesome. Listen to them. Listen to the things they create, their poems, music, stories. Look at their sculptures, their model airplanes, their wacky collages, their videos and webcomics. Read their blog. Tell them what you think. Help them share their creations with others. Eat the food they cook. If you don’t enjoy the meal, smile anyway. Life is too short to bitch about dinner. Go for a walk. Weather is free. Everyone shares it. There is no one in the world that you can’t talk to about the weather in a solidarity-minded kind of way. If you’re fighting, go for a walk and talk about the sky until you’re ready to move on to earthy topics.
Ladies: if things begin to disappear, don’t allow him in your apartment.
Gents: you are not the royal baby. You are not entitled to anything.
Ladies: recognize that if you talk loudly about money in a public place, you might incite a class war.
Gents: you like flowers. Plant some along the median.
Ladies: you are responsible for your happiness. He is not going to buy or build or conjure happiness for you. Not because he won’t try, but because he can’t do it. Happiness exists inside of you. Happiness is, as MasterCard says, “priceless.”
Gents: she doesn’t care that you’re not as tall as Shaq. Shaq isn’t even as tall as Shaq. Get over it.
Ladies: there will always be an area of your body that you feel exists in a state of excess or lack. Stop dwelling on your hips, boobs, thighs, nose, feet, belly, ears. If you’re going to increase the volume of something, make that thing be your voice. If you’re going to decrease the volume of something, make that thing be your dependence on foreign oil, corn syrup, and hydrofracking.
Gents: there’s arsenic in the chicken.
Ladies: there’s lead in the hot sauce.
Gents: don’t slip drugs into her body, food, or drink.
Ladies: corporations will lie for you. Tell the truth.