If you’re not missing them in the same instant that you’re fighting with them, leave. If their hair doesn’t somehow look softer, their eyes more vibrant, their lips more irresistible with every added decibel in their voice, then they’re not the one. With every heated step closer to you that they take, you should feel further from them. You should feel them slipping through the very fingers that run up and down their back in the TV light, that straighten their crooked eyebrows, that hold the very fingers that are curled in a fist before you.
If waitresses and baristas and strangers on the mini golf course don’t look at you both like this love rivals that between Rachel McAdams and any of her time-traveling husbands, then it doesn’t. If Jim and Pam wouldn’t envy what you have, then you could have so much more. And that’s what we’re all striving for, isn’t it?
If they can’t appreciate your admiration for Taylor Swift, while simultaneously not appreciating Taylor Swift herself, if they have to love you despite anything instead of because of it, then they don’t really love you, and you don’t really need them, no matter how much you want to or tell yourself that you do.
If it’s a next-to-impossible task for them to express their appreciation for you, if it’s like attempting to thank James Cameron for Titanic, or Nicholas Sparks for The Notebook, or Adele for literally anything she’s done ever, grab their face and kiss them, no matter where you are.
If the thought of them makes you want to spend two hours cooking one of Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals to surprise them after work, if they make you want to dance in the kitchen with your earphones in while still trying not to burn the ground beef, they’re the one.
If they don’t harmlessly tease you about something when you first open your eyes in the morning, leave their sorry ass, because anyone who does not wake up smiling, anyone who does not wake up trying to make you laugh, is no one at all. If they tease you about your weight in the morning, or at any point throughout the day, however, punch them in the jaw and go sleep on your friend’s futon until you find your own place.
If you’re staying with them solely because you feel like you should, because you’ve been with them for five years and you don’t want the memories to go to waste, and their stuff is all over your apartment, and you’d have to delete 80 percent of your profile pictures, and their favorite jersey hangs so perfectly off your shoulder, then don’t stay. Love out of obligation isn’t love at all.
Know your worth. Know what you deserve. Understand that you deserve someone who can make you laugh until your abs hurt — until there are tears in your eyes. Someone that treats you to dinner and still tips the waitress more than is necessary. Someone whose voice cracks as they sing a song that they wrote about your smile. Someone that you want to kiss until the pigment in your face matches that of your favorite purple hoodie, because the feeling of their lips against yours is literally better than breathing. But at the same time, know what you don’t deserve. Remember that you don’t deserve someone who loves you because they’re lonely, or bored, or drunk, or because it’s late, or cold, or rainy. Remember that you don’t deserve someone who stares at their phone, or the TV, or their watch while you’re describing your day to them.
If loving them does not make you want to tell every single one of your friends, your mother, the lady trimming your sideburns at Cost Cutters the exact extent of your love for this near-perfect human being who has absolutely no idea what’s coming, then you’re loving the wrong person. If it’s too easy to say the words “I love you” for the first time, don’t say it. If they don’t already know that you do as you spell it out running your fingers up and down their back in the TV light, as you lick your thumb and straighten their eyebrows, while your fingers are laced together, if they don’t reciprocate those feelings, then telling them that you do isn’t going to change that.
If loving them overwhelms you to the point that you could cry, marry them.