1. Their definition and your definition of “sleeping in” are two completely different things. For you, it means opening your eyes around ten or eleven on a Saturday morning (or sometimes later, if you’re particularly tired). For them, it means getting up at seven am instead of quarter to six.
2. When you ask them a question, they will occasionally slip into teacher mode, meaning they use their hands a lot, talk really slowly, and usually give you two or three examples. So it can take a really long time to finally hear their answer to your question of “Where do you want to go for dinner?”
3. Their apartment is usually filled with all sorts of half-put-together arts and crafts projects, lesson plans, scattered papers, and approximately one million sharpies and red pens.
4. You know that coffee to them means something very different than it does to you. For them, it’s oxygen, a life force, the number one thing they need to stay alive. Give me coffee or give me death. For you, it’s like, oh, coffee? Sure, I guess I’ll have some.
5. They know a lot about subjects that you forgot about a long time ago. Like how to find coefficients in an algebraic equation, or how to convert Celsius to Kelvin, or when the Mayans died out.
6. You laugh at the people who say, “Wow, it must be so great to date a teacher. They’re probably finished work every day by – what? 3:30? 4?” And you’re just like, “No. Get out of my sight.”
7. …because you’ve now realized that teachers often work longer hours than pretty much every other profession you can think of.
8. You have come to know a lot of things about kids you’ve never even met before. You know that Peter is a pain in the ass, Sarah is incredibly intelligent, Jessica is going to grow up to be a bitch, and Chase sounds like the coolest kid in the entire world.
9. You realize that you have now become the mysterious significant other that students are always pestering their teachers about. You can remember asking your math teacher about her boyfriend, or being fascinated when your English teacher’s girlfriend came to visit him at school. It’s bizarre to think that you are now that person that is responsible for baffling dozens of young minds.
10. Even when they’re not working, they’re working. You could be a thousand miles away on a beach somewhere drinking piña coladas, or sitting on your couch together and eating pizza. Wherever you are, you know that a lot of the time, their mind is moving a million miles an hour, always planning ways they can get better and thinking of ideas they have for improving their technique.
11. You get really heated when people make ignorant remarks about teachers and how they’re overpaid or overpraised. You’ve seen how much work your significant other puts into their job, and the idea that they could possibly be overpaid is just laughable to you.
12. Whenever they stay at your place, it seems like they have twenty different bags with them. One with their overnight clothes, one with their laptop and planner, another filled to the brim with papers to grade, and another that contains about one-third of the merchandise from Michael’s.
13. They occasionally use adolescent slang terms you have never heard of, and when you ask them what in the world they’re talking about, they seem baffled that you’ve never heard of that word.
14. You frequently talk about your boyfriend or girlfriend’s kids, and people often think you’re saying that your significant other already has several of their own children.
15. Your boyfriend or girlfriend knows all the popular shows for today’s youth, and sometimes they’ll refer to one of these shows before they remember that you don’t watch the Disney Channel anymore.
16. For every day that they’ve come home joyful and inspired and thrilled about the work they’re doing, there is also a day where you’ve had to convince them not to quit their job and remind them that tomorrow will be better.
17. You make a sincere effort to feel happy for them when they get a snow day or two or six, because you know they deserve a break, but on the inside, you’re writhing with jealousy.
18. They have an eerily successful ability to calm you down in a period of seconds by using a quiet voice, calming gestures, and a speech that you’re sure they probably have to use every day with a bunch of crazy kids.
19. You occasionally have to step in and tell them to put the papers down, or stop taking phone calls after a certain time, or take a break from lesson planning for a few moments. And you have to tell yourself you shouldn’t feel guilty for telling them to stop working for a split second. That’s just what happens when you date someone who’s the Beyonce of educating children.