1. The way too grateful to be married type.
These are the people who relish the words “husband” and “wife” so much, you’d think they’d forgotten each other’s birth names altogether. As other couples bemoan the end of the “honeymoon phase” or the onset of the “seven year itch,” they nod and smile while secretly nudging each other beneath the dinner table because (thank Lord!) they don’t have to worry about such dysfunction tainting their bond.
It’s as if they hadn’t existed as human beings until the day they met (on account of capital “f” Fate, no doubt), when they finally became whole in each other’s arms. They don’t go a single day without wearing their wedding bands, and they actually follow the thematic gifting rules corresponding to each successive wedding anniversary, starting with paper. As soon as they have children, they buy each other “#1 Dad” and “#1 Mom” shirts.
2. The overly enthusiastic about Game Night type.
Games can be fun, especially when there’s guacamole on hand and a fridge stocked with booze. But group activities like Trivia, Scattergories, Pictionary, and Charades are only so fun to the typical grownup. Beware the couple that’s a little too excited about game night.
These two are the adult equivalent of the musical theater nerds you knew in high school. Beneath their cheery exterior lies a dark, borderline sociopathic devotion to order. They take a relatively lame but potentially pleasant event and turn it into an impossibly lame, unpleasant night out by imbuing it with too much seriousness. No one cares all that much if the rules are broken once in a while, or if Sally forgets to bring the extra pair of dice—again.
3. The parenting obsessed type.
There’s a certain type of couple that becomes unrecognizable the day their first child is born. Suddenly, these people-turned-helicopter-parents cannot discuss anything other than their kid, their kid’s last bowel movement, and their kid’s chances of getting into Harvard as a function of their advanced grasp of the alphabet. They lose track of current events, favoring Fancy Nancy and Good Night Moon over the news. They swap out all their cleaning products for less effective, greener alternatives, and they start Goolging stuff to make sure it’s certified organic, all natural, and BPA-free before purchasing it. They think of every childrearing decision as a major event, as if they were the first to face the harrowing cloth-versus-disposable-diaper predicament. They lose themselves in their obsession with their kid—who, it should be noted, is a tiny walking genetic hybrid of them—all the while claiming that parenting is the most selfless thing a person can do. Ew.
4. The sickeningly co-dependent type.
Though easily mistaken for the kind who are way too grateful to be married, these two exist in a distinct category. Think Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen of The Real Housewives of New York. It’s as if they’re more attached to the marriage itself than to each other. They both identify so strongly as being one half of a married couple that they’re virtually incapable of functioning as individuals. They lean on each other to a confounding extent, refusing to socialize without the other party present. They don’t even have separate calendars, only one joint household version, and they use the word “we” more than any other in the English language, even in response to questions specifically directed at one of them. For example, the innocent “How are you doing?” conversation starter is answered, “We’re doing quite well, thank you,” thereby alienating the person who asked only out of politeness (but may never bother to again).
5. The excessively proud of each other type.
Part of the reason it’s wonderful to couple up is that it’s lovely to have a built-in support system. As long-term lovers, we root for each other, in good times and bad, and we sincerely celebrate each other’s accomplishments. By osmosis, our partner’s happiness and success is partly ours.
The thing is, you can’t expect anyone else to be as psyched about your significant other—for landing a promotion, running the marathon, or barbecuing delicious kebabs on the first night of summer—as you are. In a way, partner bragging is a roundabout way of patting oneself on the back (for choosing the right guy or gal), and it should be frowned upon similarly. The couple that fails to place a cap on their partner promotion makes everyone else want to projectile vomit. Trust me, we’re all secretly snickering about your Instagram post captioned “this guy/girl,” and the #proudhusband and #proudwife hashtags.
6. The constant bickering type.
It can be refreshing to witness another couple fighting—to notice a crack or two in their togetherness—because it reminds us that our lives are all pretty damn imperfect, in spite of what our social media presence indicates. All healthy couples fight on occasion, but the operative phrase here is “on occasion.”
As reassuring as it can be to see a couple’s dark underbelly once in a while, it’s tough to sympathize with the pair that constantly exposes innocent bystanders to their infighting. We’ve all got our own problems, and we’d rather not bear the weight of others’. If you’re bickering like a married couple all the time, you’re definitely annoying everyone around you while you’re at it.
7. The isolationist type.
When some people incorporate each other into their lives fully, they become overwhelmed by the weight of additional responsibility. Sure, relationships take work, and it can be tough to balance everything else on top of maintaining your sanity at home. There’s work and then there are bills to pay and your health to worry about. Isolationists cut off all contact with the world as they knew it before marriage simply because it’s easier. Why go out when you can stay at home and still have a solid chance at getting laid?