1. Your partner’s best qualities—the ones that make you love them so damn much—will fail them sometimes. Because a person’s greatest strengths are also their greatest weaknesses.
2. And when your boyfriend or girlfriend goes too far—when intelligence becomes smart ass behavior, when confidence becomes obstinance, or wit becomes mean-spirited joking—it’s your job to see past that, and to love them anyway.
3. On other occasions, when you’re the one being too straightforward or too outspoken or too much of any trait that defines who you are, you’ll have to forgive your significant other for getting annoyed.
4. Humans frustrate each other—sometimes for no apparent reason—and couples that last understand this.
5. You will both have to smile and show up to some events when you’re not in the mood to do anything at all (a birthday dinner for someone’s mother, or a dull company cocktail party), purely because your partner needs you there.
6. You will also have to rally and feign excitement on special occasions that happen to fall on days when all you want is to sit at home and mope, because you both deserve the most upbeat version of each other on days worth celebrating.
7. You will not be attracted to your partner every day, because no one looks their best all the time. You might even loathe an outfit they insist on wearing constantly and you’ll wonder whether or not you should tell them this—until you remember that it really doesn’t matter.
8. The sex will not always be great. And that’s okay.
9. You will find yourself on the brink of saying the nastiest things to your boyfriend or girlfriend—because you’re not always capable of containing yourself, or because you’re in a bad mood and the person you love is the nearest target for your inner rage.
10. You will do things that hurt your boyfriend or girlfriend sometimes, whether you mean to or not—because accidents happen, and because people make mistakes.
11. You will have to give in and say you’re sorry sometimes, even if you still think you’re right, because repairing the relationship takes precedence over establishing fault.
12. You will have to tell each other a few white lies in spite of promising total honesty repeatedly, because harmless fibbing is necessary to peaceful living.
13. Sometimes, you’ll feel jealous of your partner because they look especially beautiful when you’re feeling crummy, or because someone hits on them and you can’t help feeling a little unworthy.
14. On other days, you’ll envy your partner for their professional accomplishments or their ability to amuse another person or their pleasant demeanor on a day when you can’t even muster the strength to laugh.
15. You can’t be in synch with another human being on every single day of your lives together. That reality, when it hits, might depress you temporarily. Remembering that you can always realign if you just try is the only way forward.
16. There will be a relative in your significant other’s family whom you loathe, and you will have to pretend to like them sometimes. On the upside, tolerating your partner’s lame family member(s) will make you feel better about exposing them to your weird aunt, uncle, cousin, or nephew. In a healthy, long-term relationship, everything’s reciprocal.
17. You will have to put on a brave face once in while, even when you’re terrified, simply because you’re slightly less terrified than your significant other, so it’s your responsibility to comfort them in the face of whatever troubles you’re experiencing.
18. You will wonder some days whether or not you’ll make it as a couple, because no two-person team is immune from doubting the strength of their bond.
19. When it seems impossible to get back to the passionate place where everything started, it’s your duty to remind each other that you’re both definitely worth it.