1. You’ll never be able to read your significant other’s mind. So you’ll never be able to confirm whether they’re being truthful at any given time.
2. That means you’ll have to rely on your instincts a lot. And sometimes your gut will be flat-out wrong.
3. Other times, your gut will be on point, but you’ll be fooled into thinking otherwise by your mostly well-meaning but sometimes crafty partner.
4. The longer you stay together, the better positioned you’ll be to manipulate each other simply because knowledge is power.
5. When you find yourself exploiting your vast knowledge of your partner to get what you want, you’ll probably feel a little bit guilty, but not quite bad enough to stop.
6. You will both say a lot of things you don’t really mean just to shut each other up. There’ll be plenty of false positives (You really are always right, sweetie!), and false negatives (I hate your mother fucking guts!).
7. You’ll even offer half-true assertions for the hell of it sometimes (You give the best blowjobs of anyone I’ve ever been with! You’re the sexiest person I’ve ever dated! I absolutely adore hanging out with your family!), because it seems like the decent thing to do.
8. Your partner will not always want to have sex with you, even when they claim to. Alternatively, they might say that your hot naked body put them in the mood when a secret fantasy did the trick instead.
9. You will both inevitably meet other people whom you know, instinctively, you could also probably love. So you will have to choose each other over and over and over again. Or move on.
10. You’ll both regularly encounter other people you’ll want to sleep with, too. So you’ll both have to choose to honor whatever boundaries you’ve established as a couple again and again and again. Or risk stepping outside the bounds of commitment.
11. It will be a joint struggle to resist all the temptations you face over the years. And you may or may not ever know whether you’re both successful.
12. You’ll have to support your partner through some rough times when providing reassurance and propping another person up is the last thing you’re in the mood to do.
13. You’ll have to make your partner feel sexually attractive even when you kind of hate what they’re wearing, and make them feel loved even on the days when you more than kind of resent them.
14. Sometimes, you won’t be able to cheer each other up no matter how hard you try. Love won’t solve all your problems because it’s not a magic fix. It’s a transcendent bond with tremendous rewards that sometimes causes problems.
15. You will both waste time pining over matters that don’t actually matter simply because you’re human and that’s life.
16. There will be periods when your imaginations run wild and you can’t stop your own minds from opening the floodgates of paranoia and doubt.
17. Your brains and hearts will sometimes urge you to get jealous when there’s absolutely no reason to worry about anything.
18. At other times, you’ll fail to be suspicious when you absolutely should be.
19. Your partner will lie to you—about little things (like what they really think about your new jeans), and bigger things (like exactly what went down at the strip club that one night).
20. No matter how crazy it sounds, you probably need them to lie to you on occasion, because total transparency is pretty damn impossible to live by. The health of your relationship and your personal sanity will most likely depend on many well-intentioned fabrications.
21. Over time, you will say a lot of truthful and untruthful nasty things to each other—because hurting the person you adore, again and again, is absolutely inevitable.
22. Even after years, you’ll overlook things about your significant other—how they’re really feeling, what they actually want for dinner, or why they’re disproportionately upset about something—because not even the most attentive people are perfect, so no couple can be.
23. No matter how strong your bond is, you’ll never know the love of your life entirely because no one can know 100 percent of anyone. And that’s okay.