1. Love is using each other’s razors or deodorant because it makes you feel closer in some weird way you can’t quite explain.
2. It’s also laughing over how bad your farts stink, and sometimes arguing feverishly over whose farts stink more.
3. It’s calling your significant other out for being an asshole, or letting them slide for their asshole behavior because they had a no-good, horrible, very bad day and they need a permission slip to be a dick temporarily.
4. It’s negotiating constantly over ridiculous matters, and making silly bargains. For instance, “I’ll consent to those questionable throw pillows if and only if you agree to those kitchen towels I like.”
5. It’s debating which TV show you should watch together next, and claiming the right to view certain programs alone so you can’t be accused of TV-cheating later.
6. It’s giving your significant other a two-minute back rub before falling asleep even if you’re exhausted simply because they ask you to (and you know they’re good for the massage credit).
7. It’s establishing life-enhancing household rules like No Phones At The Dinner Table Ever. And punishing each other appropriately on the occasions either of you violates an agreed upon stipulation.
8. It’s looking into each other’s eyes whenever possible, understanding that eye contact is generally more powerful than anything that comes out of either of your mouths.
9. It’s spending ten minutes neither of you has lazing about in bed some mornings after the alarm rings before you pick up your phones and dive into the day ahead.
10. It’s telling your significant other that they look sexy before they even ask for your opinion on the days you sense they could use the ego boost.
11. It’s remembering when your boyfriend or girlfriend has an important meeting and offering a canned but meaningful “good luck” as they head out the door.
12. Then remembering to text them an appropriately uplifting, emoji-ridden message right before that meeting occurs.
13. And preparing to support them no matter the outcome of that big important meeting because you’ve committed to being there whatever the fuck happens.
14. It’s preemptively doing tiny little things to make each other happy, like putting the laundry in the dryer even if you didn’t start the wash, or tidying up the closet even if you didn’t create that hideous mess.
15. It’s doing the dishes when it’s not your turn because you can sense that your partner might benefit from heading directly to the couch right after dinner.
16. It’s saying “thank you” for every little thing your partner does for you. And sometimes, saying it for no apparent reason, without prompting, because you truly feel grateful for the life you’ve built together.
17. It’s sighing slash smiling over the fact that your partner failed, yet again, to put the toothpaste or the salt or the remote control back in its designated place after using it—not because they didn’t think to do so, but because they know exactly how to push your buttons.
18. It’s letting your boyfriend or girlfriend use you as an excuse to get out of something they don’t want to do. “Sorry, can’t make it to dinner. [Insert s/o’s name] is sick with the flu. Again.”
19. It’s entertaining your partner’s friends when they pop by unexpectedly, even when hosting is the last thing in the world you feel like doing.
20. It’s taking a genuine interest in each other’s hobbies—reading up about motorcycles or stamp collecting or football or whatever else tickles your significant other—just so you can ask each other questions that demonstrate you care enough to research shit you don’t really care about.
21. It’s making up words so you can speak in your very own couple’s code.
22. It’s encouraging each other to make smart eating choices and to exercise regularly because teamwork makes maintaining healthy habits so much simpler.
23. It’s also making bad choices together—like gong for ice cream on a full stomach or finishing a second or third bottle of wine on a weeknight—for the hell of it because indulging as a twosome is doubly satisfying.
24. It’s saying “I love you” at seemingly random moments, and then casually returning to whatever else you were just doing.
25. It’s reminding each other that you’re lucky to be together—and that you can’t imagine life without the option to collapse into each other’s arms whenever.