What Happens When You Get Into A Relationship

When you get into a relationship, you will be a lot happier? I think that’s how it works. I’m not entirely sure. You’re supposed to feel like you’ve won some implicit race—the race to monogamy and security and family vacations and cocktail parties and faded polaroids and diapers and screaming and tears and orgasms and i love you and i hate you. Yeah, I think that’s what it’s all about.

When you get into a relationship, you’re going to be a lot fatter? You’ll be eating spaghetti and meatballs every night, which will be topped with I’m In Love sauce. Every dollop of I’m In Love sauce contains 3,000 calories though. In fact, every time you tell your significant other “I love you”, you go up a waist size. I think this is okay. I think this doesn’t matter. I think if you’re going to be fat, you might as well be in love.

When you get into a relationship, you’re going to forget about all the bad things that ever happened to you? That’s what happens when you have someone. You. Just. Forget. You’re on love drugs, which causes amnesia, which causes happiness. Every moment of your life is dedicated to being present and attentive. The long stretch of time that exists ahead of you doesn’t feel so daunting. I think that’s how it works. I really don’t know, you know?

When you get into a relationship, it will fix everything? You’ll stop getting sad while watching certain movies or feeling like a piece of crap when you read Cosmopolitan. You’re invincible to it now. They can’t get to you anymore. The lambs have stopped screaming. I’m not a doctor though. Like, I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure about all of this.

When you get into a relationship, you’re going to be hurting someone very badly someday. Because that relationship will alter at some point and it will feel like the wind has been knocked out of you. This is how it all works. This I know for certain. I know this more than the weight gain and the fixing everything and the cocktail parties and the diapers and the orgasms. This has happened to me. This has happened to you. This happens. It’s sad, I guess, but it’s also just what we have to endure as people with brains and hearts and genitalia. Getting into a relationship means getting outside of yourself and into someone else, and then finding your way back to you again. The whole process just makes you feel so…alive? Yes, that’s it. That’s what it’s all about. Feeling alive big bang boom. Bingo. Can I go now? TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Liz

    love this.

  • Liz

    love this.

  • Gary

    Um, you’re a tool. Apparently it’s not ok to love someone else? Are people to feel like they’ve done something wrong because someone else could possibly make them happy? Why be so jaded?

    • Jordan

      In Ryan’s defense (yep!), I thought the tone at the end was less of an indictment on lovers at large than a forlorn sarcastic optimism.  If that makes any sense.  Either a relationship just really ended or he’s taking on that character, but I liked this (yep!).

    • http://www.facebook.com/jade.orlich Jade Mitchell

      I’ll show you Jaded. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/jjuston Jay Conway

    Interesting perspective on relationships. This resonates with me a bit and often have the same thoughts. I believe that one should not choose someone because they make you happy, that’s your own job.Choose a partner to share experiences while maintaining your own identity. I personally have gotten involved and then got lost in the relationship and forgot what I wanted as a person..

  • http://twitter.com/FeHaciente Fernanda Cortes

    I’m at a certain point in my life, in which, I don’t feel like getting into a relationship for the best or the worst. But I’m pretty comfortable by been on my own during these last two months and I want it to continue that way.

  • Olga

    I love you Ryan. You are the best. Never. Stop. Writing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    You wish you were single. 

  • http://twitter.com/brooklyknight David Trahan

    I wish this was called ‘When I got in my relationship”. It’s a great testament to your feelings and experience, and I loved seeing your perspective, but it’s not what all relationships are like. 

  • Rhee

    This is really good. “When you get into a relationship, you’re going to be hurting someone very badly someday.” So simple, yet eloquent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    I find it that I eat out more often when in relationships and become strapped for ca$h.

  • http://maxwellchance.wordpress.com Duke Holland of Gishmale

    I kind of want to cry. 

  • http://maxwellchance.wordpress.com Duke Holland of Gishmale

    I kind of want to cry. 

  • ANON

    What Happens When You Get Into The Wrong Relationship

  • TO

    You stand out to me, Ryan, because you write of the same subjects that many writers on TC do, but you have a much stronger voice, and manage to keep the same old material fresh. All of which is to say, in a ineloquent way, keep up the Good Work.

  • Rachel Butters Scotch

    dang. so many good lines in this that hit home for me so hard.
    “Getting into a relationship means getting outside of yourself and into
    someone else, and then finding your way back to you again.”
    all i can do is be like salkdfjsldkjffffff.

  • Lily Kathanou

    I love how being happy, getting fatter, forgetting and fixing are all with question marks because they are possible yet sometimes assumed-not-granted aspects of relationships. Then, the last paragraph about hurting someone has a period because it is an inevitable and grotesque truth. Funny how 5 little punctuation marks can make that big of a difference in a piece.

  • Kat Lalisan

    Your article, as always, is something to savor, like having a heart-to-heart with a really good friend. To quote Barbra Streisand in “The Mirror Has Two Faces”:

    “So the final question is: Why do people want to fall in love when it can have such a short run and be so painful? l think it’s because, as some of you may already know, while it does last, it feels fucking great.

  • http://twitter.com/jenonizzle Jen O'Neill

    Short, simple and sweet — but always true. Kudos, Ryan. No one else could put it quite like you do. 

  • Kaitlynclement

    i love your writing! so true everytime

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