If the relationship seems healthy, try to destroy it. Ignore his phone calls. Say you had an unfortunate chemical peel to get out of meeting his friends. If, for some Christmas miracle, he happens to stick around, consider giving in. Running from potential happiness has gotten exhausting and you don’t want to develop knee problems at 30.
Put all your issues out on the table. Give them cute names. Buy them drinks. Tell your partner what it is that they’re getting into. That way there are no surprises, no “gotcha!” moments a few months into the relationship. This will also help build your communication skills. Once you’ve let all your ugliness hang out, you can only get more beautiful.
Everyone knows the first six months are a trial run. If you don’t like the way the relationship runs or you’re getting bored, return it. Get a full refund. But if you make it through, the first thing you should do is start farting around him. You’ve been holding those suckers in for months and if you’re going to really be with this person for the long haul, you have to be your authentic farting self. Of course, have SOME sense of decorum. Don’t just be farting up a storm in Target like my mom does. (My mom farts everywhere with reckless abandon. I’m not a doctor but I’ve diagnosed her with the condition “I’m 60 and my asshole is too tired to care.”)
Start going on “couple dates.” This is a tradition in which couples go on blind dates with each other in the hopes that they can one day take vacations to Mexico. When these dates are good, they’re great and when they’re bad, they will make you want to run into oncoming traffic, get hit by a car and then tell the person who hit you “Can you do it again? I didn’t feel the bones crack.” Much like those farts you held in for the first few months of your relationship, couple dates can feel repressive. They’re like a long elaborate performance of your relationship. You tell each other how you met, you make sure to land the same punch lines, you discuss your favorite restaurants (“THE TAPAS PLACE ON MELROSE IS TO DIE! YOU LOVE THAT PLACE, DON’T YOU JOSHIE?!”) Eventually someone mentions their dog and it’s game over. You begin to discover that, much like a singles culture, there’s also a whole foreign world of couples being couple-y and inviting you to dinner parties and shows and the movies. After every date, you and your significant other will critique the other couple. Example: “I really feel like Tom doesn’t LISTEN to Samantha and Bobby told me that he hit on Maria at the holiday party, so it seems like they’re in serious trouble…” You realize that part of the purpose of couple’s dates is to feel superior in your own relationship.
Have a week go by where you have no interest in fucking your significant other. Start to wonder if you’re broken, that the relationship is doomed. Then have a few days pass and get over it. Get really horny and fuck them multiple times in one day.
Love them slowly and then all at once. Realize that the good kind of love isn’t fast and furious. It doesn’t feel like a drug. It tastes like yummy vegetables that have been drizzled with small bacon crumbs. Like, it may not always the most delicious thing to eat but once you do, YOU FEEL FUCKING GREAT. Meanwhile, the ice cream sundae kind of love feels good in the moment but then you’re left with a permanent heartburn.
Make compromises. Do things you don’t want to do because it makes the person you love happy. At a certain point, making them happy will make YOU happy, even if it’s doing something insufferable like standing in a long line on a Sunday for $7 coffee. Try to show up for them the way they show up for you. Meet them in that fucking middle. The middle is everything. The middle is what keeps things going. Without it, the ends will break.
Don’t abandon your life. Build your relationship while still tending to your work and your friendships. Maintaining your own identity is essential. You need to be able to see yourself while the person you love is seeing you.
Be taken aback by these feelings of love you experience for your partner, mainly because they’re not like the BIG BANG BOOM BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE LOVE you’ve been taught to expect. It’s more subtle and yet somehow more intense. You just look at them reading in bed one night and your whole body gets filled with this weird warm gooey feeling (like brain semen). All of a sudden you want to Google ways to feel physically closer to them. Something that’s beyond sex. You want your two bodies to merge as MOTHERFUCKING ONE!
Feel safe. Always. No matter what happens with you two, no matter how bad things get, you should always feel secure and protected. This is your teammate, your partner, your blowjob-giver, your orgasm-taker, your fart-sufferer. Love them well until you can’t love them at all. (Hopefully that last part doesn’t happen but, you know, life.)