Do not go grab coffee and ask him who he is.
Do not answer the phone when he calls you at the very moment you’re thinking about quitting your job to start your own business. He will tell you to do it and nothing will ever be the same.
Do not meet up for tacos and go back to his living room and sit in those chairs for the first time.
Do not talk to him about this other guy who is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ruining you.
Do not let him tell you about this woman he met in Bali.
Do not invite your friend to go with you to a yoga dance party in Miami at 6 o’clock the next morning.
Do not drive to Miami at damn near midnight and talk about your perfect partner.
Do not go eat with chopsticks while he looks at you in a way he hasn’t before.
Do not discover that he really, really loves chopsticks.
and wine glasses without stems.
and great coffee.
Do not introduce him to people who are really, really important to you. They will love him.
Do not stop to get donuts on the drive home.
Do not stand still long enough for him to come up behind you while you wait in line for said donuts, and massage the tension you didn’t realize you were carrying with your shoulders in your ears – perpetually.
Do not reveal that you’re capable of a spiritual and damn near intimate moment with an assortment of artisan donuts. Donuts will just become a “thing” for you guys and you just don’t need that.
Do not read to him about Little Prince’s and foxes and responsibility. Do not tell him about roses. Do not tell him about the sound of the wind in the wheat.
When your dog sits next to him on the couch and closes his eyes in response to your friends hand resting softly between his gigantic ears – don’t look.
Do not take interest in the way the sunlight paints his face through the open window in the afternoon while he talks about salsa dancing.
Do not tell stories about Biarritz or Kentucky while you eat Ethiopian food with your hands in the middle of the sketchy part of town. Or drink Pacifico and share ceviche in a strip mall while your feet are still sandy from the beach and your skin is still hot from the sun.
Do not sit together at the coffee shop and work next to each other every day.
Do not be in wonderment of the brilliant things he creates.
Do not start using a nickname. Just his first name is fine.
Do not spend all night making your grandmother’s challah bread recipe and then let him make you breakfast with this living memory.
Do not let him make you breakfast -period.
Do not make him a handmade mug for his birthday because of how much he loves coffee. Do not make it without a handle because you know how he feels about wine glasses…so…
Do not learn the many different and specific ways he expresses joy.
ie: when a strategy he created is working, when he just barely makes his flight to Indonesia because of the kindness of strangers in the airport, when he surfs waves that could kill him, when he receives a gift that you put way too much thought into, when he solves a problem, when he just kicked your ass in backgammon three times in a row, when he builds things with his dad.
Do not fucking tell him you know all of this about him.
Do not say you’ll have to kiss him one of these days.
Do not have a preference as to whether his hair is down or tied up. Whatever.
Do literally anything BUT make him banana pancakes from scratch and dance with him in your kitchen at 11:30 at night when he text’s you as he’s leaving a concert and says “I’m hungry”.
Do not buy him a set of chopsticks at Chelsea Market so that he never has to eat without chopsticks again.
Do not drink wine together.
Do not drink tequila together.
Do not drink mezcal together.
Do not drink whiskey together.
Do not listen to R & B together. For the love of god, don’t do it.
Do not sit on the papasan together. Seriously, I’m warning you.
Do not set winning or losing terms associated aforementioned game of backgammon.
Do not take your shirt off.
Do not speak the truth in the dark.
Do not stay the night.
Do not make his bed in the morning.
Do not leave a note.
Do not give a damn when he doesn’t want to talk about it. When there’s nothing to talk about. When it’s not something he wants to invest in.
Do not bring him back a meaningful artifact from every moment that changed you forever in your travels.
Do not wrap them thoughtfully and leave them just inside his front door because you know where he hides the key and you can’t leave it on the actual doorstep because it’s raining.
Do not let him sit and just listen on the other end of the phone while your body is completely wrecked by sobs even though they have nothing to do with him.
Do not go out to dinner and ask him questions about the few remaining shadow places you haven’t seen into yet.
Do not tell him what you’d say to him if you were going to die tomorrow.
Do not go try to find a place to dance at 10:30 PM on a Friday night.
Do not get in an Uber with strangers who stop you on the street and insist you come over and play corn hole with them, right now. It’ll be a fun story you guys tell but, you can tell other stories.
Do not plan to go to yoga together the next morning and make breakfast instead. I told you what to do about breakfast…
Do not sit in comfortable silence on that fucking papasan while he works.
Do not continue to say nothing just because you know he’ll crack open if you just give him the space to soften into that opening.
Do not let tears roll down your cheeks because there’s no noise when you look at him.
Do not make magic together. You probably can’t help it but I highly suggest you try.
Do not hold eye contact for longer than one second. Actually that’s still too long.
Do not write about the girl who’s rejecting him. Idiot.
Do not write narratives about him when he asks you because you are the only one who can.
Do not write stories together while you drink flights of whiskey.
Do not write about him at all.