An Open Letter to Couples From a Single Gal
I’ve heard a lot of sentiments of the idea that single people shouldn’t offer dating advice, because, duh they’re single, what do they know. Here’s the thing, I’m eight months into my singledom and I realized…I did the freaking legwork. I know what it took to keep something going for eight years, and I knew when it was time to realize, the work wouldn’t be enough, even if I tried for another 8 years to keep us going.
Thus, shut up, sit back, and hear what I have to say to you if you’re in a coupledom of your own making and you’d like it to stay that way.
I’m a firm believer there really are no “rules” when it comes to dating and love, if there were and they worked, there would only be ONE self-help book out there on relationships and it would be the only thing you’d need to read. So, instead of buying, “The Art of Seduction,” and Matthew Hussey’s, “Get the Guy,” forget the rules. (Yeah, it’s suuuuper depressing I bought both of these while in a relationship, in the hopes of finding that magic thing to keep it afloat…obviously, they didn’t work.)
I do however believe there are habits that tend to work in your favor, but also some habits that crash your chances of growing senile and wearing matching adult diapers with your partner.
DISCLAIMER: These mostly apply to sane, law abiding citizens without psychosis and/ or personality disorders.
For this post, I’m going to talk about the DON’TS
Don’t rely on your partner to entertain you. Just…don’t. It won’t work out in your favor. More than likely, you’ll end up sitting on the couch yet again, watching a horrible show you hate, or making them watch another episode of the Golden Girls, which THEY hate. No one wins. For the love of peanut butter, do not turn to them and say, “I’m bored, let’s do SOMETHING!!”
My lovely, interesting darlings, get your ass up, and make your own fun, just invite them along. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it forever, you’re not bored, you’re boring. Go to Wal-Mart and get a three dollar coloring book, and color in the park, decide you want to eat a burger at a place you’ve never been, go to a museum and pay a dollar in the donation box, whatever. It doesn’t have to cost a shit ton, but do something other than the usual. Otherwise, you’ll sit there, resenting your partner because they’re not entertaining you, it’s lazy, and it’s a copout.
Don’t take your partner for granted. I know, this seems like an easy one, but it’s a biggie. When they do something nice, thank them. Hey, they didn’t take the trash out, but they did take your car to get its oil changed, so don’t you dare mention the trash, but praise what they DID do. (Side note: if you generally can’t come up with one thing on at least a weekly basis to thank them for…well, you’ve got bigger problems I can’t help with.) Even when you’re having an argument, don’t forget they’re there, standing in front of you, talking it out. They chose you, to have a debate about Miracle Whip versus mayonnaise, nobody else, so cherish that opportunity to tell them they’re wrong, but then buy them Miracle Whip anyways, because…compromise.
I often found myself so irritated with certain things my partner did, things that had no overall bearing on my happiness. Then, one day when something good happened, my first instinct was to tell him about it, but he wasn’t there anymore. I no longer have that option. Of course we all have friends and family to share that stuff with, but I no longer have someone to turn to in the middle of the night, when I’m sad or upset, no one to turn to at the end of a bad day and just hug. Do not take those hugs for granted.
Don’t settle for half-assed gestures. I’m not saying you should expect a red carpet leading to the bedroom and four hours of lovemaking on Valentines Day, on a bed of roses dipped in chocolate (that shit can get messy anyways-also, people eat flowers now, it’s a thing). I am saying, if you make it known that something is super important to you, and they half-ass a response, don’t accept it. You DO however, have to tell them right then and there. You can’t wait until five hours later, when you’re both laying in the dark and he asks what’s wrong, and you say “nothing,” and he says “ok,” and then you say…”I just think it’s funny how…”
The same goes for you, if you see your partner light up while talking about something and all you offer is a shrug of the shoulders and a “cool,” so help me Lord Zod, I will hunt you down and I will find you, and I will tell you how much your favorite band sucks.
When it comes to being in a partnership, one you plan on being in for the long haul, giving 50% effort just isn’t going to cut it. You don’t need to open your heart, you need to open your ears. When he talks about a tool more than three times, that means he really wants it, but can’t justify buying it…go get it. When she talks about her back hurting, Men, I’m talking to you…grab those babies-I MEAN SHOULDERS!!! and rub em out, without expecting anything in return.
Don’t touch their stuff. I learned this one the hard way. I got on my decluttering and organizing kick and I truly believe that was the beginning of the end for us. I was so concerned with MY stuff, and keeping MY house clean, all the while forgetting that he was living there with me. I was trying to build a home, without asking him what home meant to him.
One day, in a truly epic mistake, I decided to get rid of our couch and pick out a new one, all without even mentioning it to him. I ended up hating the new couch by the way.
If you’re trying to build a life with someone, it makes sense to consider what colors they want to paint it, and I’m not talking about paint swatches from Lowe’s. Instead of thinking about how I wanted to feel, I was too concerned with aesthetics. I should have asked if he wanted a warm, cool, breezy, hot or firey home. I never did ask.
I’m not even going to get into snooping into their stuff here. If you have the need to do that, checking their phone, tearing through their underwear dressers etc., well, again, you have bigger problems and intuition is all you really need to get you out of that hole.
Don’t poop or pee in front of them. I can hear you now, “Not going to happen, if I gotta’ go, I gotta’ go.” Ok, well that’s fine. Be prepared for the consequences though. You get too comfortable pooping and peeing in front of them while they brush their teeth, soon enough you’ll be wearing mu mu’s or holey underwear and you’re only having sex once a month and that’s only because they wouldn’t leave you alone.
I WARNED YOU!!!
It’s not about sex, you say. You say, if they really love you, it won’t matter if you do gross stuff in front of them or wear sweats 90% of the time. I got it, real partnerships aren’t always romantic and beautiful. Cleaning up dog vomit and loading the dishwasher get in the way. KIDS…I got all that. Here’s the thing though, generally, men like mystery, women like protectors. If he knows you had corn last night, and she knows you had the blowout shits the other day, it’s a tad harder to carry on in the intimate moments, and even harder to forget such images.
Look, I’m not telling you to be someone you’re not. I’m just saying, maybe close the door. (To this day, I will never forget the humor every time I’d accidentally go into the bathroom and I’d see his scared face as he sat there startled that I dare come in….followed by a, “I’m POOPING,” yelp.) Boundaries people.
I’m sure there’s a lot more don’ts, but I think you guys and gals are smart enough to think of some on your own. But if the same issue comes up over and over again, what can you NOT do to fix the problem?
Stay tuned for the DO’s, and don’t forget to subscribe, hit the like button, or share this post if you liked what you saw.