How are things with the other half?
Good I’m glad it’s working out for you. So things are going well, no issues?
Excellent, you’ll be moving in together next.
Wait, why are you crying? God please stop crying!
Relationships can often be the most wondrously joyous of experiences; however an equal proportion of the time they can be traumatic, soul-sucking, bastard hell disasters, robbing you of your dignity, compassion and ability to function as a real live human. According to a book called It’s Your Right to be Wrong in Relationships, up to 95% of people feel unfulfilled in their relationship, which means that only 5% of us have a liaison that satisfies. Still crying? I am.
There is no need to fret however, as the book tells you how to make your next entanglement a stonking success, including how to open up your heart, how to increase intimacy and what to do if you get stuck in a place of blame and shame. While I’m sure the guide is very thorough and offers some practical advice, it may seem a little bit self-help-y for some (particularly me, as most self-help tomes make me want to vomit through my eyeballs). With that in mind, I thought I would use my vast and personal knowledge of failed relationships to put together my own collection of tips to increase the life span of your love connection:
1. Never furiously text
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t send a text message while you’re angry (although that is a good tip), it means you should try and refrain from instantly replying to a casual text message, as nothing says ‘needy’ and ‘desperate’ more than a return message that flashes up on your phone literally seconds after the original was sent. Also, if the subject of your SMS doesn’t reply immediately, this does not mean you should then bombard him/her with follow-up texts along the lines of:
“Hey, I just wondered if you got my text? xoxo”
“Still no reply…just checking you’re OK xx”
“Hi me again, just seeing if my messages are getting through XxX”
“Still no answer…”
“Where are you?!”
“Right I’m outside your f*cking door, I can see the light on”
“Why won’t you f*cking answer me??!!”
2. Angry? Don’t drink
Alcohol is a wonderful thing. It makes you at least 50% funnier, 80% sexier and 95% cooler and it is the single best invention in mankind’s illustrious history. However, if you have had an argument with your partner or are pissed off with them for any reason, alcohol should be avoided. An abv beverage will transform what began as a minor tiff into something of apocalyptic proportions. When it comes to an inter-relationship row, alcohol becomes bastard fuel that drives you to a point beyond a reasonable and quick resolution. My responsible advice is to only drink to get absolutely wasted on a night out or to suppress unwanted emotions.
3. Don’t be (too) honest
For the love of sanity never tell the truth you idiots. I don’t mean actively lie about cheating or murder, just for your own self-preservation lie about the little things. If your other half cooks for you and it turns out to be a rancid inedible mess, just choke the meal down and smile. It will prevent the crushing of your partner’s ego and in the future just make sure it is always “your turn” to cook. When you wake up in the morning and your boyfriend/girlfriend turns to you and asks, “Baby, do I look rough?”, you should battle every urge to tell them that they look like bedraggled malnourished tramp. Instead you should look them in their blood-shot bag-ridden eyes and sweetly whisper, “You look amazing. I don’t know how you look this good in the morning.” Remember, they probably do it for you too.
4. Never say you ‘love’ something
I am referring to the casual over-used comments that we often make in day-to-day life, such as “I love wearing scarves” or “I really love Dairy Milk”. While to us they are frivolous throw-away lines, a significant other will bank these comments in the ‘Future Gift Options’ part of their brain, meaning that for every Christmas and birthday you will receive a present that is a variation on that theme. You may only ‘quite like’ Dairy Milk but in a partner’s bid to prove that he/she ‘really knows you’, they will bury you in a deluge of chocolate-related gifts. As you don’t want to hurt their feelings, you feign gratitude as you unwrap another selection box and force a smile to form on your disappointed lips. Over the years resentment will build, until one Christmas morning you are arrested and hauled off by the police for bludgeoning your lover to death with a 1kg bar of Fruit & Nut.
5. Acknowledge that Facebook is evil
When you are single sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be wonderful networking tools and glorified online dating agencies, however once you enter coupledom they can be your downfall. If you are as desperately insecure as me, paranoia will set in and you will spend hours trawling the Facebook page of your partner, analysing each added friend and posted picture. You will scream futilely at the computer screen in a jealous rage every time an attractive person comments on their latest status update and you will obsess for days if they don’t respond to your request to register as ‘in a relationship’. For your own mental health, I advise you to switch off your laptop.
There you have it, a complete guide on how to not balls up your relationship. Please get in touch with me via Twitter for the address to send any thank you gifts, cards and flowers. I will leave you with this rather fitting (and depressing) quote from the occasionally brilliant but now defunct TV show Dollhouse:
Everyone has their first date and the object is to hide your flaws. And then you’re in a relationship and it’s all about hiding your disappointment. And then once you’re married, it’s about hiding your sins.