Wednesday, 23 September 2009

What I know about relationships

You know how sometimes you go to a hen party and all the guests are instructed to write down bits of marital advice for the bride-to-be? And everyone puts down 'Don't go to bed angry' or something equally blahry and so you try to be a little bit unique and write 'Sleep naked at all times' and then you are told that's super inappropriate for a blushing bride (I'm unsure why as surely, that is the one thing you are allowed to do when married in any culture.) and so then you're back at square one and decide never to go to a hen do again?...

You don't? Huh.

Me neither.

Well, anyway, relationship advice is an interesting beast. You get different perspectives from everyone; what works beautifully for one couple would be considered straight crazy by another.
Relationship survival tactics have been on my mind lately, so if, hypothetically, you were thinking that I have a nice relationship (I do!) and, if, hypothetically, you were wondering what makes it that way, wonder no more. Listed below are the things I'm fairly sure of at this point (five years this December....). To be honest though, I'd check with me again at ten years, I'll let you know if anything has changed - besides S's age, of course (I myself will be sticking at 25...).
  • Say 'I love you' at least once EVERY DAY. We've never missed a day, including nights when we're lying in bed after a fight and it's not at all fun to say.
  • Don't yell, ever. Yelling is for rollercoasters and building sites.

  • Don't keep score. (S will tell you - and I agree - that this one is hard for me. I'm working on it.)

  • You need to laugh. If you are with someone who doesn't make you laugh, you should at least watch funny YouTube videos together.

  • Sex is really important. Really.

  • Talk about more than just what happened at work and where to go for dinner. Have conversations, ones that are stimulating and interesting. Disagree. Solve world issues. It's good for you.

  • Don't force yourselves to have common interests. It's okay if he loves football and boobies and you don't and you're into celebrity gossip and role play and he's not... for instance....

  • This one could be a blog post unto itself because I feel so passionately about it: jealousy has no place in a relationships. I don't care what Cosmo says about 'a healthy amount of jealousy' - there's NO SUCH THING. I used to have some issues with S's past girlfriends (including one very embarrassing incident when I took a photo of her in a bar while pretending to text. At eye level. With a loud clicking noise. And a flash.) but I got over them. Listen, either you trust each other or you don't. If you don't, get help.

  • Don't threaten to split up with each other all the time. Frequent talks of throwing in the towel are not conducive to a happy partnership. And lets remember if you say it all the time then it will lose its impetus when you actually want to get the hell out!

  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T (find out what it means to me... sorry but, God what a fab song!). Supposedly your partner is the most important person in the world, right? Words like 'stupid', 'fat', 'lazy', and anything else vulgar or demeaning don't belong here (even if they are - not you S, my other boyfriend.)

  • I don't buy it when I hear that relationships are 'work'. If playing nice and making compromises is work, you're a politician, not someone in a relationship.

  • Don't make it harder than it needs to be.

  • Hang out in your underwear.

  • Eat. All the fricking time.

  • Neither of you is the boss. My guess is you both wear trousers, except maybe on Sundays and when you're feeling fancy. You can joke about being the trouser-wearer (I do), but really when it comes right down to it, you don't get to tell the other person what to do. EVER.
  • Then again, don't be afraid to ask nicely for what you need. People sometimes need reminders. (A kitten please S).

  • Don't refer to your partner as 'your other half'. It is ridiculous and cheesy and what, are you not whole without them? Let me tell you peeps - I am always whole!

  • You will never be able to change someone else. Give it up before you get an ulcer.

Oh and it's true, don't go to bed angry. Not because it makes you cranky the next day or because you would feel bad if they died in the night (hello, I've just woken up next to a dead person, I've got bigger issues thanks..) but because neither of you would actually sleep because you both need to stay awake to ensure that when the other one tries to apologise you can pretend to be asleep, thus appearing blase and nonchalant. You see?

Did I miss anything?

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