Are you single?
Well, join the club! (No, there isn’t a real club because it would just be a bunch of depressed losers hanging out wishing they could be anywhere else.)
Or perhaps you are coupled at the moment and just miss the joys of spending yet another Friday evening alone weeping uncontrollably while scrolling through Instagram?
If you are anything like me (are you?), you have been in a relationship where you’ve passed the first number of tests I refer to as “The Early Days”. You know, those first few weeks where you spend most waking moments rife with constant feeling of panic or dread that, at any second or the drop of a hat (if she happens to hate hat dropping for any reason), it will end before it begins (I call this the “Can’t Fly Because You Don’t Have Wings, You Non-Bird Idiot” type of relationship).
It’s an incredible moment when you get over this hurdle (why she insists on installing multiple hurdles throughout her apartment is a good question that is best left unasked — you’re most likely out of breath from all of the hurdle jumping anyways), when it dawns on you that the relationship is actually working and that she somehow hasn’t been completely turned off by your odor/face/laundry-list-of-incredibly-specific-neuroses. All of a sudden you can sit back (and I mean way back) and truly be yourself and not feel like you have to be “on” all the time. Where you can share some of your lesser-popular views on potentially powder keg-type topics. Where you can actually start to dream of a — insert audible gasp here — future together.
Not that the Honeymoon Period was perfect. There were ups and downs, fights and makeups, “I thought I knew you”s and “You really get me”s. And, after the dust settled (and you swept because, allergies), your bond not only survived, but it was somehow stronger (and you didn’t even need to purchase glue). In fact, it’s going so well that you are even allowing yourself to tell others (parents/medical professionals/work-colleagues-in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time) that she might be “the one”.
But, as I’m sure you know, even one of these ideal relationships that appears — even on close inspection — to be heading towards a lifetime of wedded bliss, can be derailed like a train that the conductor decided would be more fun to take the scenic ride down the mountain-side rather than to continue on the boring old tracks (train tracks are so last decade).
Over time, I’ve been around the block a few times (11, to be exact) and have compiled quite the list of experiences and piece of advice. Here they are — the 10 surefire ways to ruin a seemingly-unruinable relationship*.
*I may or may not have first-hand knowledge of these mistakes.
1. After you have what seems like a good night together, go home, call her and launch into a lengthy self-critique that ends with you weeping uncontrollably. You’ll either have her asking if she can come over that second to comfort you or just remembering that minute that she wanted to move far away to become a nun.
2. She invites her close friends over for dinner and you decide that night is the perfect opportunity finally unveil your politically incorrect material that you’ve been rehearsing for an upcoming open mic night. When told you aren’t “reading the room” or “enunciating clearly” or “at all funny” do a quick pivot to your raw-at-the-moment stripping routine.
3. Create an elaborate dating profile for a different guy, message her repeatedly over a period of a few weeks, not giving up when she continues to say she isn’t available. When she finally can’t handle it any longer and gives in by showing the smallest amount of interest, you reveal it was you the whole time performing a trust exercise that she just failed.
4. Visit her at her work dressed as a banana. Wink suggestively and use excessive eye brow movement with all of her coworkers. (a pickle outfit works as well, but is slightly less flattering for you, if taken literally)
5. Stand in the shadows by her bedside, blowing softly on her forehead and gently wiping her drool with a damp, warm cloth. If she happens to wake up pretend you are a coat rack. Those community theater acting classes were worth every penny.
6. Burn down her apartment. Whether accidentally or on purpose (or a playful mix of the two), it’s true what they say, arson and smoke inhalation isn’t sexy, don’t make a solid foundation for a longterm relationship and are really really hard to come back from…or so I’m told. Sure burning down her apartment may seem like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect you have serious psychological issues.
7. Hijack all conversations about any topic (future plans, dream jobs, the stock market, digestive issues) to your overwhelming desire to “father her children!”
8. When meeting her parents for the first time don’t refer to her dad by any of the following: Pops, My Homie, Fresh Slice or Deez Nuts. It’s also inadvisable to call her mom those things as well.
9. Hide a camera and live stream a love-making session using comments such as “Can we start again after I bring in the portable lighting I rented…I kid, I kid…I bought the portable lighting. Who in their right mind rents lighting?”, “You know they say a camera adds 10 lbs but damn, those gym classes are working for you! Also, please don’t put any extra thought into why I randomly mentioned a camera.” and “Louder! Can you pretend I’m filming this without your consent, which I’m not, but just for fun, project your voice anyways and act like you’re enjoying this.”
10. Run over her cat, repeatedly. Unless she hates her cat and then pretend you are about to run it over and then stop.
There you have it! If one (or more) of these don’t permanently ruin your wonderful relationship with a woman you supposedly love send a self-addressed stamped envelope and your refund will be in the mail.