It’s no secret that the nature of a relationship changes over time. For my girlfriend’s birthday (six months into our relationship), I planned a weekend away at a romantic bed & breakfast, complete with an in-room hot tub, candles, and a bath bomb. On Valentine’s Day (10 months into our relationship) I could be seen purchasing the last bouquet of roses the grocery store had to offer about ten minutes late to meet her for dinner. Needless to say, I’m crushing the game.
When you look online, however, all you get are lovey-dovey relationship tips for people still in the honeymoon phase. These tips are no longer realistic after a few months, so I decided to write up my own to help those of you with long term relationships know just how far you can let yourselves go.
Honeymoon Phase Tip: Communication is the most important part of any relationship. Always remember to listen to your partner, even if what they’re saying doesn’t seem important to you.
Realistic Tip: Always make it seem like you’re listening/care about what your partner is saying. Unless there’s a TV nearby playing an important NFL game, or, like, mid-season hockey between two teams you have no allegiance to. That would, of course, take precedence. Your partner should understand if you glance away every few minutes (read: the entire conversation) to check the score.
Honeymoon Phase Tip: Never stop surprising your partner with gifts. Bring home flowers just “to show you care,” and make sure to keep date nights constant and interesting.
Realistic Tip: Flowers are pretty and all, but they’re also pretty useless. You know what doesn’t die in three days and actually makes you feel better? An order of Pad Thai. Bring home food every once in a while, get in your sweatpants, and gorge yourselves while watching a trash show on Netflix (highly recommend Santa Clarita Diet). This also counts as a date night, so congrats on killing two birds with one stone.
Honeymoon Phase Tip: Spice it up in the bedroom. Tie each other up, use some blindfolds, or watch some porn to keep things fresh. Never stop experimenting with your lover, and never let your sex life get stale.
Realistic Tip: Your sex life is pretty crazy as is, but if you need to really get wild, feel free to accidentally introduce a third person into the mix by drunkenly banging in the living room without knowing your roommate is home.
Furthermore, do your best not to say things like “I’m too tired,” “it’s your turn to be on top,” or “fine, but you’re washing the sheets this time.” If you’re going to use a tie to tie each other up, pick one you don’t really like or it’ll ruin the mood when it inevitably gets destroyed and you have to drop another $30 fucking dollars and a trip to Macy’s for another one that matches your favorite shirt.
Honeymoon Phase Tip: Respect your partner by not checking out other people when you’re with them. No matter how sly you think you’re being, they notice, and it will hurt their feelings.
Realistic Tip: Don’t be naive. Both you and your partner definitely check out attractive people, sometimes in front of each other. If you catch them doing it, definitely make fun of them for it, but don’t raise hell about it. If you’re outright asked if you think someone else is “prettier/hotter than them,” lie at all costs. I don’t care if you see someone so fine you got whiplash in your neck checking them out, stick with a tried and true, “Definitely not. I mean, they’re attractive, but they look like dog shit compared to you.” Also, don’t get caught checking our your significant other’s friends. There’s no way that won’t turn into a fight that will get brought up three times a year.
Honeymoon Phase Tip: Remember to be your partner’s friend. Just because you’re romantically involved doesn’t mean you’re not friends. Joke around with them, do fun activities with them, and keep in touch with their lives.
Realistic Tip: Remember to be your friend’s partner. After a certain amount of time, it can be easy to forget that just because they’re your favorite person to hang out with (I hate couples that refer to each other as “their best friend,”) doesn’t mean you don’t have to still date them. As funny as it is to tease each other, laugh at each other’s farts, and all the other weird shit couples do after being together for so long, you have to remember to be romantic as well. For every five nights spent together watching TV and chilling, put on pants without an elastic band for a night. Pick up some candles and wine and make your night of take out into a date. Go out to a bar, just the two of you, and make out on the dance floor like you haven’t seen each other naked most nights for the past two years. Maybe just don’t dutch oven each other for a night. Whatever your level of romance is, bring it back every once in a while.
Honeymoon Phase Tip: Don’t compare yourselves to other couples. Relationships aren’t a competition and they’re different for everyone.
Realistic Tip: Life is a competition, and you’re a fool if you think relationships are any different. If you go on a double date, expect to get in a dick-measuring contest about the quality of your relationship. If one of her friends gets engaged, bet money she wants to be next. If one of his friends has a threesome, I guarantee he’s going to “jokingly” bring it up. Compete till you die. Good luck. .
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