In case you thought it was okay to ditch your mother’s earliest and, perhaps, corniest attempts at wisdom by assuming they’re reserved for children, the following should serve as a lesson in eternal truths. Whether you’re five or twenty-five and in your most serious relationship to date, reminders as simple as, “Use your words” will help you and the people around you get what they want and deserve. Communication is key, and communication from your mother ranks above most others (you’re not a teenager anymore — accept it). So, let’s start with the basics and reach the higher issues of dating as we go along…
1. Chew with your mouth closed.
When it comes to dinner dates, this is a crucial skill.
2. Always say please and thank you.
Being rude to your date or to whoever’s serving you (bartender, waiter, ticket agent) is (one of) the ultimate turnoff(s). Honestly, a “please” can be an easy make or break between date one and two. To be clear, no “please” means no second date for lots of women.
3. It’s not “pacific,” it’s “specific.”
Anything that may give you away as less than literate won’t fly on many a date. Articulating and speaking well will not only make you seem intelligent, but also more confident and sure of yourself, which will make her more confident that you’re worth hanging around.
4. Put on a jacket — it’s cold out!
Even if you’re the kind of person who’s immune to cold weather, bringing along a jacket means you have one to offer your date on significantly cold winter days — if you’re still into the whole chivalry thing (and she is, too).
5. Use your words.
Lovers’ spats don’t get resolved by grunting and throwing things, and issues that boil under the service will eventually erupt into some terrible volcano of an argument. Don’t ever be afraid to put what’s bothering you into words so that your significant other can actually understand and address what’s going on in your brain and your relationship.
6. You can be whoever you want to be, honey.
Though this isn’t to be strictly observed in the dating realm (for hopefully obvious reasons), it is true that you can reinvent yourself to an extent with every new romantic partner. Be careful to stay true to yourself as you do this. However, you can shed the lame geek persona imposed upon you in college, for example, to shine as the truly creative, smart individual you really are.
7. Things could always be worse.
If you’re mad at your lover for putting your dishes in the wrong cabinet or waking you up over and over again with her snoring, keep yourself in check by thinking that you could actually have real problems right now. If your issues with your romantic partner remain in the trivial realm, don’t make a scene about them unless you want them to enter the seriously detrimental realm.
8. Think of how lucky you are.
If you love your significant other, and she loves you, then you’re lucky as hell. Forget everything else that’s less important.
9. Remember there are starving children in Armenia who would love to eat what you’re about to throw away.
Pardon the insensitive cultural reference. The overall idea here is not to throw away what you have in a truly loving relationship because you take it for granted.
10. Call your grandmother.
You know that annoying phone call you never wanted to make because she could hardly hear you and you never knew quite what to say after the first minute? Well, do you remember how appreciative and delighted your grandmother was whenever you made that call? Make those calls for your girlfriend. Call her parents when you two go on vacation together to let them know you’re okay and happy and your plane didn’t crash (if you’re at that level). Call your girlfriend to let her know you got home after a late night out with the guys if she’d like to hear your voice.
11. Finish your work before you play.
Translated to relationship-speak, this means get to know your potential partner before you jump into sleeping together — if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, that is.
12. Always wear clean underwear in case you get into an accident.
In case you have sex, is the obvious implication here.
13. Be good.
Simple. Don’t cheat if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
14. How can you be bored? You kids have too much stimulation these days.
Try enjoying the simple things with your partner. Date nights don’t always have to be elaborate, expensive dinners and activities. Sex doesn’t have to involve a cock ring.
15. Did you flush the toilet?
Put the seat down, please.
16. Don’t put something in your mouth if you don’t know where it’s been.
Sleeping with strangers carries certain risks. STDs are several of those risks.
17. “I don’t know” doesn’t answer my question…
In trying to define your relationship, going for uncertainty isn’t going to get you very far for very long. You’re always doing something, even if it’s just “going out to dinner and hanging and out and making out sometimes.” Those are things you know you’re doing if you’re doing them.
18. If you can’t think of something nice to say, don’t say anything at all…
Apply this to fights with your significant other and it will unfailingly help you out.
19. Start acting like an adult, and I’ll start treating you like one.
If you treat your partner with love and respect, you’ll get it in return. If you don’t, don’t be surprised if a certain someone starts talking down to you and acting elusive in response.
20. If Jane jumped off the side of a cliff, would you?
Think before you blindly follow all of your partner’s whims in any relationship. Keep your own head even when you start to share your life with someone else.
21. You will always be my little baby…
No matter how your relationships change or end, the people you have them with will always have a special place in your heart and mind, as corny as that sounds. Remember that the most important people in your life will never really exit the picture, even if they’re not physically there anymore. That said, be careful who you choose as a serious romantic partner. They’ll remain in your psyche forever!