Nine years may be an odd anniversary to recognize, but as of Thursday, December 4, 2014, I will have officially experienced the longest romantic relationship in the almost-42 years of my existence. That’s three thousand, two hundred, and eighty-seven days of emotional commitment to the same person (76,719 days in gay years).
To what do I owe the longevity of this ongoing partnership? The answer is pretty plain. We have all heard that relationships are work, but a great relationship is typically maintained by simply not being an asshole.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hook up with Mr. Right on the first try. In fact, I have accomplished more failed courtships than ninety-three Taylor Swifts. But I learned from each and every one of them, mainly that it wasn’t always their fault that the spark between us farted out or that we just didn’t get along anymore. What still astonishes me, though, is how many of you believe your past relationship went sour because of the other person. That is why I am devoting this week’s article teaching you loose and unsettled whores how to recognize if you are, in fact, the problem in your miserable relationship (and to gloat about my current relationship status).
The short list below provides a few signs to recognize when determining who is the troublemaker in your current or past romantic endeavor (hint: it’s probably you). It’s not as glamorous or scientifically sound as a Cosmo quiz, but I think it is still useful advice.
You are easily irritated.
The honeymoon phase of a relationship lasts approximately two months. During this period of chemical imbalance, you are apt to stupidly declare to your friends and family that you’ve found “the one” because your freshly acquired beau or beauette is nothing like your other exes.
After the flame of desire has burned into its third month, however, the ugly, honest truth is revealed about your snookum. They snore. They squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle. They leave dirty dishes in the sink. They breath with their mouth open. This list can go for gigabytes. And why accept these idiosyncrasies when you can vent your frustration by treating the toilet seat position like an international crisis and thereby launching into a verbal battle where unkind names will be called and objects may be thrown? Unfortunately, once the battle is over and the mouth-cannon smoke has cleared, nobody is declared the winner.
There’s an incredibly easy-to-follow secret to overcoming these irritants. It’s called “calming the fuck down.”
A quiet, friendly reminder to, for example, check and see if the closet is cat-free before closing its door doesn’t require a Jerry Springer-style confrontation. If you have to do this repeatedly, who cares? Maybe it will eventually catch on. If not, what’s the big deal? Put the seat down yourself, wear earplugs to bed, and load the cockadoodie dishwasher yourself. While you do this, keep in mind that your other half is tolerating just as much bullshit from you as you are from them. For every ‘I can’t stand it when he bites his nails’ you think, there is a ‘how in the Hell can they forget to flush’ coming right back at you.
You feel like their parole officer.
NOTE: If you are literally your lover’s parole officer, seek mental help; otherwise, I mean “parole officer” in the figurative sense.
Do you often ask one or more of the following: Where are you going? What are you doing? Who will be there? When will you be home? What are you going to wear?
The occasional question is nothing of which you should concern yourself, but beware the abuse of inquiry. We both know incessant badgering of irrelevant questions is nothing more than a trap for your cutie pie, one wrong answer and it’s, “Oh. You’re going to be that late?” or “Oh, I didn’t realize so-and-so or what’s-her-face would be there, too.” That’s called passive-aggressive. Nobody likes that childish shit.
Trust issues are really the underlying cause of these nagging questions. If you have issues trusting your current booboo, you just need to end the commitment now. Worrying about trusting your other half is a terrible waste of energy. However, if you find this to be an ongoing pattern, then maybe you have trust issues of your own to deal with before roping in another unsuspecting victim into a “romantic” commitment.
They can do no right.
Let’s imagine that after all these months, your lover finally breaks his or her aged habit of leaving dirty dishes in the sink, and instead, loads them in the dishwasher. Later, you discover that they have placed their cup on the bottom rack instead of the top rack, where you have placed cups in the dishwasher your whole life. How would you handle this situation? Do you move the cup to the top rack where you prefer it and politely share this preference later? Or do you call your pookie into the kitchen to demand that the cup belongs on the top rack, and then stand by with arms crossed and foot tapping as you supervise your companion placing the cup in your preferred space? If you feel the urge to choose the latter option, you must pause and repeat the following mantra over and over until it passes: “I’m being a control freak.”
Your self-diagnosed case of “OCD” is no excuse for being a cunt. If you’re going to be a brat about what goes where or who does what when, you’re best living alone and miserable with your fifteen cats and crying over your turkey at every Thanksgiving when you try to explain to your family why you’re still single. And if you do, don’t blame your poor ex. It’s not their fault that you seemed to revel in shitting all over their good intentions.
The common denominator to a great romantic relationship is “don’t be a dick.” Unfortunately, this is easier read than done for most of you. But why waste your life on someone who is making you miserable?
by Cary Vaughn (2014)