To be clear, I’ve been that couple. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now removed a few years, infinitely wiser, I begrudgingly claim that disrepute (and take responsibility).
Like the rest of this book, I hope my experiences and realizations can help you. Once you are labeled as a member of that couple, it is something that is hard to shake. At social functions, especially out at bars, you will treated as a pariah, a dude to be kept at arm’s length. People may like you, but they can’t trust you. You are always one quick snap chat or one misinterpreted hug away from your significant other showing up; ruining the fun for everyone. That was me, for a bit. I’ve spent the last few years single and I’ve worked hard to appear like the carefree, no time for relationships guy. I had to. Obviously I want to phone the ex or a find a new lady who will enjoy trying to catch the other cheating as much as I do, but I don’t. I don’t because being that couple is bad. Very bad. I cannot beat that drum enough.
If you are in a relationship, or thinking about getting into one, be wary of subject matter to follow. If you do any of these things, on a frequent basis, or even think that there isn’t anything wrong with these examples, then you need to stay single. Or, if you’re headstrong, unwilling to change, take the next step quickly and get married or move away from your college/young adult niche of friends. If they don’t resent you, they will soon.
(Let me make another quick disclaimer here, so you don’t get angry with me… I am not a couple’s expert guy. Obviously there are reasons why I haven’t been able to find a relationship and I’m still single at 27 years of age. Good couples fight through things and they persist. I respect that and I do not know enough to explain how they achieve the synergy that they do. But I do know about the couples that make people uncomfortable. I know the things they do and I know most people―fun people―do not like being around them together. If you believe in societal propriety, that being in a relationship is more important than happiness, skip this portion of the book (or just read it to lol). If you believe in being in a relationship because you found the person that makes you better, then read this so you know what not to do.)
Check phones: If you do this, or your partner does it to you, do not fret too much, yet. This is a minor example that can be remedied. But, and please trust me, this is the most reliable indication that you are well on your way to being that couple. I am not attacking you and your partner either, if this is something you do. I was there―I tried to catch her sliding in DM’s. Just know that if you cannot move past this, or don’t want to move past this, and trust and jealousy and drama―all correlative aspects of the phone check―are present in your relationship, you are one your way to a place you do not want to go.
Smother your partner: I have been very lucky to be friends with a large group of guys who have amazing significant others. Their ladies are cool, relaxed, and confident. When we are out my friends are around their wives and fiancés because they want to be. If they want to wander to the opposite end of the bar and wingman for me, they can. If one of their ladies is offered a drink by a gentleman who doesn’t know them, or that they are off the market, good―that is a drink they don’t have to pay for. My friends trust the person they are with… If you are like me, circa my early 20’s, aggressively scanning the bar to confirm that your gf did in fact walk to the bathroom, take a step back. If your significant other has been gone for a brief span―bumped into an old college friend on the way to the bathroom―and you send them an assuming text saying, “hope he’s worth it”, take another step back. If you saw the bartender smile at your boyfriend when she handed him his drink and you assume retribution (drink toss/hair pull), turn around and run. I know it is hard to look in the mirror and acknowledge these things, but if smothering and petty fights via trivial shit constitute your relationship… that couple.
PDA: Public displays of affection aren’t definitive measures of being that couple. They make people uncomfortable, no doubt, and should be significantly reduced in frequency after college, but they really just denote weird people. If you do two or more of these things, try to be more mindful going forward, for your friends have probably not invited you to a lot of events because of it.
- Holding hands, if you are not walking: Holding hands is not a bad thing. It can be genuine, warming, and indicative of real love. But if you have ever been the couple in a bar or club that is standing, not moving, and you are holding hands, know that most people hate you.
- Triple up kiss: Kissing consecutively, in pucker form, is fine if you are by yourselves. It can almost even be cute. If in public, around your friends, and you feel compelled to combo kiss, you should leave.
- More than one facetime per event/evening: If you are out with friends and your partner didn’t make it, you should adhere to a strict one facetime communicative rule. Obviously medical emergencies or things of that sort don’t count. But if she wants you to check in or she just “misses you”, you’d be better of cheating on her than taking that second facetime chat.
- Social media dominant: I understand social media, especially Instagram and Snapchat, are becoming undeniably substantive parts of relationships. I get that. But when you and your lady, or guy, make a night out with your friends about your “story”, you ruin stuff. I don’t have a quantitative measure for this, as to what is too much, but if your actions are ever influenced by what’s best fo the picture or video, you’re doing too much.
- Proclivity to fight, or want to, any ex or fling from your guy/ladies past: Your girlfriend talked to a guy three years ago, in college, when she was single. You don’t know the guy and he just ordered a beer from the opposite side of the bar. He probably is a nice guy. You tell your boys you want to fight him and you get mad at your girlfriend… Your boyfriend ordered a drink from a girl he has been friends with for a while. You are sure he has been texting her and you tell your friends she is a slut… If either of those ring true, even a portion, that’s bad. Those were aggressive examples and I took them from season one of Jersey Shore.
There is obvious give and take in relationships, and it is unrealistic of me to do the things I do and expect a lady to be ok with it. But I just know that being in a relationship that forces those closest to you to resent you can never be a good thing. I believe that part of life’s great purpose is finding that someone you want to experience everything with; knowing that you make each other better. But if the above subject matter hits home… “That aint it!” – Ice Cube, Straight Out of Compton.
(Wellness, Fitness, Relationships)
As a general rule of thumb, if you cannot barbell squat your body weight or bench press 135, keep it on the bed. The internet makes you want to try a lot of things. Don’t.