Congratulations, you’ve found a woman goodly enough to see you and only you on a regular basis, or conversely, a woman has bamboozled you into exclusivity. It’s called a adult relationship, it is the institution that makes the world go round and you belong to it. But, like anything else in life; tying a Windsor knot, cleaning a smallmouth bass and getting blotto in a foreign country, there’s a right way to do it, and then there’s the wrong way. We’ve put two and two together for you dear reader, and if you want your relationship to be a good one, however it ends, we’ve got a list of dos and don’ts that’ll get you started. If you’re the kind of fella who gets a kick out of bad relationships, you’re on the wrong website.
Do: Be Open – That old adage about honesty being the best policy has never been more important then now. You’re asking this person not only to tag along on your adventure, but to have your back and be there for you, and there is no way that can ever happen if she doesn’t know the score. Worse yet, if you haven’t been on the level about something, and she figures it out, she won’t trust you anymore, and that’s the kibosh to end all kiboshes.
Don’t: Bring up old shit: We would never suggest that you lie, never, but if the skeletons in your closet don’t have any bearing on the here and now, then leave them where they are. As for the stuff she does know, all relationships have rocky bits, and behind that there’s a whole mess of decisions maybe either of you wish you had back, but if she’s holding them over you, she’s not “good folk”. If she’s worth having, she’s worth forgiving.
Do: Play Together – You’re young, free, and you have enough expendable income to get into serious trouble. Get out there and shake things up together, take a cooking class, travel, shoplift, whatever gets the blood pumping and takes you both out of your comfort zones. The best stories come when you do things differently, and the more you experience that stuff together the better your connection (sex) gets.
Don’t: Be attached at the hip – Maybe your girlfriend is the kinda gal who can hold her own on poker night with the fellas, maybe she isn’t, but having a social life that sometimes excludes her is absolutely vital to bringing new perspectives and stimuli into your relationship. You have to keep bringing new stuff to the table, and you both need room to breath.
Do: Commit – If you’re in this thing, you’re in it, so don’t flip out every time you start thinking about a future together, moving in, getting a dog, even getting engaged are discussions you shouldn’t be shirking away from, even if it’s not the right time. Dodging a bullet is fine, but pretending there’s no bullet gets you shot.
Don’t: Over commit – You brought a toothbrush over to her place, it’s a big deal, sure, but it doesn’t mean you should pick out burial plots on your free weekend next month either. Telling yourself you’ve found the one after you’ve taken the first step is nothing short of sitting up and begging for a punch in the chest. It’s creepy when women do it, it’s awful when men do it. You’re in a relationship to learn more, to grow more, so don’t bet the farm before you’ve met her plastic furniture parents and learned about her gluten allergy. The very best thing about life is that there’s no goddamn rush.