Initially I was going to be cheeky and leave this post empty. I thought it’d get readers wondering: “Was this intentionally left blank?” “Does she just have nothing to say to her ex?” Quite frankly, I have no exes, so it naturally follows that I have nothing to say to people who don’t exist.
This is a fact I don’t typically bring up for two reasons: 1) It is a surefire way to awkwify any conversation (and it’s even more awkward than that made-up word). And 2) I don’t want people to think I’m saying it to get pity.
But my friend convinced me that I should write about my advice on relationships, because I’ve witnessed quite a few. And, just as people lacking one sense have their other senses heightened, it seems my lack of relationships has given me a stronger sense of when one is or isn’t going to work. Not gaydar, but maybe “other-people’s-boyfriends-dar.”
I’ve been that person who is friends with both people in a relationship, and have had both parties reach out to me when things weren’t going well. And I’ve been that silent observer of a relationship when I was close to one of the people but barely knew the new boyfriend or girlfriend. My interpretations of these experiences, along with the one time I almost entered into a relationship, have boiled down to one piece of advice that could save you a lot of heartache: communicate.
There may be something to be said for venting off steam when you’re having relationship struggles, but does your partner know you’re upset about X, Y and Z? Or do you just assume they know and give them the silent treatment?
Likewise, while the whole song-and-dance of flirting is saturated with ambiguity, make sure you’re clear about if you are dating or just friends before you two quickly are on separate pages.
In five years, do you see yourself someplace completely different than where you are now? Does your partner know this? The only way for them to know is to tell them.
And, finally, regarding the subject on which I hold an honorary PhD: ladies, if he doesn’t pass the best-friend inspection, you’d best be saying good-bye now.