Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If You Have To Ask: Relationship Advice You Probably Shouldn't Take

The first time I had seafood in a place that didn't offer you Cheddar Bay biscuits or a pirate hat I was slightly confused by the pricing on the menu. Some items had dollar amounts while others had only two letters, MP. When the server came to our table my date ordered like a professional. "We'll have the calamari, fish tacos, and the large iced seafood tower. We'll also have a bottle of the Prosecco." he said. I glanced down the list for the items he'd ordered. When I located them I again noticed those pesky letters where the price should be.

"What does this 'MP' mean in the price column?" I asked.

"It means Market Price." he replied.

"Oh, okay. So what does market price mean?" I asked, knowing full well that I'd just revealed my deepest darkest most humiliating secret. I was a raised-in-the-sticks, no-seafood-having, unsophisticated rube.

"It means if you have to ask you probably can't afford it. It also means you're lucky I'm buying." he said with a smile.

When the server brought our bill I managed to sneak a look. The man was a bit off in much of his thinking, but in this case he was spot on. We'd managed to spend well over $200 and I was, in fact, lucky he was buying.

It was the first of many moments to follow where I would remind myself that as much as I was dying to ask a question, the answer would not likely be what I wanted to hear. Being able to communicate with your partner is essential to understanding them. Here are a few common questions that I have when I am in a relationship and some tips on how you can turn these questions into opportunities to talk, share, and show consideration.

1. Do you love me? 
If you can't tell you probably don't want to ask. Even if the person does love you there's a problem with your partner's ability to express themselves. Try wording it in the form of a statement. Start with a bottle of wine and move on to self-pitying tears. When your partner asks what's wrong say, "I know you don't love me!" He/She will then confirm or deny the statement. Now you've got a conversation! If your partner doesn't care that you're drunk and crying on a Tuesday then what sort of partner do you have? Saturday is fine for drunk tears. Tuesday is completely pitiful.

2. Are you cheating on me? 
If you've gotten to the point where you're going to ask this question there's a pretty good chance that you've seen a few glaring red flags that would indicate that your partner is indeed cheating on you. Instead of asking a question I recommend making a physical pile of the offending flags and just leaving them on the table for your partner to find when he or she gets home. Again, start with a bottle of wine. When your partner walks in, greet them with a smile and say, "Look at all this cool shit I found. It was like a scavenger hunt! Tell me about these thong panties that don't belong to me that I found between the footboard of the bed and the sheets. They look really interesting!" Once again, you've started a dialog. Communication is super important in a relationship.

3. Where is this relationship going? 
There are usually some telltale signs if the relationship is moving forward. There's no need to ask. You have a couple options here. First, you can buy yourself that sparkly bauble for your ring finger. Now you have something pretty to show your partner. Grab a bottle of wine on the way home. I recommend something in red. It goes great with diamonds. Surprise your partner at the door with your finger in the air (the ring one you naughty thing!). Now is a good time to show your partner that you've been listening and are taking their advice. "Honey look at this beautiful engagement ring I bought myself because it's obvious you're never going to buy me one! Aren't you proud of me? I'm being independent just like you wanted!"

Alternatively, the next time one of your friends is getting married ask your partner if they can help you fill out an online dating profile. Explain that since they know you best it would be a great help. You're only doing this to find a date for the wedding because they obviously don't like weddings since they've not asked you to marry them. You're just being considerate to their feelings. Taking into account your partner's feelings is important.

That's all I have for today kids. I hope you've learned a little something (aside from why I'm still single) and will find a way to put these things into practice in your own relationships.

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