You may have seen some of the countless Lifehack articles coaching you on how to love people from the highly creative to the anxiety riddled (I’m sorry, I should say the more-neutral “those suffering with anxiety,” but, since I’m in that camp, I like to poke fun), and their knock-offs around the web. Ostensibly, Lifehack devised this listicle formula so that lonely and/or frustrated partners could improve their relationships (or just commiserate) by reading lists of X things to remember if you love someone with fuckin’ problems.
Yet I did not find these articles because I googled “My girlfriend is an introvert, halp!” I found them because people on facebook shared the links on their walls with the effective sentiment: “DUDE YES this is how you must love me and my special snowflake complex!!!” Like some sort of dating-pool memo.
I mean, I’m guilty more than anyone of wishing I could write an instruction manual on how to be my girlfriend. I actually have a small notebook in my night stand titled “A primer” which includes diagrams. I haven’t shown it to anyone for purposes of instruction, yet. Emphasis on yet.
Still, in honor of the self-serving bent of these articles, with much snark, I present:
15 Things to Remember if You Don’t Want Me to Unfairly Compare You to Every Failed Relationship I’ve Ever Had
- First of all, let me begin by asking you to remember that my flaws actually make me totally awesome. Or at least that’s what I think, because I’m obsessed with myself.
- My ex didn’t like how selfish I was. You will be my next ex if you also believe I need to change this about myself.
- Paradoxically, I’m going to ask you to “remember” that I do not have a really obvious and/or annoying bad habit that I do, in fact, have. Remember, I make the rules.
- I dated someone for 5 weeks who I found really boring, but kept trying because eye candy / I’m lonely / I needed the sex. Instead of examining how I should better select partners who actually are a good match for me, I will blame you if I am the slightest bit bored. Just FYI.
- Compromise is really important to me, just so long as you are the one doing all of the compromising.
- I will question you relentlessly for choosing to stay with me, because I have the self esteem of a cat forced into a clown hat. The moment you dump me, I will claim I was too good for you.
- My “unique condition” happens to make me a really happy, well-balanced person. No I do not fall asleep with the dirty spoon from eating ice cream stuck in my hair, my laptop beside me on the bed with 20 open tabs evidence of my attempts at total internet oblivion so that I can avoid confronting who I have let myself become.
- I have strong beliefs about how my condition affects my physical health even though I have done little research besides a couple shallow internet searches and talking loudly about the possibilities with my bar friends.
- I swear to god I am datable.
- My ex pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone, which while I fundamentally understand I need from a partner, is something that will make me violently resent you for even trying to do.
- I need you to read this cheat sheet because I am desirably complex, not immature and needy. Read the statistics, duh.
- You will never understand me. Just like my ex never did. Which is why we broke up (not because I hooked up with that bartender on my summer vacation).
- If it seems like I’m not listening to you, it’s not my fault. I’m just dealing with the ramifications of my unique condition
- If it seems like I’m not communicating clearly, you are wrong. You are just being a terrible listener. Just try harder. God.
- Please be my mom.