Relationships introduce a whole new set of boundaries you never imagined as a single person. These rules were introduced long ago by the creator of romance, Hallmark, and remain hidden inside a greeting card locked away in the Bermuda Triangle. But these rules are real and considered to be the 10 Commandments of Romance, a guide which everyone should abide by, but clearly most of us don’t, which is the real reason the divorce rate is 50%. I’m going to perform a service by publicizing these rules to ensure you, the loyal reader/romance enthusiast, are up to speed on how to survive with more than just compliments and boxed chocolates.
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF (MODERN) ROMANCE (cue flashes of lightning, a flash flood, and an animated floating hearts graphic for dramatic effect)
Thou shall have no kisses before brushing thy teeth
Morning breath is a serious condition plaguing millions, probably BILLIONS of people every day. Failure to brush your teeth before a well-placed lip lock could potentially put your lover into a coma. This is serious enough it should be played on a PSA looped continuously on network television to ensure the safety of couples everywhere anxious to start kissing at the crack of dawn.
Thou shall not watch American Idol
I mean, it doesn’t even have Simon Cowell on it anymore. What’s the point in reviving this series? Your significant other probably wants to watch one of the 1000 versions of CSI, like CSI: Intercourse (don’t laugh, that’s a real city), instead of this resuscitated dumpster fire. Brownie points to you: this will show you’re willing to give up something to make them happy.
Thou shall take the name of thy lover and bestow upon it a pet name
Popular options include sweetheart, darling, and honey. Try to avoid food names like honeybun, sugar pie, and watermelon fruitcake, as your significant other is a person, not a three-course meal that’s essentially a diabetes bomb.
Remember thy Anniversary Day, to keep the peace
And we don’t mean remember it at 7:00 AM the morning of your anniversary. If you manage to remember it far enough in advance, you can improve upon last year’s gift of gas station flowers and upgrade to a nice bouquet from your local florist and possibly a meaningful gift tailored towards something logical, like one of their hobbies or likes.
Honor thy father-in-law and mother-in-law
Yes, they’re kind of a pain because you could give your lover a diamond ring and be at fault for purchasing a ring with diamonds mined from the caverns of Zimbabwe and not Angola. Laying down the battle weapon and evenly dividing up holidays spent with each other’s in-laws will keep everyone happy, until they’re not because in-laws are mostly evil and made of things like hatred and black licorice.
Do not murder thy dinner
The moment of relief for two lovers after a long day of work comes at the dinner table when you can finally sit, have a glass of wine, and dine on a delicious meal. Dinner should not come out looking like a failed 3rd grade science fair experiment whose problems can only be contained appropriately by a Haz Mat team.
Thou shall not steal the last cookie
You know that feeling of guilt. Your stomach is screaming profanities at you to feed it more sweets and your eyes dash hurriedly across the inside of the jar. There’s only one cookie left, and it’s not even your lover’s favorite cookie, but you know they’ll appreciate finding it waiting for them instead of crumbs that are essentially used against you as proof of your insolence and negligence to appropriately refill the jar. In some countries, this act is punishable by a marathon of Adam Sandler movies.
Thou shall not bear false witness about watching the latest season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix
Your partner can tell when you lie. This is a superpower you both develop overtime as a result of an extremely complicated process known as “Getting to Know Each Other.” There’s no manual for it, and as is such, nobody warns you about your viewing history on Netflix. “Did you watch season 5 of Orange Is the New Black without me?” they might ask. “Why no, I certainly did not watch another thrilling, provocative season full of twists, turns, and moments that made me gasp in shock,” you’ll say. If your face hasn’t given it away, your old pal Netflix will throw you under the bus when you sit down at night to watch the new series together and Netflix asks “Watch it again?”
Thall shall not covet
Alright, we need to get serious for at least one romance commandment. The grass is always greener, but you’ve got greener grass than anyone and you might not even know it. Fertilize that grass and from it, grow the greenest lawn you can until you’ve got daisies, flowers, friendly critters that don’t dig up holes, and you can just lay in it and roll around, content that this grass is your grass and you don’t need to mow anyone else’s lawn. Besides, other people might have crab grass, and you don’t want to go anywhere near that. That’s a lot of grass talk- just stick it out with your partner.
The secret’s out. Use this as a guide to improve your relationships moving forward and guarantee yourself some romantic stability. If for some reason this guide doesn’t work for you, we encourage you to direct complaints to Hallmark’s headquarters. They might act like they don’t know what’s going on, but don’t forget- these are the same people who invented Valentine’s Day. They know exactly what they’re doing.