#1. A kiss after a long day exploring.
By Mark Manson
There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe read a few obscure love stories from the 19th century on how not to be.
But when it comes down to actually handling the nitty-gritty of relationships, we’re given no pointers… or worse, we’re given advice columns in women’s magazines.
Yes, it’s trial-and-error from the get-go. And if you’re like most people, it’s been mostly error.
But part of the problem is that many unhealthy relationship habits are baked into our culture. We worship romantic love — you know, that dizzying and irrational romantic love that somehow finds breaking china plates on the wall in a fit of tears somewhat endearing — and scoff at practicality or unconventional sexualities. Men and women are raised to objectify each other and to objectify the relationships they’re in. Thus our partners are often seen as assets rather than someone to share mutual emotional support.
A lot of the self help literature out there isn’t helpful either (no, men and women are not from different planets, you over-generalizing prick.) And for most of us, mom and dad surely weren’t the best examples either.
by Nick Notas
We all know about the running joke that romantic relationships are a source of misery.
We grew up on shows like Married With Children where Al Bundy hated having to hang out with his wife Peg. We hear friends challenge each other with, “You’re so whipped!” And serious couples give us ominous warnings such as, “Don’t get married.” or “It’s all good now, but wait until the honeymoon is over.”
These may make us laugh but they also reinforce that our partners are a burden on our lives.
It’s true that maintaining a happy, healthy relationship takes work. But that doesn’t mean it has to suck.
The secret lies in finding a relationship that makes life easier and more fulfilling for you.With a compatible partner and mutual support, your relationship should decrease outside stresses, increase productivity, and improve the quality of your lives.
by David Cain
Everyone gets drilled with certain lessons in life. Sometimes it takes repeated demonstrations of a given law of life to really get it into your skull, and other times one powerful experience drives the point home once forever. Here are 88 things I’ve discovered about life, the world, and its inhabitants by this point in my short time on earth.
1. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.
2. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place.
3. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do.
4. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals.
5. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.
6. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and last longer.
7. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be.
8. If everyone in the TV show you’re watching is good-looking, it’s not worth watching.
9. Yelling always makes things worse.
10. Whenever you’re worried about what others will think of you, you’re really just worried about what you’ll think of you.
I was at a Kurt Vonnegut talk in New York a few years ago. Talking about writing, life, and everything.
He explained why people have such a need for drama in their life.
He said, “People have been hearing fantastic stories since time began. The problem is, they think life is supposed to be like the stories. Let’s look at a few examples.”
He drew an empty grid on the board, like this:
Time moves from left to right. Happiness from bottom to top.
He said, “Let’s look at a very common story arc. The story of Cinderella.”
It starts with her awful life with evil stepsisters, scrubbing the fireplace. Then she get an invitation to the ball! Things look up. Then the fairy godmother makes her a dress and a coach. Even better! Then she goes to the ball, and dances with the prince! This is great! But then it’s midnight. She has to go. Oh no. Sadness. Back to her humdrum life scrubbing the fireplace. But it’s not as bad as before, because she’s had this encouraging experience. Then, the prince finds her, and the happiness factor is off the chart! Happily ever after.
“People LOVE that story! This story arc has been written a thousand times in a thousand tales. And because of it, people think their lives are supposed to be like this.”
He wiped the board clean and said, “Now let’s look at another popular story arc: the disaster.”