I love you; you’re great; I’m so happy we’re together. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We may be in one of the best relationships ever, but that doesn’t mean either of us is perfect—especially not you. Ever wonder what your most annoying habits as a boyfriend are? Chances are, they’re on this list—and you should drop ’em fast unless you want to go the way of Don and Betty…
When you were single, you got to grow your facial hair as long as you wanted and no girlfriend told you to shave it. When you were single, you slept alone in your Buzz Lightyear bedsheets most nights, too.
1. Pay for dinner, then make us feel like you just saved us from the next bubonic plague
I’m all for chivalry. Open doors, bring me flowers, and sure, pay for dinner if you want. But keep in mind a gesture is only nice if you do it humbly. If you’re going to take me out to an awesome meal and then make me feel guilty or use it as leverage for the next month, then no thanks—I’d rather buy my own steak, thankyouverymuch.
2. Assume you know how we’ll feel about something
Oh, you didn’t go to that game with your buddies because you knew I’d want you home? And you didn’t tell me that you broke my mug because you knew I’d be mad? Here’s an idea: Instead of assuming what my reaction will be to something—happy, sad, excited, pissed—let me actually react myself and we’ll avoid plenty of confusion.
3. Force your eating habits on us
I get it, you still think you’re a growing boy and you can’t end the day until you have a seven-course dinner complete with a protein, a side, something crunchy and something sweet. But I don’t feel the need to eat like that every night—sometimes I’m cool with having a frozen tamale (I mean, I’ll microwave it) for dinner, and that’s more than enough for me. Just because we’re in a relationship doesn’t mean I suddenly have the same body mass and metabolism as you—let me and my meager meal be.
4. Plan absolutely nothing in advance
Sure, now that we’re past the courting phase, you don’t need to give me a week’s notice for every date. But just because we’re in a relationship doesn’t mean my entire schedule is reserved for you. Give me at least a few days’ notice when you want to go on a special date, or to your friend’s party. That way, I won’t be forced to reject you because I already committed to something else.
5. Expect everything to be fine five seconds after a fight
Yes, fighting happens in relationships, it’s only natural. And yes, sometimes we may get in fights that seem silly in retrospect. But, even if that’s the case, I usually need some time to cool off afterward. Call me crazy, but I don’t operate my emotions with the flip of a switch, and I can’t go from yelling at each other to spooning and watching Orange is the New Black in a matter of five minutes. And I’m not going to think that text with the kitten emoticon is cute—until the next day.
The guy just has a way with women, you know?
6. Act like a completely different person around your friends
I’m not saying I expect you to call me cuddle bear and talk about your feelings when we’re out with your friends (actually, I never want you to call me cuddle bear; think of a more original nickname, please). But I’d rather not see you revert to some trying-too-hard frat boy the second we get in the same room as them. Being cool and being mature aren’t actually mutually exclusive, you know.
7. Refuse to take a stance on anything
When I ask you for your opinion on something—whether it’s which dress I should wear to our friends’ wedding or how to deal with that tricky family argument—I’m asking because I actually want an answer. “Do whatever makes you happy” isn’t a noble thing to say; it’s a cowardly one. Grow a pair and let me know how you really feel.
8. Make fun of our friends/family
Let’s be clear: I can vent, and maybe even talk a little smack, about my friends and family when I’m pissed off about something. You, however, cannot. They’re my friends, not yours—off limits.
9. Refuse to evolve past your single style
When you were single, you got to grow your facial hair as long as you wanted and no girlfriend told you to shave it. When you were single, you slept alone in your Buzz Lightyear bedsheets most nights, too. Time to step it up a notch, kid.
10. Be a TV hypocrite
You can’t make an overly dramatic protest about having to watch Real Housewives (even though I know you love it anyway), and then fail to even acknowledge when I quietly watch football or golf on Sunday. All. Day. Long. You just can’t.