Halloween was basically created with your manly needs in mind. Not only is it a night to showcase your raditude through clever costume choices and pumpkin beer pong prowess, but it’s also the one night a year when drunk women feel empowered enough by their disguises to do God Knows What with you and never speak of it again. Dammit. Every day should be Halloween. But what about the poor saps who’re stuck in relationships on the night of costumed promiscuity? To the single go the candy-coated, slutty Halloween spoils, meaning that coupled-up dudes are in danger of gettin’ none on the wrong side of a stupid outfit.

Unfortunately for the becoupled among you, skipping Halloween to hide in your laundry room isn’t a legit way to avoid this vortex of terror; ladies require extra togetherness during the holidays, which goes triple for days of pagan celebration, so if you want to avoid ending up the Obedient Sheep to your girlfriend’s non-skanky Bo Peep, then you’d best get your ass in gear to find a suitable couplesuit before your girl has a chance to visit the local Halloween Costume Barn. Keep these tips in mind to keep your street cred account in the black, at least for another month.

Do: Facilitate the sexy.

Slutty costumes, a Halloween tradition started by someone who should really be our friend, are one of the best things about All Hallow’s Eve, so don’t eschew your skankjoyment just because your life is more ‘cuddly movie night’ than ‘party till dawn’ these days. Being a boyfriend might not equate to a no-holds-barred all-access ass pass – the world is an unfair place – but it should, in the very least, afford you the ability to gently suggest that your eager-to-please GF dress up in something slightly risqué once every 12 months.

Instead of trying to find a funny pun that you can turn into a non-funny couples’ costume, be a man and suggest that your main squeeze go as a fill-in-the-blank hot female celeb or fictional character whom you’d be delighted to escort to the Halloween ball this year. After surmounting the difficult obstacle of getting her to agree, you’ll be free to go as any generic male companion, meaning that you won’t have to spend the next 31 days stressing about your costume (…or your enjoyment of this year’s festivities).

Don’t: Dress up as an animal, baby or magical woodland creature.

Our crystal balls tell us that your girlfriend would think it absolutely ADORABLE if you dressed up as some sort of half-puppy baby wizard or something. This is unacceptable, unless you have a fetish that’s going to one day get you a spot on America’s Most Wanted. Don’t let her sad eyes and promise of physical rewards sucker you into going to a party with a sucker in your mouth or a diaper on your ass; stand your ground and dress like a man, lest your future children discover incriminating pictures of you 30 years from now on Hologram Facebook.

While we’re on the subject, get it straight that matching outfits are a complete couples’ costume no-no. The image of your girlfriend dressed like you will last a lifetime (in your memory, if not in reality), and it’s much harder than you’d think to pawn off matching novelty t-shirts on the local Salvation Army after a bad breakup.

Do: Try to hang out with other decently-costumed couples.

If we learned anything in junior high, it’s that doing stuff in a group is way cooler than doing stuff alone. When you’re asked to partake in an activity that could negatively affect your social standing (such as, say, dressing up in a costume with your girlfriend on Halloween), it’s always better to have some backup to make it seem like This is a Thing People Are Doing Now, instead of a thing you do because you’re a little too whipped to say no.

Don’t: Spend all night glued together.

Some couples who Halloween together stay together, but some couples wake up on November 1 having realized they don’t have what it takes to make it past New Year’s. On a night that often forces you to interact with complete strangers, staying attached at the ass to the other half of your costume will prevent you from exploring the full extent of the half-naked bounty provided for you by the Halloween gods; it also makes for a pretty depressing November 2 should you and your slice of the week agree to part ways after the sugar haze clears. In fact, being one half of a two-part costume can give you mojo you never knew you possessed, since women are predisposed to want what they can’t have. If you’re stuck with a ball and chain all night, though, you might never know the glory of being desired by women far and wide.

Even if you believe that dressing as Romeo and Juliet is just another way to express the everlastingness of your love for one another, you and your ladyfriend would do well to learn how to work a room separately, both on Halloween and beyond, because nobody likes the couple who can’t spend time apart. There’s a reason we have ubiquitous phrases like “divide and conquer” and “separate but equal” (… okay, not that one, but you hopefully get the point), and it’s that you should try to maintain your individuality even when you’re dressed up in a couples’ costume.

Do: Schedule an after party with adult tricks and treats.

When faced with the danger of drowning in costumed-couple cuteness, the only thing that can save you is a life jacket made of depravity and filth. If you aren’t careful to schedule some adult fun on your otherwise childlike evening, then you run the risk of jumping head-first into a luke-warm life rut characterized by cable knit sweaters and Sunday dinners at your in-laws. A cheesy Halloween is like a gateway drug to cheesy everything else, probably because ancient witches cursed it to be so after too many unsatisfying nights with men dressed like fruit rollups. This year, remind your woman (and yourself) that you’re a hot blooded man who can facilitate her wildest fantasies, aided by a disguise that can be discarded before the morning shocks you both back into reality.

Don’t: Be afraid to extend your costumed shenanigans past October 31st

If a holiday dedicated to disguise and intrigue is the perfect excuse to explore your wildest fantasies, then it can also be the thing that injects some hot into your sex life on the other 364 days of the year. Costumed role-playing isn’t really the kind of thing you bring up over brunch, but having a sexy Halloween can mitigate the initial awkwardness, especially if your girl is repressed under normal circumstances. Who wants to limit themselves to one costume a year? If you try hard enough, maybe Halloween really can become all-o-ween (or once-a-week-o-ween, or once-a-month-o-ween… you know, whatever sizzles your bacon).

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