In any survival situation, attitude is everything. A positive outlook and a will to live can be the difference between life and death. So keep that in mind, as well as these other essential survival tips, for when your girlfriend suggests that you both “run into Target real quick.”

1. Get ready for the long haul. Despite what she says, don’t enter Target with your girlfriend expecting a quick in-and-out situation. This is Target. There are no quick trips to Target. She will definitely wander the aisles for a minimum of two hours. So, be prepared. Are you hydrated? Do you need a snack? We suggest hitting up the Target Café for some popcorn before your journey begins.

2. Follow at a respectable and non-irritating distance. This isn’t rush hour on the freeway—no need to tailgate her at a two-inch distance. Do you think breathing down her neck will make her finish shopping faster? It won’t. So give her some space and let her check out the clothes. But don’t go wandering off; she might need to ask you if a certain top will be cute on her. Your answer? Repeat after me, “Yes, you look great in everything!”

3. Know your role. Outside in the real world you may be her boyfriend, her loving companion, her equal. But once you enter those automatic sliding doors, things change. Inside the sacred walls of Target you are nothing more than a lowly shopping assistant. This is her turf. So step in line, don’t talk too much, carry whatever she asks you to carry. Don’t dawdle. And don’t rush her!

4. Take a break in the electronics section. There may come a time when you both need a break from each other during your shopping marathon. Let her know you’re going to mosey on over to Electronics. Use this time to regroup and take shelter near the big-screen TVs. This is also where you’re most likely to find the other stranded boyfriends. Cautiously approach them for small talk that’ll help clear your mind, and perhaps an eye roll and chuckle over your shared situation—there is strength in numbers.

5. Don’t ask her if she’s ready to go. She’s not. You might reach a point when it seems like you will never escape Target. This is your home now—the red bullseye, your master. You’ll scan the horizon for exit points, but she’s led you too far inside the labyrinth; you have no idea which way is out. In this desperate hour you may feel inclined to politely ask your girlfriend, “Are you about ready to go?” She’s not. She wants to check out the clearance items on all the aisle end caps “real quick.” Stay calm and take a deep breath. You’ll see the sun again… eventually.

Photo: iStock/dolgachov