Let’s be real for a second here: You don’t have time for shitty relationships.
Being in a shitty relationship is like getting a mile away from the drive-thru and realizing you’ve been given the wrong thing; you stick with what you got, because it’s tolerable, but you’re sad because you invested your time and effort for something that wasn’t absolutely bomb. It’s like going to see a super hyped-up movie and leaving the cinema halfway through because it fucking sucks. It’s paying $30 for a bottle of wine that tastes like Barefoot.
You get the picture.
I have a huge gripe, you see. I really fucking hate seeing my friends date guys and girls who just aren’t worth their time. Not because they don’t make enough money (whatever that is), or they’re not as attractive (whatever that is), but because their entire relationship is clearly more draining to the pair of them than it is fun. It doesn’t add anything to their existence. It saps them of their zesty-happy selves. It’s just really crap.
And trust me, I’ve been in such relationships, and it took me far too long to realize that it just wasn’t worth my damn time. But, fortunately, I did.
The thing is, it doesn’t mean that you (or your S.O.) are shitty people. It might just mean that you don’t work well together. It might mean that those initial sparks a-flyin’ have faded to a pitiful ember. It might mean that you are flogging the proverbial dead horse. Or, you know, it could mean that your S.O. actually is a shitty person and you’re too drunk in love to understand.
One of the best pieces of relationship advice I ever receieved was, “Why have McDonald’s when you can have steak?” And it’s really fucking true, guys. Would you rather have a platter of gourmet truffle fries, or a cold, limp stack of McDonald’s? Would you rather have a Sprinkles cupcake, or a dry-ass Twinkie? Be a truffle fry. Be a $10 cupcake.
And if you’re in danger of falling into the fast-food dating trap, then here’s a handy list of red flags to help guide your life choices. You are welcome.
Your friends hate your S.O.
Okay, so there’s a good chance that they’re not going to tell you directly, because they also care about preserving your friendship. But they’re also not going to be enthusiastic about him. They might drop hints. Listen to them, woman. Listen to the little things. “Romeo and Juliet” was romantic and all, but it doesn’t translate all that well into real life, because, um, the most awesome thing ever is when your friends and fam and lover are all besties.
You’re throwing ultimatums on the reg.
If you (or your S.O.) have to resort to the ultimatum game, you might want to stand back and take stock. Speaking of which…
You’re convinced that more commitment will “solve things.”
ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? A fat diamond on your finger is pretty and all, but it’s only going to exacerbate the problems that already exist in your relationship.
Your S.O. gets it wrong all the effing time.
Does he bring you pizza when he should know you’re gluten intolerant? Does he suggest Outback when you’ve been vegan for three years? That’s not cool, man.
… And you put up with it.
You go along with your bad food/bad everything, all the time, and you’re displeased, but you also just let it happen. STOP.
You find yourself airing your dirty laundry on social media.
In a passive way. Yep, I’m looking at you, girl re-posting all those articles drenched in millennial problems, titled “100 Ways He Should Make You Feel Special,” and other such things. Changing your profile picture to a pic of you back in the good ol’ single days as soon as the going gets rough (again). Reposting misquoted quotes by famous people about lurve and such? You know we’ll wonder what’s up. And you know he’ll wonder for a fraction of a second before returning to his XBox party. If you’re under the illusion that your not-so-subtle social media hints will change your relationship in any way, you’re deluded.
You’re always the grouches at the party.
You’re the dudes sulking in the corner, rolling your eyes, throwing shade at one another in furtive whispers. Do stop that, because it’s antisocial. But also, if you’re “that” couple most of the time, then maybe you ought to just work it out, and start being fun human beings again.
You’re “not labeling it.”
Because you’re “more mature” than that? Ugh. No. If your S.O. has mostly badgered you into not “putting labels” on your relationship, then it probably means they’re a) embarrassed, b) emotionally immature, or c) planning to cheat on you. If you’re dating, then you’re dating, dude. BOY-friend/GIRL-friend really isn’t that hard to understand.
You’ve started being more annoyed than turned on.
Does the hair on your partner’s knuckles really bother you? Has their belly button been looking kinda funky for the last three months? Their eyebrows looking a little too pruned for your liking? You just can’t stop looking, can you? And it’s overwhelming literally all of their attractive attributes.
Your S.O. doesn’t encourage you.
You decided you’d lose that extra few pounds, or you gained a few because you decided you had better things to do than keep track of every bite on MyFitnessPal. Your partner told you you shouldn’t change, you shouldn’t better yourself, you shouldn’t make yourself happier. Your partner sucks. If they can’t be happy for you when you’re determined, happy, and fulfilled, it might be time to wave a big ole cheery-bye.