You’re Not In Love, You’re Being Stupid


It’s so frustrating when you have smart friends (yes I do have those companion-like things) and they give you wonderful advice (most of the time) but they are utterly incapable of taking it and applying it to themselves. Or listening to your (pretty close to) wonderful advice.

I feel like in the last three years I’ve churned out the same said pieces of advice again, and again, and again. They are the following;


A)    If he (or she) makes you feel unsafe, threatened, uncomfortable, intimidated or afraid in any way, shape or form, get the fuck out. Let the people who really love you help you out.

B)     Honey he’s not messaging because he wants to ‘ask how your day is’. And he didn’t hook up with the other girl at that party because ‘she was desperate’. And he didn’t not tell you he was seeing someone else ‘because he cares’. It’s because he’s a douche.

C)     He’s messaging you telling you he loves you even though he has a girlfriend but ‘things are hard and complicated’ and he ‘does really love you’ it’s just ‘really hard’? See above.

D)    Long distance relationships do not work.

E)    Long distance relationships DO NOT WORK.

F)     Don’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it with every cell, every ounce of bone marrow, every tiny electric impulse in your neurons, every drop of blood, every follicle of your hair, every single particle of your being from your head to your toes.

G)    Don’t say it if you don’t mean it, and don’t say it back just because he’s said it. Say it and mean it.

H)    If he says it first, but then proceeds to ask/pressure for sex, see B and F.

I)     If you say it first, and he proceeds to ask/pressure for sex, see above.

J)     Know when to pick yourself up and walk away.


L)     If he feels entitled to look at your phone and look through your messages, then you should be able to do the same with his phone. And if he refuses? Don’t let him see your phone. And if he becomes manipulative, or aggressive? See A.

M)     Money will sometimes be an issue – someone will earn more, someone might earn less, someone might have richer parents, someone might drive a BMW, etc. etc. The key thing is to not let something like money – something material, replaceable, perishable, necessary but at the same time not – ruin your bond with someone else. Walking, talking, kissing, laughing and the frick-frack are all free baby!

N)     Sometimes the easiest thing to do is swap places with me. If it were me coming to you with this problem, what would your advice be? Answer and advise yourself with the exact same amount of care and concern as you would towards one of your closest friends.

O)     96% of the time your mother is absolutely correct. Listen to her.

P)     83% of the time your father is absolutely correct, or close to it. Listen to him.

Q)     If they disrespect your family, they disrespect you. Walk away.

R)     When your partner begins telling you which friends can and cannot be a part of your life, listen to their reasons – and then make your own decision. If they name call your friends, tell you about how ugly they are (compared to you), insinuate they’re a “bad influence” or in any other way belittle the relationship, pull them up on it.

S)     Bros before hoes. But are you his hoe?

T)     The minute he calls you a slut is the minute you should end the relationship.

U)     Cheating… There’s no real excuse. But babe if you feel like you can rebuild that trust, and that you can find that amount of forgiveness within yourself, then go on and try again.

V)     Valentine’s Day is overrated, don’t pressure your partner to do anything in particular, and likewise you shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything you’re not comfortable with either.

W)     Work. Every good thing takes some amount of work. Don’t be surprised when it starts.


Y)     Every relationship is different, so even though this may have solved my problem with the boy, it may not solve your problem with your boy (or girl).

Z)     Trust. Without trust you have nothing.

So that’s my general advice, and some of it is obviously specific to individual circumstance, but I think a lot of it is fair. I’m not a relationship expert, I’m not, but to have been with the same person for over three years and to have known him for five, I’ve learnt a lot. A lot. Most often I’m speaking from my own experiences, but see Y. Fact is some of this stuff is just common sense, and it’s frustrating when it seems your nearest and dearest girlfriends have none.

Take for example A, B, C and D. I can’t even count how many times I’ve gone back to these, repeating them like some sort of anti-bad-relationship mantra, and the friends I’ve said them to are probably sick of hearing it, but then why are we back here at a café and you’re telling me the exact same problem we were discussing months ago? Of course I’m going to give you the exact same advice I gave you in the first place!

The fact I’ve got a list A-Z of relationship advice speaks to the state of affairs in my friends’ love lives. I have to say, though, the one I rely on most, the one that churns out like clockwork, the one that my mouth constantly has the taste of, is Z. Probably because out of this whole frickin’ alphabet, it’s the most relevant, the most pertinent, the most constant – and it’s the most true. And it’s been the most true for me, and the boy.

There have been trials! (LORD HAVE THERE BEEN TRIALS!) There have been bitches! (LORD THE BITCHES!) There have been lies! (SWEET LORD THE LIES!) But when you have a trust stronger than the bedrock beneath the river, you can get through anything! (PREACH!)

I’m contemplating emailing this list to my friends, so when they message me with a repeat or a relapse, I can just text them a letter rather than doing this whole song and dance over coffee.

Or maybe just one letter.