Dating Don’ts: How To Avoid Becoming That Annoying Coupled-Up Person

The two of you are inseparable. You’re every romantic comedy cliché come to life. He’s the cream in your coffee. The Jim to your Pam—not that you even remember who they are, because with all the lovemaking, you hardly have time to waste on sitcoms like “The Office.”

When you’re not busy rutting, you spend hours just staring at each other, marveling at your good fortune. Everything reminds you of him and you can’t stop talking about how fantastically happy you are. In fact, you’re so busy, you probably haven’t even noticed that, except for calls from your shmoopie, your phone has stopped ringing. (Unless it’s your mom calling to wonder if you’re finally going to squeeze out some grandchildren for her.)

But your friends? They seem to have disappeared. In the haze of your love drunkenness, you might believe this is because they’re jealous. But more likely it’s because you’ve become one of the “smug marrieds” from Bridget Jones’ Diary—a book I loathed, but she sure got that part right. And you’re not even married. Yet. Sure, your couple friends might not have completely written you off—after all, now you’re not the “predatory” single broad at their dinner parties. But I’ll bet your single girlfriends are getting tired of listening to monologues about the intoxicating flecks of amber in your beloved’s eyes or that hilarious time he … well, they wouldn’t understand because they’re single.

That’s when you’re not blowing them off altogether in favor of still more couple time.

Lest you think I’m a complete crank, I get that it’s heady stuff when a relationship kicks off. Especially if it’s been preceded by a long dry spell. And while I’m sure your buddies are happy for you, they also want to talk about something besides that cute, heart-shaped mole on your man’s behind and all the fantastic sex you’ve been having.

So in the interest of being a good friend, you might want to see if you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios:

Attack of the We-People

We loved that movie!” “We hate Thai food!” “We want to learn to salsa dance!” If you find that “we” and “us” have replaced “I” and “me,” you are probably bugging the crap out of everyone within earshot. Obviously it’s good to have things in common with your partner, but you’re still allowed to have individual thoughts and opinions. We don’t really know your new boyfriend yet, so we don’t particularly care that he prefers Kosher to sea salt. (Plus, that’s boring information anyway.)

Cling-Ons

“The Real Housewives of New York”’s Simon and Alex are a shining example of the Cling-On couple. Alex thinks nothing of forcing Simon on her TV gal pals, even when it’s supposed to be ladies night. Here’s a hint: when we call to get together for drinks, unless we say so specifically, we’re only issuing a single invite. Besides, occasionally engaging in individual activities gives you something to talk about when your lips are too chapped to kiss.

Pity Party

I cannot even count how many times a formerly normal buddy has turned into a condescending know-it-all once she landed herself a man. One I used to hear constantly was: “Once you stop looking, love will find you.” Oh, thanks. Never mind that that’s completely wrong. If your eyes aren’t open, you’re going to keep bumping into jerks.

But the best was one now-former pal’s call to let me know that she and her new husband had been discussing my plight, and they couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was wrong with me that I couldn’t find myself a boyfriend.

I know—maybe it was my bad taste in friends!

Despite what you, in your oxytocin-induced stupor, might believe, being single is not an affliction. In fact, some of the most productive and fun times in my life have been when I was unencumbered by a man. So quit it with the unsolicited advice and pout-pulling. You have a boyfriend—not a Nobel Prize.

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