Life After Dating: 14 Ways A Relationship Changes Your Life & 5 Ways It Doesn’t
I’ve logged in lots of time Planet Single and Planet Relationship alike. Having experienced both, I can say that the life of a single gal and the life of a coupled/married lady are actually pretty different — and not just because when you’re partnered up, you become really motivated to finally toss out all those period-stained panties. After the jump, 14 ways a relationships actually changes your life … and five more ways that your life (for better or for worse) stays the same.
Ways A Relationship Changes Your Life:
1. You’re probably getting sex on the regular. Of course we fully support a regular fuck buddy. But sometimes fuck buddies get in relationships and then the well runeth dry. In a relationship, you can be pretty certain where your next non-battery-operated orgasm is coming from. And you are most definitely getting cunnilingus more regularly (unless you have figured out a way to do that to yourself, in which case, girl, we need to talk).
2. You don’t have to deal with all the crappy stuff about dating. If you’re coupled up, then you’re free from most of the bad parts of finding your green zebra. Ghosting? Blind dates? Horrible chemistry? Obsessively writing and rewriting your OK Cupid profile? What a relief not to have to deal with that anymore.
3. You don’t have to give a fuck what Tinder is or how it works. Although you should know so you understand what your single friends are talking about.
4. Your lingerie actually gets worn more regularly. Is there anything sadder than a neglected lingerie drawer? At long last, you have a reason to figure out the difference between a bustier and a teddy!
5. You have somebody to cook for. There’s something lovely and fulfilling about your nourishing a loved one with food. (Obvs, you still rock our Random Single Gal Recipes sometimes, too.)
6. If you live together, you can split the bills … Your Time Warner Cable bill just got a helluva lot less painful. Bonus points if you get him/her on your cell phone plan!
7. … and you have a little bit of a financial cushion. Just realized your brunch place is cash-only? You’re saved from an awkward moment with your friends at brunch by those two $20 bills in your dude’s wallet.
8. Your books and DVD collection double. And if you’re really lucky, you can access to someone’s HuluPlus and Netflix accounts, too. Score!
9. Someone is kinda-sorta obligated to nurse you back to health when you’re sick. Because asking your roommate to pick you up Advanced Imodium is rather embarrassing.
10. You waste less food (at least I do) … Grocery shopping isn’t meant for single people. With the exception of single serving yogurts and microwave dinners, most food comes packaged family-size. Try as I might, I never managed to eat through half a dozen bagels before they would go stale. Sharing your groceries with someone else to means a lot less food wastefulness.
11. … but you generate more trash, wet bath towels, and dirty dishes. It’s incredible the way that being in a relationship affects how much laundry you have to do. Time for a chore chart, kiddies.
12. You’ve pretty much got a de facto designated driver / dog walker / cat feeder / plants waterer. Going out of town? There are less logistics to worry about when you’re in a relationship, especially if you’ve got flaky friends.
13. You have a date for events. Finally, you can really use that plus-one!
14. You have an excuse not to go to events. “Oh, we can’t fly to Alaska for Katie’s communion … my husband has a cold.”
Ways A Relationship Doesn’t Change Your Life:
1. You won’t stop wanting to masturbate (or crushing on The Gos). Don’t toss that Rabbit away just yet! Partners go out of town, or come down with the flu, or sometimes they’re just out late one night and you’re horny. Pleasuring yourself doesn’t stop being important just because you have a partner. And even if you only have eyes for your beloved, certain crushes won’t ever go away.
2. Money will still be tight. Partners can split cable bills and vacation costs. But unless you are extraordinarily lucky to be with a generous partner, you still need to cough up mortgage, credit card, and student loan payments. As I mentioned recently, “A man is not a financial plan.”
3. You’ll still be sexually curious and adventurous. Being “settled down” doesn’t mean everything settles down. Your “wild days” of singledom might be over, but being sometimes-maybe-kind-of-attracted to women or curious about sploshing doesn’t go anywhere. In fact, you may feel an increased pressure because now you have someone to explore all your fantasies with!
4. You’ll probably stay the same weight — if you don’t gain weight, that is. Miranda Kerr said she lost muscle tone after she and Orlando Bloom broke up and stopped having sex. But us mere mortals aren’t necessarily getting all our exercise from sex. In fact, couples are probably more likely to be cuddling at home with a bag of Chips Ahoy and Netflix. There’s a reason the phrase “relationship 10″ exists.
5. You still have all the same problems with your annoying landlord, crazy parents, your idiot friends, and your psycho boss. Okay, time for some real talk. Being in a relationship gives you someone to share life’s burdens with. What it doesn’t do is take those burdens away. Having a girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife doesn’t magically fix all the problems in your life, no wonder how wonderful your partner is. On Planet Single, it can often seem like the grass is greener on the other side and that someone with a partner is footloose and fancy free, happy all the time. But I can assure you, from Planet Relationship, that the only thing that’s different about coupledom is that there’s always someone to share a heavy load.
Anything I forgot? Let us know in the comments …
[Image of married couple via Shutterstock]