4. Spending a long-weekend away in a hotel that only has basic cable (or worse: no TV). Granted, you’re not forced to sit in close proximity to one another, but this is unmitigated, inescapable, your-partner’s-giant-face-everywhere-you-look for a solid 72 hours. If that sounds horrifying to you, you will die alone. But if you’re OK with that, congratulations, you’ve passed another relationship test. Bonus points if the long weekend is bookended by road trips. That’s the gauntlet, right there. That’s the relationship version of the Eliminator from American Gladiators.
5. The first time one of you sleeps over … and forgets their toothbrush. There’s a difference between “well, we just banged so I might as well create a nest for myself and sleep here” and “I’m bringing an overnight bag.” The latter is much more serious because it’s way less sexy. It’s more about everyone’s weird bedtime routine and how they look brushing their teeth. Think about the fact that this is what you’ll (potentially) deal with every night for the rest of your life until one of you dies. And even then, we don’t know what happens in eternity. Maybe when you die, it’s just you in a room watching your partner vigorously brushing their teeth … forever. Who’s to say?
6. The first time you have a drunken, overblown fight about something you could never even describe to another human being. This fight will be about nothing. Literally nothing. You might even be agreeing on something, but you’re too drunk to work out the incongruous semantics of what the other person is drunk yelling in your face. You will fight for hours, pausing only to stew in a silence so heavy it has a physical presence during the cab ride home. Your cab driver will charge you an “uncomfortable silence fee.” And then you’ll go home and scream at each other about how “tomatoes aren’t fruits” (they are) for three more hours. You might even break up and have to reconcile in the morning.
7. Meeting parents. Any parents. Most people would rather meet a rabid bear on fire than meet their significant other’s parents. Because even though the bear would probably overpower you and dig straight through your chest cavity like you were made out of sand, at least the bear wouldn’t stare at you uncomfortably for two hours because it knows you’re banging its son or daughter.
Also, people’s brains short-circuit when they meet someone’s parents. It’s like they forget how to interact with other people. If you can survive your partner making a wildly inappropriate joke where the punch line manages to be offensively sεχual and racist during dinner with your parents, you’re in it for the long haul.