Being in a relationship is not for the faint of heart. Or those with no sense of humor. The weird and funny moments every couple has just stack up, year after year, like dust on your legendary first date dress. It's partly because you're human and you're letting your walls down, and it's partly because you're getting closer (too close?) and more comfortable with each other. And it's also partly because you're over hiding all your inner weirdness.
When I worked with couples as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I had more than a couple laughs with couples who thought the weird things they did, or the random, off-the-wall things they fought about were a problem, when really, they were just the regular, albeit funnier, parts of being in a relationship.
So if you're in a relationship and sometimes you look at each other and think "we can't be normal," just know you're not alone. Use this as an opportunity to look at the silly or awkward moments of your relationship as some of the best parts. Because really, when you can be open enough with someone to sing the Dora The Explorer theme song during your non-sexual joint shower, it's a beautiful thing.
1. Suddenly Remembering That You're BFF
You're at some sort of gathering and someone says something absolutely bananas to you or your partner. You can spidey-sense each other eye-rolling on the inside. You're practically having a fictional conversation in your head with each other and the person spouting nonsense, and you can't wait till they leave so you can be like "OMG, can you believe that person?!" and laugh times infinity. Because you're totally BFF.
2. Ridiculous Confessions That Are Actually The Best
You walk into the kitchen and your usually-pretty-serious partner is getting their life to some serious '90s Ricky Martin. I'm talking "Shake Your Bon Bons" or something. They stop dead in their tracks, busted. "What? Now you know I have a weak spot for Ricky Martin." You both erupt in laughter, and you admit that you sometimes pretend you're a hamster when you eat baby carrots. And then you demonstrate. And neither one of you ever lives this moment down. You get the idea.
3. Cabin Fever Delirium
You've spent way too much time together, at home, doing nothing, and you're starting to get a little stir crazy. The dance moves come out. The nonsensical jokes. The awkward singing. The uncontrollable giggles over things that aren't even funny. You start naming your children. Talking about whether it's more financially advantageous to have a tennis baby or a basketball baby. You sing-narrate what you're doing. You almost poke your partner and say, "I'm not touching you." And then you take a nap.
4. Sex Acts Gone Hilariously Wrong
The condom flies across the room. The strap for the strap-on breaks. Someone falls off the bed. Some weird sound or fluid happens, and it's hilarious. You try to bust out a new move and the response you get is "stop, what in the heck are you doing?" Maybe you're on your couch and a friend or family member walks into your house without knocking. Maybe you're really into it, and then realize the dog is licking your butt. Maybe you fall asleep in the middle. It happens!
5. The Realization That You Are Way Too Close
It's just an average day, and you're doing your average routine. And then suddenly it dawns on you that you're in the bathroom together and you're both doing something that's kind of gross, and neither one of you has batted an eyelash. Or maybe you're watching Netflix and you barely notice that your partner is trying to pop a pimple somewhere on your body because it's the millionth time it's happened. Yeah, that's a lot of closeness.
6. Embarrassing Each Other In Front Of Friends And Family
You're partner tells you, "No matter what you do, don't mention the president to my grandma, she hates him." So in a moment of panic, you ask her grandma about the president, and then the dinner erupts into arguing, and everyone is mad at you. Or maybe you accidentally break your mother-in-law's urn that contains her husband's ashes. Stick around long enough and you will do something terrible that makes your partner embarrassed to know you.
7. Fighting That Turns To Laughing
You were super serious that the time when you brought up how your partner's unwillingness to get a cat was really a deeper symbol of their unwillingness to have children and start a family with you, but somewhere in the middle of the debate, you realized the nonsense coming out of your face and you both started laughing. Sometimes you go back to fighting, but mostly the laughter just ends things.
8. Realizing That You're Super Old And It's Wonderful
It's the freakin' weekend and you're about to have you some fun. If by fun, you mean watching Netflix in your underwear and falling asleep on the couch with pizza crumbs on your chest. That's right. You're those people now. No crowds, no overpriced drinks. No yelling to be heard. No hours of makeup and body hair removal. Just your person, your blanket covered in dog hair, and some movie about the zombie apocalypse. Bliss.
9. Texting Each Other From Inside The Same Space
I'm not talking about texting each other while you're sitting next to each other at a party. I'm talking about totally lazy texting. You're on the toilet and you text your partner to see what they're doing. You text from the bedroom to have your partner check on whatever's in the oven. Or you're in the living room and you text your partner to bring you something from the bedroom. Sure, you could get up, or even yell, but effort.
Welcome to the close, weird, wonderfulness of being in a long-term relationship. It's the best.