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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pillow Talk: This weekend, love is labor

    This holiday, realize love is labor.

    Don’t let me speak for the group, but I’ve seen one too many freshman couples walking around campus holding hands this week.

    Maybe you took my column last week as encouragement to go Facebook-official with the first person to compliment your newly bursared workout clothes at the gym, instead of engaging in some carnal trial and error like the rest of us.

    If so, you misread me, so untangle yourselves from each other’s lanyards and let me derail your delusions of romantic grandeur: relationships are hard work, demand their fair share of personal sacrifice and can hardly manifest in any worthwhile form if you met last week in the Panda Express line. There are plenty of common misconceptions when entering a relationship.

    First, you won’t get flowers and candy for every holiday or relationship landmark. We all had that friend in high school whose boyfriend went all Nicholas Sparks on Valentine’s Day and left a bouquet of flowers and a goddamn monogrammed message spelled with Skittles on her desk in every period. Meanwhile, you ate the bottom Skittle in the exclamation point of “I LUV U!,” hating your life, and hoped she wouldn’t notice. Not much has changed, as you’ll find an overzealous minority still partakes in this type of behavior in college.

    Don’t take this as an assurance of normalcy. In the year and a half that I’ve been with my boyfriend, I’ve gotten flowers twice, both times because of my unsubtle hints, which he rightfully began to interpret as threats. Essentially, I used intimidation and scare tactics to secure a plastic vase of roses.

    Were they beautiful? Yes. Am I proud of it? No. Because I realized how much effort he put in every day — chauffeuring me everywhere before I bought my car, paying for the majority of our dates and getting me a glass of water before bed when I used the infamous “Man, I already took my pants off” excuse. He delivers far more often than just on every societally-mandated excuse for celebration. His daily thoughtfulness is more than enough for me, and it should be for you as well.

    Appreciate the everyday moments, and don’t think twice about reciprocating — but never refuse the flowers. They might be a necessity once the honeymoon period ends and the fighting begins. You won’t need to a catastrophic blowout to make you feel like your relationship is coming apart at the seams, but disagreements of every shape and form are completely normal the more comfortable you get with each other.

    Not every fight will resolve itself through mutual understanding and the best make-up sex you ever had, though — it actually may be the last thing you want to do if you spent all night shouting obscenities instead of writing that paper you have due at 9 a.m. On the worst of nights, an apology will only seem like a ceasefire, after which it’s easiest to walk away, cool down and go to sleep instead of pulling some Cosmopolitan-derived, obscure sex tip out of your arsenal to get them to “like” you again. Sometimes you just need to cut your losses and let things play out without letting the physical side of your relationship interfere.

    When beginning a college relationship, it’s also important to be understanding of each other’s schedules and interests, and recognize when you simply can’t be the priority. There’ll be days when your schedules seem to overlap in all the wrong places and the only opportunity you’ll really get to spend any time together is when you’re both in REM sleep. Those days suck, but if you can weather the routine of not being together all the time, it shows you’re both prepared to move forward together, not hold each other back.

    Be understanding of last-minute plan changes, encourage each other after a long day and make yourself a positive addition to their life instead of a momentary distraction.

    I sincerely hope you all prove me wrong and make it past the one-month mark with hardly a blip in the radar. Shit, who am I kidding? Just make it through the long weekend, and then we’ll talk.

    Follow us at @wildcatarts and follow Kate @katenewton18.

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