Every now and then we browse Metafilter, a huge community question board, to stave off our boredom.
When we came across a board titled “What Clever Relationship Hacks Have You Come Up With?”, we couldn’t help but be grateful that we learned some relationship advice in the process of passing the afternoon hours.
To clarify, by “relationship hacks,” the original poster meant clever or unconventional ways to maintain healthy romantic relationships.
Since the forum received so much feedback, we’ve narrowed down eight of the funniest and presumably wisest relationship advice from real-life couples from around the web.
1. If you and your partner are indecisive about where to eat or what movie to watch, play the “5-3-1” game.
One person names five choices, the other vetoes two of them, and then the first person eliminates the remaining two. Ta-dah! No more, “Where you do want to eat?” “I don’t care, what do you want to do?” Q and A.
2. The person who cooks shouldn’t do the dishes.
It’s only fair!
3. Every cohabiting couple needs a separate room with a door that shuts, and maybe even locks.
You can use this room for napping, reading, listening to music, wrapping presents, having private phone conversations, or sulking.
4. Thank each other for everything.
It’s not necessary to get effusive when someone takes out the garbage, but it’s nice to show and be shown appreciation for even the most everyday obligations.
5. Don’t tell your partner that they’re wrong about insignificant things.
For instance, if your guy says that Steven Spielberg directed Star Wars, laugh a little on the inside, but don’t tease him for not knowing it was George Lucas. And for the love of God, do not correct each other’s grammar in public.
6. Let it go when someone admits fault, especially if it’s for something minor.
One couple suggested that you play, “FailDance” where the person who was wrong has to perform a song-and-dance routine after apologizing. In doing so, you replace the resentment and “I told you so’s” with a silly moment the two of you can share.
7. Think before you speak.
Whenever a difficult conversation keeps you from phrasing your thoughts coherently, ask your partner to give you a moment instead of trying to fill up the silence in the air, with whatever it is you have to say. Saying the wrong thing is much worse than an awkward break in the conversation.
8. Play the “He’s Not a Jerk” game.
Whenever you feel angry at each other, imagine that you’re a novelist (or a movie writer) assigned to write a story in which the jerk is the protagonist.
That way, you’ll have to rethink things from your partner’s point of view and make them sympathetic to readers and viewers. Oh look at that, now you’re seeing your partner’s point of view better, too. What a great game!
Denise Ngo is a freelance writer/editor who specializes in pop culture, fashion, science, faith, and relationship writing. She is the Managing Editor of Lovelyish.com and a writer for PopSci.com. Follow her on Twitter @ngodenise.