You’ve been given plenty of advice about how to behave around men. By older sisters, by friends, by nosy aunts and well-meaning grandparents. “Never do this.” “Don’t talk about that.” “Always wear this.” “Avoid asking that.” All of this advice was given, of course, with the best of intentions. The people that care about you want you to end up with someone special that will treat you right, so they want to share all of their tips and tricks on how to do that. Unfortunately, most of those suggestions are in the form of dire warnings about things you should never, ever do.
Now, I don’t want to say that all your loved ones have been giving you terrible advice for your entire life. But I do want to remind you that I am a professional and that they’re not. And I think that the more rules you have governing your love life, the less room there is for fun, spontaneity and, well, love.
So I’m going to take six pieces of advice you’ve been given and tell you to throw them out. I promise you that your life, and your relationships, will be much easier.
Six Things That It Is Ok To Do Around Your Boyfriend, Despite What You May Have Heard
It is ok to fart. The next time you are sitting around with a group of friends, ask how many of them have passed gas around their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife. I’m willing to bet that at least half of the ladies you poll will say they’ve never in their lives farted in front of someone they’re dating. They probably cite the fact that farting is un-ladylike or a turn-off. While I agree that passing gas mid-coitus isn’t the most romantic thing in the world, keeping your tailpipe stoppered 24 hours a day around your man is just irrational. Men know that women fart. Holding it in isn’t fooling anyone. My advice is this – do your best to cork it up for the first couple of dates, but once you have the boyfriend/girlfriend talk, all bets are off. You’ll be much happier.
It is ok to complain about work. Both men and women often have issues opening up about work or school in a new relationship. They’re often scared that they’d scare a date off with their tales of the real world. Well I’m here to tell you that, so long as it’s done in moderation, you can certainly complain about work. People date because they want companionship, and one of the advantages of companionship is that companions will listen to your issues.
It is ok to gossip. Just like complaining, do this in moderation. But you are allowed to do this. Guys want to know about your friends, and their lives, and their conflicts. Many guys find it downright interesting to hear gossip, especially because there’s comparatively little drama between male friends. It’s like reality television to us.
It is ok to have an emotional meltdown. Some women are downright terrified of appearing to be emotionally weak in front of men. They bottle up their emotions in front of new boyfriends, serious boyfriends and husbands of ten years. I blame the inherent desire for “stiff upper lip” British sensibility. Well, it’s ok to cry, or freak out, or curl up into a ball. Bad emotions need to come out, and a boyfriend is a good person to unburden yourself to. So long as you don’t break down into shivering ball during your first date, you’ll be fine.
It is ok to wear your old pajamas. If a guy has seen you naked, it doesn’t really matter what clothes you wear around the house. It’s not like that ratty t-shirt and ancient pair of sweatpants will erase the image of a hot, naked you from our minds. Be comfortable, even if comfortable means wearing a marinara-stained pair of overalls.
It is ok to talk about the future. “Don’t scare a man off by telling him what you want” is probably the worst advice older women keep giving younger women. There is this ridiculous belief out there that the second a woman brings up commitment to a man she’s casually dating, he’s going to run for the hills. There is a small subset of men that clam up at the thought of a serious relationship, but most men are just as interested in finding the person of their dreams as women are. Does this mean that you should tell a first date all of the baby names you picked out for your future children together? No. But after a few dates, you can talk about whether or not you’re having fun. And after a few months in a relationship, it’s ok to talk about the next few months or years. No sane man is going to leave.