By Liam Murphy | @liamwaterloo

These relationship things can be tricky though, can’t they? They’re fragile little beasts that vary wildly from the wondrously joyous to traumatic, soul-sucking, bastard hell disasters, robbing you of your dignity, compassion and ability to function as a real live human. That’s why we’re here with a few tips to help make your next dalliance a hit and guarantee you a successful relationship*.

*Disclaimer: guarantee of successful relationship not a guarantee.

Never furiously text

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t send a text message while you’re angry (although that is a good tip), it means you should try and refrain from instantly replying to a casual text message, as nothing says ‘needy’ and ‘desperate’ more than a return message that flashes up on your phone literally seconds after the original was sent. Also, if the subject of your SMS doesn’t reply immediately, this does not mean you should then bombard him with follow-up texts along the lines of:

“Hey, I just wondered if you got my text? xoxo”
“Still no reply… just checking you’re OK xx”
“Hi me again, just seeing if my messages are getting through XxX”
“Still no answer…”
“Where are you?!”
“Right I’m outside your fucking door, I can see the light on”
“Why won’t you fucking answer me?!!”

Angry? Don’t drink

Alcohol is a wonderful thing. It makes you at least 50% funnier, 80% sexier and 95% cooler, and it is the single best invention in mankind’s illustrious history (alcohol stats invented for the purposes of humour). However, if you have had an argument with your partner or are pissed off with them for any reason, alcohol should be avoided. An abv beverage will transform what began as a minor tiff into something of apocalyptic proportions. When it comes to an inter-relationship row, alcohol becomes bastard fuel that drives you to a point beyond a reasonable and quick resolution. My responsible advice is to only drink to get absolutely wasted on a night out or to suppress unwanted emotions (I’m joking – please don’t do this kids).

Don’t be (too) honest

For the love of sanity never tell the truth, you idiots. I don’t mean actively lie about cheating or murder, just for your own self-preservation lie about the little things. If your other half cooks for you and it turns out to be a rancid inedible mess, just choke the meal down and smile. It will prevent the crushing of your partner’s ego and in the future just make sure it’s always ‘your turn’ to cook. When you wake up in the morning and your boyfriend turns to you and asks, “Baby, do I look rough?”, you should battle every urge to tell him that he looks like a bedraggled malnourished tramp. Instead you look him in his bloodshot, bag-ridden eyes and sweetly whisper, “You look amazing. I don’t know how you look this good in the morning.” Remember, he probably does it for you too.
The ‘love’ no-no!

I am referring to the casual over-used comments that we often make in day-to-day life, such as ‘I love wearing scarves’ or ‘I really love Dairy Milk’. While to us they’re frivolous throw-away lines, a significant other will bank these comments in the ‘future gift options’ part of their brain, meaning that every Christmas and birthday you will receive a present that is a variation on that theme. You may only ‘quite like’ Dairy Milk but in a partner’s bid to prove that he ‘really knows you’, he will bury you in a deluge of chocolate-related gifts. As you don’t want to hurt their feelings, you feign gratitude as you unwrap yet another selection box and force a smile to form on your disappointed lips. Over the years, resentment will build, until one Christmas morning you are arrested and hauled off by the police for bludgeoning your lover to death with a 1kg bar of Fruit & Nut.

Social media is evil

When you’re single, sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be wonderful networking tools and glorified online dating agencies, but once you enter coupledom they can be your downfall. If you are desperately insecure, paranoia will set in and you will spend hours trawling the Facebook page of your partner, analysing each added friend and posted picture. You will scream at the computer screen in a jealous rage every time an attractive person comments on their latest status update. You will obsess for days if they don’t respond to your request to register as ‘in a relationship’. For your own mental health, I advise you to switch off your laptop.

No sex assumptions

Being in a relationship means you’re immune to STIs and HIV, right? No, of course not. Don’t be silly. It’s understandable if you want to do away with condoms eventually when you’re in a relationship, but make no assumptions. Your new romance will last a lot longer if you don’t give each other the clap. Make it a fun day out: get tested together then go for a burger, and once you’re all clear, go at each other with abandon. And have that tricky conversation about monogamy first. It’s better to be safe, than sorry. And single.

There you have it, a complete run-down on how not to balls up your love life. I should probably add that domestic abuse and serial cheating are also major no-no’s, and love and trust are quite important too. However, paying attention to the tiny details might give your next entanglement some longevity. If it doesn’t, don’t blame me.