If one of you is a Republican, this must be disclosed now.
(By “cat person,” I literally mean part cat.) If one of you is not out, this must be disclosed now.
End of Month Four: You have mutually introduced friends and also mutually masturbated.
If one of you has a birthday, a small, useful gift is required. You are now free to text other people when you’re spending time with your significant other.
Relationships are like soufflés: when you try and time them, they never work out.
Example: “For halloween, we should tots dress up as Marty Mc Fly and Doc from Back to the Future,” or “My mom makes a mean pot roast.Don't give up a single day for one singular opinion.No relationship is the same, and people who think they've had what you have are as delusional as those who think a specific timeline will save their relationship.There’s neither a set course nor allotment of years that makes it right. Some wait years to fall in love; others find it in a moment.How can you time relationships if you can't time love?If she has a favorite book, you have one week from now to read it.Unless it’s Remembrance of Things Past, in which case you have three years. Where there’s a rule there’s significantly less chance you’ll humiliate yourself when your expectations don’t line up with reality—that’s what I always say. The one time I tried to sell mugs, I had to truncate it to “Where there’s a rule there’s sig—” and no one knew what I was talking about but my mother bought 12 because she’s very supportive, which explains why I have two liberal arts degrees. You’re not yet allowed to sleep over, but you should make sure you both agree on at least one of the following: 1. End of Month One: At this point, you need to reveal the kink it will least freak you out to reveal.With rules, even if you choose to break one, at least you’re deviating from something concrete, plus you’re a rebellious rule-breaker rather than some clueless neurotic whose friends have started making excuses not to talk to you because they cannot spend one more second analyzing what your new girlfriend meant when she said, “I prefer french dressing to thousand island.” (You: “It’s such an obvious statement, right? Maybe, she’s really saying she wants to stop seeing me. Because one time she said I really seemed to intuitively understand her, so maybe this is a test and—” Your friend: “Look, this is really fun and everything, but I need to go hang out with Michelle Bachman.”)So for all of you desperate for rules to smooth the road to relationship bliss, I offer this Totally Arbitrary Relationship Timeline. Two Hours After First Date: Whichever one of you a frat boy would point at and say, “She’s the man, right? Jodie Foster’s neck looks old which makes her a brave holdout in Hollywood. In other words, if you must to peal a banana before sex and also you’d really like to be slapped with an Am Ex Black Card while listening to “My Heart Will Go On,” reveal the banana thing.It’s easy to say moving in after four months is a recipe for disaster and marriage after a year is asking for failure. The ones who waited five years to move in and 10 to get married? Because if we’re looking at the couples before us (our parents), their 52-percent divorce rate should not be something to take notes from. Singing about it, dreaming of it and praying for it. Why waste another minute, another second, another day denying yourself it?You don’t judge them for rushing, but when they get divorced, what are you judging them for then? We have a habit of trying to make patterns out of failures and rules out of love. Jump into it, drown in it, immerse yourself in the warm pool of it. Who cares if you’re going to move in together or get married?