Commitment-less commitments for when you're in love ... but also kind of aren't
There comes a time in some relationships when you start feeling like this person could be the one, but putting all your eggs in one basket could mean life with a possessive porcelain raccoon collector. Here are some things you can do to show you're only as minimally committed as you are.
Phase 1: Casually Dating
After a few long nights of rolling in the sheets, the best way to say, “Let’s see where this goes,” is to make breakfast. The most important meal of the day could be eggs benedict, or it could be your last bowl of Corn Flakes. Either way, it clears up your beer goggles and lets you see if this is the face you want staring back at you every morning. If not, you’re only out a bowl of Corn Flakes, and those are gross anyway.
Clean your house
Doing little things like picking up after yourself goes a long way. It shows you’re investing time in your new FWB’s comfort level. If you want said FWB to come back, it’s best to put the lotion back in the cabinet and clear away some of the beer cans. Nobody puts out on a pile of dirty laundry. If it doesn’t work out, you needed to clean anyway, and it’s not like you remodeled your kitchen.
Phase 2: It's It's Facebook Official
Provide a drawer
As our favorite Pearl Street hobo tells us, “Never let a woman leave her toothbrush at your house. That’s the beginning of the end.” If your idea of a happy ending includes someone drooling on your chest for the rest of your life, you’ll want to provide a toothbrush. A drawer just provides space for it. It shows the more-than-just-a-fling it’s cool to stay over for a weekend, but that looking (and smelling) like death Monday morning isn’t how you want to set the terms of the relationship. If it doesn’t work out, it’s easy to package up a drawer nicely, or set it on fire. We’ll leave that decision to you.
Provide access to your Netflix account
Sure it’s just old, weird movies and the first two seasons of the show everyone else just finished watching, but granting free reign to your queue slides the other person, just a little, into your space without say, co-signing a lease. It does mean your menu could be subjected to really horrible sitcoms; however, giving up a little control isn’t all that bad. You don’t have to decide for movie night, and if you can’t handle any more chick flicks, you can always change your password.
Provide your credit card, for a second
Netflix is one thing, your bank account is another, If you’re considering putting a ring on it, you should at least see if you’d want to be committed financially. Sending your new beau on an errand with all $700 of your life savings could be a big risk, but don’t lie; you’ve given your PIN number to strippers before. So is this really that bad? Best-case scenario, she’ll return with a six-pack and some condoms, worst-case, she buys a new dress and a bus ticket to Duluth. Cancel your card.
Make him/her your plus one
Inviting your girlfriend, eek we said it, to your second-cousin’s wedding in September means, “I like you enough that I think we’ll be together for a while.” Committing to something a few months out isn’t forever, but it shows you see some kind of a future and don’t hate the idea. In the meantime, you’ll be communicating about travel plans, coordinating outfits, and if it all goes well, you’ll have a hot date to show off. If all this planning makes you want to kill said significant other, there’s no shame is showing up to a wedding alone and trolling the wedding party.
Phase 3: When It's for the Long Haul
Buy a fish
If you feel like buying a living thing to solidify your commitment, a puppy is always the first choice, but it’s never a good idea. Mammals are needy, and if you’re not sure how long this fire will burn, you should go with something that is low maintenance and doesn’t live too long, like a fish. Fish are great because you’re committing to taking care of something together, and you don’t even have to feed it every day. If you break it off, you’re not stuck with a cat who never liked you. Plus fish tanks sell like hotcakes on Craigslist.
Provide a key to your apartment
This is a big step, and it means you never know when you’ll get a surprise visit. You may be on the shitter, watching porn or who knows. When you share your apartment key, you’re letting your lover know you’re at least willing to get caught with your pants down. It’s the last little commitment you can make before you really need to get this figured out. If your beau showing up at 9 a.m., unannounced, with doughnuts and coffee flips your switch, you made a good decision. If that really creeps you out and you can’t find any of your underwear, you should probably change your locks.