always be my maybe movie

Over the years, Cup of Jo readers have shared gold in the form of their relationship fears, hopes and dreams. Here are 12 wonderful comments on relationships…

On turn ons:

“Consent is so sexy. I’ll never forget the guy (one night stand in another city) who told me in a kind voice, ‘Just tell me if you wanna stop at any point.’” — Katie

“Women with tan legs wearing shorts and white sneakers kill me. I’m also a sucker for a top knot held in place by a pen or whenever my wife bites her lip while concentrating.” — Rosie

On being single:

“I’m 27, and it’s true that dating is sometimes fun and sometimes not. Middle-aged coworkers romanticize my dating life, but there are so many unwritten rules relating to texting, social media, calling, etc. It’s stupid and weird and miserable and magical at the same time (if you got that, let’s be friends). But I always remind myself that my person, whoever and wherever they are, is worth it.” — Meagan

“I’m 31, bi and single. I’ve spent lots of time wishing I had partner intimacy, but I finally realized that there was never anything lonelier than the times in my twenties that I spent lying next to someone who was wrong for me. I really enjoy my own company, and I’ll be spending the rest of this year taking myself on the dates, trips and adventures that I was waiting to do with ‘the one.’ I’m the one for me.” — A.E.

On relationship advice:

“It’s okay to be unsure at the start of the relationship. Maybe you, like me, are skeptical of people who aren’t already your friends. I would go on dates and count the minutes until I could go hang out with my actual friends. It wasn’t until I told myself that it was okay not to be excited at first that I met interesting people. If I had initially judged my now-husband by the same standards I held my friends to, I’d never have had the chance to fall in love.” — Sam

“I once read that the things you intially find endearing about your partner become the things that drive you nuts years into the relationship; the best advice is to choose to continue finding those qualities endearing. My husband has a grand total of 10 jokes that he recycles with everyone, from flight attendants to grocery store clerks. Four years in, I could feel myself beginning to roll my eyes. But then I remembered that he IS charming and funny. I’ll always choose to love his antics.” — Madylyn

On being inclusive:

“I find it refreshing when people make an effort to say ‘partner’ instead of boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, etc. When someone uses neutral language, I’m always relieved and feel like I have the space to refer to my wife in a way that feels like a natural part of the conversation and not a correction of someone’s assumption.” — Jess

“What people don’t tell you when you first come out is that coming out isn’t a one-step deal. You need to keep doing it over and over, with every new friend, landlord, job, pet adoption agency, etc. I’ve found it works best to be as casual as possible, so when I go into my new job and my boss asks if I’ll be at the company picnic, I say nonchalantly (as I panic inside), ‘Yeah, I’m bringing my girlfriend and we’re excited!’ When that new friend asks if she can come over for spaghetti and Scrabble, I say (while breathing deeply), ‘Of course! I can’t wait to introduce you to my girlfriend!’ The world is scary but I have too much love for myself and my girlfriend and the life we’re building together to let fear win.” — Gill

On breakups:

“I went through a heart-wrenching breakup, which resulted in my feeling worthless, stewing in sadness then boiling rage, picking up poetry along the way, writing a whole book, sending it into a poetry competition, and winning. The book is in print AS WE SPEAK. It’s so exciting and wouldn’t have happened had I stayed in that relationship. If that’s not a badass way to heal a broken heart…” — Tihana

“If you get divorced, you have not failed. You have succeeded in finding out this is not the person for you. You have succeeded in teaching your children to not stay with a person or in a position that makes you unhappy. You have succeeded in demonstrating what a healthy, well-balanced person looks like in and out of relationships. You have succeeded in showing them to trust their guts because they will know when it’s time to leave. You have not failed.” — Caroline

On long-term love:

“My biggest advice is that, once you’re together, it should feel easy. When my husband and I started dating, I worked long hours at my tech job. He hated his job. We were both broke. The outside world was hard. But when it was just the two of us, it was easy. We’d stream free movies and I’d make dinner from pantry ingredients. We’ve been married for 10 years, and he’s still my partner in everything.” — Quinn

“I’ve been with my spouse for 16 years, but our ‘status’ subtly changes, month to month, year to year. Some weeks we’re roommates. Sometimes new lovers. Most often, just great friends who are lucky to live together. A few weeks ago, I reread an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin: ‘Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.’” — Ashley

What are your thoughts on relationships these days?

P.S. Nine reader comments on romance and a funny thing that happens in relationships.

(Photo from the movie Always Be My Maybe.)