Going on holiday, eating dinner by candlelight, spending weekends celebrating anniversaries for every single thing you’ve ever done…
And sure, some of that does happen. You’ll explore the odd beach, consume meals by whichever type of light keeps bills to a minimum, and consume so much champagne (and by champagne, I obviously mean Cava) that you’ll spend an alarming number of Saturdays trying not to burp.
But the truth is that, most of the time, marriage is just real life spent in the company of another person. You still have to buy food, you still have to clean the hobs and you still have to wash your underwear – unless you’re richer than a Cadbury’s Caramel, there’s no escaping the mundane.
But that’s OK. All being well, you’ll have married somebody with whom you could happily sit and watch paint dry (and actually you’ll be surprised how often you end up doing just that). So if you are thinking of partaking in a spot of marriage, here are a few things you should make sure you enjoy doing together before signing up, otherwise married life might come as a bit of a shock…
1. Watching TV
I don’t want to spoil any illusions but married people do not spend every evening of their lives supping margaritas in fancy cocktail bars and toasting their excellent choice of spouse. Most of the time, they spend them watching telly. It doesn’t mean they’re no fun, it just means that they’re tired, enjoy sitting down and that even the happiest of couples need a few hours a week when they don’t have to speak. Magazines would have us believe that a couple who sits slack-jawed in front of Don’t Tell The Bride every week whilst they pile Doritos into their mouths is doomed to fail but I disagree. In this house we call that: Tuesday.
2. Home improvements
Making your home nice requires a lot of work. I know, I was shocked too. It takes time and effort and more trips to Ikea than any human being should have to endure. And when you’re married you’re required to do all of this together. It’s in the vows. And if you’re not talking about which room you want to change or wall you want to paint, you’re attempting to deal with whatever plumbing or electrical emergency has happened this time. Because stuff breaks. Light bulbs run out of light, boilers stop heating up, toilets stop flushing… It’s profoundly dull but unless you sort it out, things are going to get very cold, very dark and very gross very quickly. The trick is to be able to take some pleasure in figuring out how to solve even the simplest of problems. High-five when you’ve successfully phoned the plumber! Have a hug to celebrate changing a light bulb! Book a mini-break to reward yourselves for unclogging the sink! Do whatever it takes to find some joy, because this sh*t is still going to happen whether you like it or not.
3. Planning what the hell you’re going to eat
The problem with food is that you have to eat it every day. And unless you want to spend every evening of your life stood listlessly in front of the vegetable section of your local supermarket trying to figure out what on earth to cook, you’re going to need to do what we in the business call The Weekly Shop. In my opinion, if a couple can survive a trip out to buy seven days’ worth of food – or even a journey around the internet dropping food items into their virtual basket – without threatening to batter one another to death with a butternut squash, they’re onto a good thing.
It’s good to know what you’re letting yourself in for. If you can enjoy the simplest of things – the nights in front of the telly, the hours spent googling “how to fix a toilet that sounds like a foghorn when you flush it” – you’re set for a pretty happy life ahead.
And just think, for every new adventure – every plumber called or light bulb changed – is another anniversary to add to the list. And that, my friends, is worth drinking to.