1. Get your hands out of your face. When you’re talking about your romantic feelings to the object of your affection, don’t constantly touch your face and cover your mouth and slur — it makes it seem like you’re hiding something…like you’re a liar and this is your tell (Nick).
2. Have some dignity when you get dumped. While it’s okay to tell yourself little lies to help get yourself over a breakup (see Cupcake’s love lesson #9 from last week), it is NOT okay to become a total dick. Joe went from telling Kaitlyn he’d fallen in love with her to giving her the cold shoulder — we’re talking Dairy Queen Blizzard cold — within a matter of seconds. While love and hate are two sides of the same coin, it’s a sign of true character when you can favor the love side even when your heart is breaking (and you’re being humiliated on national television). For a master class in being dumped with grace, self-respect, and dignity, (re)watch Jared’s departure last night from the show and learn. His parents raised him right.
3. Honesty is the best policy. The only way to know if someone is right for you is to reveal your true self to them, flaws and all (though being a woman with a healthy sex drive who acts on it is not necessarily a flaw). For instance, if one of the people you’re dating is under the misconception that you two are exclusive, then you’ve got to set them straight. Be gentle, be kind, but be forthright and unashamed.
4. Do the unexpected in a long-term relationship. When you’ve been with someone for a long time (like, 11 seasons), it’s easy to fall into a rut: you do the same thing, week after week, and some of the magic is bound to be lost. So remember to shake things up, try new things, do the unexpected. On The Bachelorette, that means sex sooner rather than later, fantasy suite dates before hometown dates, rose ceremonies smack dab in the middle of episodes, and behind-the-scenes morning-after room service scenes. It’s like we’ve fallen in love all over again with this show! Do the same in your long term relationship. Well, maybe don’t sleep with other people, just have something other than tacos on Taco Tuesdays…you get the idea.
5. Never underestimate the bonding-effect that novelty can have on a relationship. This is basically the same lesson as #4, but it bears repeating: There’s a reason why The Bachelor/ette sends its participants to exotic locales via exciting helicopter rides. The new and novel are like Miracle-Gro for relationships. Even something as simple as chatting with locals during your travels can make you feel the love. Also, drinking helps. So take a road trip, sign up for dancing lessons, go on a hot air balloon ride. At the very least, try out a new cocktail recipe.