When one enters a new relationship of the romantic leaning (especially after taking an extended break from such things) people tend to have opinions. However, whatever their opinion, in my experience, they all have one thing to say: CONGRATULATIONS!
I have only noticed this in the dating realm. Many a time, I have told someone, “I’m about to go meet a new friend for coffee,” and their reaction has never been exceedingly congratulatory with traces of relief. It generally lands more along the lines of a polite, “Oh cool!” with traces of, “Why are you telling me this mundane news?”
When you say, “Congratulations,” to news of someone dating, I hear, “You’ve finally made it. You’ve finally reached the next level of life. Advance ahead. Collect your $200.” And while I would never say no to $200 (like, even a shady $200 – tbh I’d probably still take it) I have no emotional connection to the hypothetical $200 referred to here.
If you’ve read this blog before or talked to me for any length of time, you know how I feel about this: I am of the firm opinion that dating, engagement, marriage, etc. is not a level of life to advance to, but simply one of many choices for a rich, satisfying, faith-filled, purposeful life.
So with that, here are 5 Things to Say to Your Friend Who Recently Started Dating Someone Awesome That Are Better Than “Congratulations”:
1.) WHEN CAN I MEET HIM?
If he’s as awesome as your friend is indicating, you really should meet the guy. Third-wheeling or double-dating is inevitably in your future and you’ll want to start securing your spot as his favorite friend as soon as possible.
2.) YOU GUYS LOOK SO CUTE TOGETHER!
Every couple wants to know they look the part. They also want to know you’ve been Facebook stalking them. Kill two birds with one stone by pulling out this timeless classic.
3.) WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT HIM?
This is a much more positive way of phrasing “what do you even like about this loser?” but still allows you to get pretty much the same result of knowing him and their relationship better.
4.) GAHHH, HOW FUN!
Dating is fun! You go to cool restaurants and have to pay for less liquids! You have a new person who thinks you’re generally not annoying and for the most part fun to hang out with! The above remark acknowledges all this without assuming that dating is the only way to have a fun and satisfying existence.
5.) YOU STILL LIKE ME MORE, RIGHT?
There you have it!
Five things better than “congratulations” to say to someone who started dating someone you’re pretty sure is awesome.
For the record, I am engaged now. And I will take ALL your congratulatory remarks. In fact, pop the champagne and allow me to tell you all about the proposal and the wedding planning and my fiance and make sure we’re in good lighting where my ring will sparkle as we chat.
Don’t ask me why it’s different. It just is.