I spoke a few weeks ago about my bingeing/research I do on Netflix, and as I thought about it more, I noticed there is a veritable plethora of wisdom lying with me on the sofa. And so today, for your viewing pleasure, I present:

10 Things I Learned About Life and Relationship from bingeing on House of Cards, Gilmore Girls, and Mad Men:

  1. It’s important, as your empire grows, to stay grounded in routine with your partner and to do the self-care-like things that fill your cup. Whether it’s enjoying a cigarette in the window with your beloved at the end of the day or joining them for a run, there is value, connection and intimacy in these routines.
  2. It’s never a bad idea to get tidied up, put on something nice and greet your partner at the door with some slippers and a kiss when they return to you from their day out in the world. Having a soft place to land is critical and they will love knowing that they were missed.
  3. Ditch the expectation of reciprocity. When you do something nice for someone you love, let that be the end of the transaction. Don’t expect dinner with them every Friday night or to reciprocate and even things up in other ways. If you would like to see them more, ask for that to happen. Give your time, money, energy and help simply to give, not to get.
  4. It’s always a good time to have a nap. Or a cocktail.
  5. Err on the side of over-communication. Stop assuming and making up stories about what your mate is going through. For example, engage in a conversation about expectations when they meet the daughter they didn’t know they had and your engagement is suddenly completely in the air.
  6. Save your kindest and softest words for the people you love. Don’t take out your frustrations on the people you come home to. They deserve the best of you, even if you’ve lost a major account at work and your secretary suddenly left to go get married.
  7. Design your relationship to work for you. Ask for what you need. If that means that you need to have intimate relations with a reporter who can get you inside information, make that clear with your partner and keep your boundaries sacred.
  8. Ask for help, and avoid disappearing for weeks on an extended business trip. If you are in some sort of crisis, assume that the people who love you want to help you.
  9. Take some time to know how your partner loves you (a la The Five Love Languages.) It may be Acts of Service, like making repairs at the inn you own, or Gift Giving an expensive handbag or a tennis bracelet, but once you know, you can speak to your beloved in the language they prefer and meet them in a place free of expectation.
  10. It’s important to find (and be, to the people we love) someone who has our back, keeps our secrets, and looks out for us as we take over the world.

What say you? Agree or disagree? Do you have wisdom from Orange is the New Black? If you need me, I’ll be catching up on that before the next season comes out.

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