It all makes sense, we promise.
A recent article in the Times explained why the social and sharing skills that you learn in preschool help you succeed in the workplace — and probably more so than any of the test-taking skills you learn later on in your school life.
Reading that piece, we realized that the exact same thing could be said about your dating and love life.
So here are our top 8 preschool skills that you should brush up on to improve your love life (and apologies if the analogy makes anyone feel icky — remember, we’re talking about adults using these preschool skills with each other, duh!):
1. How to Share
No matter how spoiled little Johnny has been at home, or how often he beat up any siblings who came near his stuff, he’ll have to share his toys when he gets to preschool. Also, one thing Johnny learned in preschool is that bringing toys along to a playdate just makes that playdate more fun, even if you fight over who gets to use the remote control.
You get where we’re going with this, right?
2. How to Cooperate
Working together is important whether you’re performing “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” or trying to figure out the appropriate amount of jealousy in a long-term relationship. Group skills will become particularly important if you decide to expand into, you know, group activities.
3. How to Take Turns
Me then you then me then you sounds like a recipe for life-long bliss to us.
4. How to Follow Simple Directions
Sex is complicated, and orgasms are even more so (especially the female kind), but there’s no reason why talking about sex should be complicated. Especially if the person on the listening end remembers how to be a good listener.
Criss-cross, apple sauce, everyone!
5. How to Communicate Wants And Needs
See above — if it’s important to follow simple directions, then it’s just as important to give simple directions.
Preschool is the first time many children are dropped off somewhere by their caregivers, and this where they learn to speak for themselves, ask for help, or say what they want and need.
Think of how much better your love life would be if you could say these simple things without making a big deal out of it: It hurts my feelings when you say that; It makes me jealous when you do that; I don’t love that thing you do; I might like it if you did this other thing; What if we played something else?
6. How to Ask Someone to Play
Remember back in preschool how boys asked girls to play and girls asked boys to play and nobody made a big deal out of it or thought you were desperate or weird? Remember how, if someone didn’t want to play, you just found someone else to play with? Remember how good you were at finding someone whose interests matched your own?
Yeah, we miss those days sometimes.
7. How to Put Away Your Toys
Imagine how much better your relationship would be if you never had to get annoyed at your partner for leaving their dirty socks on the floor or spraying the bathroom mirror with toothpaste from your mouth.
8. How to Be Polite
Good manners make the world a better place. Say please and thank you. Wash your hands before and after eating, and before and after other stuff, too. Call if you say you’re going to call. Don’t give out your number if you don’t want someone to call. If you agree to a playdate, you better show up.
Okay, so maybe in preschool the rule is, “You can’t say, you can’t play,” which doesn’t quite work for adults. But, at the very least, we should work on rejecting someone nicely.
This article was originally published at Em & Lo. Reprinted with permission from the author.