Partners come in many forms. The ethical and trendy choice lately has been to shop local: seeking out partners organically through friends of friends, in the workplace, or maybe even at Target. Perhaps you are more of an arm chair dater and prefer to slide into a virtual inbox of some sort — we don’t recommend this one (read: telling someone they “look really good” after not seeing them since high school). But maybe, you are looking for a more unique and challenging experience. You’re a self-described overachiever and people can’t quite figure out why you’re still single. If this sounds like you, perhaps a designer companion is more your speed. Designer companions do come with a hefty price — both monetary and emotional — and require a special diet and predetermined set of recreational activities, but if you follow the steps we outline below, you’ll have a sumptuous sweetheart lapping up iced matcha latte out of the palm of your hand in no time (just kidding, try this delicate and overpriced bowl from Goop).
So what makes a partner of the designer variety? Typically, a designer companion is a hybrid of two or more regular breeds. It is not at all uncommon to see a cross between a successful hedge fund manager and a highly educated individual who oversees a house and dabbles in interior decorating. You shouldn’t be intimidated by this pedigree; many times, something wild is thrown into the mix, like a paternal grandparent who has worked in a factory. Don’t be too fast and loose with the gory blue-collar details of your own upbringing, however. The designer companion may get scared off at the thought of a few too many half-siblings or low-income relatives. It is important for the designer companion to feel solidified in their positioning on the socio-economic ladder. The same goes for sharing personal hardships — the fragility of the designer companion’s ego is a very real thing.
Believe it or not, these couture creatures, neither rare nor hard to spot out in the dating world, are often hiding in plain sight. Designer companions are readily findable on most dating apps. A dead giveaway that a person might be a designer companion is seemingly innocuous boilerplate that often manifests as a laundry list of commands e.g. “All I ask is that you…; Don’t do this…; Be this…” One designer companion profile reads, “The way to win me over is enjoy skiing, you aren’t caked in makeup, care about important things, know about current events, be kind, and no cats and little dogs.” Although the designer companion may write with reckless abandon, completely disregarding the clarity that parallelism delivers, it is important for you to meet all prerequisites. Remember, you should be everything while they meet the bare minimum of dating etiquette.
This brings us to diet and exercise. We cannot stress enough that you get what you put in. Kombucha and sparkling water work well for this breed. Never from the tap. We aren’t exactly sure what happens when you feed a designer companion straight from the tap, but a few unconfirmed sources have cited irritability, patchy hair growth, and frothing at the mouth as common immediate side effects. And if you feel like running to the faucet after a late-night tryst? Fine, just drink it in the bathroom. Your baroque bedfellow will most certainly judge you for this.
Solid foods prove trickier, but with time, effort, and money, your country club bub will be stringing you along in no time for sure. Some recommendations: any pasta, noodle or broth should be made from scratch. Any animal product should be hunted, skinned, dressed, stored, and prepared all by yourself. Failure to do so will result in your designer companion’s inability to feel completely dazzled. Take it from the experts, few things are as disappointing as watching your fancy friend push their food around on their plate, reluctantly take a few bites, and scurry away without so much as a “thank you.” Fast food and chain restaurants are a no go. Your persnickety partner’s gut will not be able to handle the processed poor man’s kryptonite that is an all you can eat soup, salad, and breadstick at the Olive Garden. Trust us on this one, the only thing worse than a designer companion’s disapproval is the shame they perceive from an unintended, audible bodily function — the very kind for which they would judge you. Again, if you want to scarf down that Whopper Junior free of judgement, just do it in the bathroom where they can’t see.
Finally, and perhaps most crucial to the care of designer companions, is emotional maintenance and entertainment. It takes more than the old bag of tricks to keep these luxury lovers coming back for more. Interesting tidbit about the designer companion: pretty much everything down to the contents of their sock drawer is meticulously curated. Literature should be syntactically complex yet semantically vacuous. Music should be esoteric and, at times, disharmonious (Read: Ten contemporary jazz musicians no one has ever heard of). As for film, maybe it’s time you start coughing up the money for that Criterion Collection subscription. Any consumption of arts or entertainment on your part that might be deemed trashy, a guilty pleasure etc. should be done so ironically. The same goes for affordable food and libations. Remember, being poor or strapped for cash is only acceptable if it is done under the guise of Kitsch.
If you do find yourself slipping up and revealing any of the aforementioned imperfections to your snooty cutie, they will likely run away and hide in a dark place indefinitely. Fret not. If this happens, roll out a yoga mat (we recommend this really expensive one from Manduka), put on some b-side Sigur Rós and wait for your Cotillion Reptilian to saunter on back to your trashy ass. Remember, they don’t see you as a human, they see you as an option.
Speaking of the ways in which the designer companion views you, it is not at all unheard of for them to let slip a disparaging comment here and there about your thoughts, preferences, or body. Good news: behavioral modification is an option. Bad news: it’s your behavior that needs to do the changing. Perhaps, upgrade your Kirkland brand fleece for a more expensive Patagonia of undoubtedly the same quality. Places like Anthropologie and Free People are great options for spending a few hundred dollars on a piece of paisley fabric that screams, “I have no student loan debt and will become visibly uncomfortable if you talk about yours.” What do you, a vacuum-sealed bag of sweaters, and field mouse have in common? You’re all good at fitting in the dark recesses of someone else’s life. Observe, conform, and adapt should be your mantra if you want to keep your affluent admirer coming back for more.
But say that your circumstances change. All the while you get caught up in your own life, fallible health, and very non-nuclear family, slowly revealing quirks, malapropisms, farts, and unabashed vulnerabilities. You wake up one morning to learn that your designer companion has run away with little to no explanation in search of a better cruise director. It is okay, you are in no uncertain terms better off.