If you want to be a better partner to your significant other, look no further than Philadelphia’s own cultural landscape for inspiration. We’re known for our iconic landmarks, our deep history, and our beloved high calorie treats. What do they say about the world around us? What secrets do these pairs hold and what lessons can we metaphorically take from them? Let’s squeeze out a fortune cookie’s amount of wisdom from these uniquely Philly duos, and apply this learned wisdom to our own dating lives.
Cheesesteaks and Cheez Whiz
Like whiz on thinly sliced rib-eye, you guys have to stick together no matter what. Life will throw some obstacles in your way -- a stale roll, hot peppers, greasy onions, what-have-you -- but when you’re a couple, you meet those challenges together.
The Art Museum and the Rocky statue
When dating, it's good to enjoy a mix of highbrow and lowbrow culture. Even though Philly has world-class restaurants and museums, we also have the best dive bars on the planet, too. Explore both in a night for a solid, fun date.
Washington Avenue and soft pretzels from Center City Soft Pretzel Co.
Yes, Washington Avenue is a hellacious stretch of chewed-up road, but it’s worth traveling on it when a box of warm soft pretzels waits for you at the end like a carb-loaded pot of gold. Relationships are the same way: you might have to endure some conflicts and (literal) bumpy roads from time to time, and that’s OK. It’ll help you move closer to a deeper understanding of each other, which ultimately makes your relationship stronger... especially when you gift a box of piping-hot pretzels as a peace offering for minor transgressions.
Old City's cobblestones and Franklin Fountain's ice cream
Anyone who’s walked on the cobblestones in Old City knows it’s best to slow down when traversing the smooth rocks, especially when you’re going to town on a hot fudge sundae. In a relationship, the same principle applies. If things are going well, don’t rush or antagonize your partner. For instance, after a great third date, don’t blurt out, "So what do you want to name our children?" You will be looked at with wide, frightened eyes, and never contacted again unless the other person is as weirdly eager as you. Unlikely! Slow down, and let your relationship unravel in its own time.
A kite string and a key
Ben Franklin discovered that something happens when lightning interacts with metal, just as there happens to be a reason you're with the person you're dating. Some combination of experiences occurred to get you two in the same room, and sparked an interest beyond hooking up for a night. Keep that passion alive through small gestures. Write each other sweet notes, buy each other little presents, and protect the connection you share at every opportunity.
Cheap beer and the Mummers Parade
Just as some Mummer showed up with a case of Yuengling to share with everyone at the parade, go into your relationship with an open heart. Give your time, your attention, and your warmth -- and maybe an occasional case of Yuengling -- freely.
Plastic spoons and water ice
What’s water ice without a spoon? A giant cup of sadness, that’s what. And sadness sucks. You can meet life’s challenges better when you work together as a team. Each of you play an essential part in making the effort work... especially when you're taking turns spooning water ices into each other's mouths. Get a room, you sickos.
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Anna Goldfarb is a writer who really loves looking for metaphors in her foodstuffs. Follow her @AnnaGoldfarb on Twitter and Instagram.