Steve Carell is an actor (and comedian, producer, writer and director) who transcends generations. He appeals to the young, the old, and is as relatable as they come. You can’t really say the same for Brad Pitt, amiright? From his time on The Daily Show to all of the characters he’s played in TV and movies, there’s no doubt that Steve Carell is wise AF.
Also, the funnyman who celebrates his 54th birthday today may be happily married with two (really adorable) children, but there’s no doubt that if you sat down for a cup of coffee with him, he’d totally get your relationship struggles. In fact, here are 12 dating lessons, perfectly illustrated by the all-knowing Steve fucking Carell.
1. A bad first date is worse than tuna you forgot to put back in the fridge overnight.
When you go on a first date with someone you think has potential, you’re sort of hoping it’s the last first date you ever have to go on. But when you meet and he’s nothing you expected, you die a little bit inside.
2. There’s a big difference between real love and puppy love.
The struggle is being wise enough to realize just what that difference is.
3. Even when you “won” the date, you didn’t really “win” the date.
In fact, competition is and always will remain the biggest challenge you’ll face while dating.
4. Reputation is everything.
The world is so small that chances are, you probably have at least, like, two mutual friends with the guy you’re sharing that appetizer with. When your date mentions [insert friend’s name], you instinctively shudder at the thought of him finding out about that thing that happened after you did two keg stands in a row that time at the beach.
5. Real talk: Dating is a song and dance.
You just lovvvve when the guy you’re dating tells you that he “doesn’t play games” and is always honest and direct with his feelings and emotions. Um, okay. Dating is a game. Bonus tip: So is marriage. The sooner you figure that out, the better you’ll be. That said, if you meet a guy who says that and means it, he’s a unicorn. Keep him.
6. Beauty is pain. Pain is beauty.
No Steve Carell list would be complete without referencing this infamous 40-Year-Old Virgin scene. Don’t tell me it doesn’t cross your mind when you’re getting your lady parts waxed in anticipation of some action.
7. Communicating is the single hardest hurdle of any relationship.
When your man pisses you off, your first reaction is to scream at the top of your lungs out of rage, but that’s kind of unhealthy. (I mean, that’s what they tell me.) If you don’t have good communication with your partner, you’re probably not going to get very far in your relationship.
8. You get really fucking tired of looking at your boyfriend’s face when you’re mad.
Related to the above point, you fantasize round the clock about bashing in your beau’s face when he does something to piss you off. This is normal. I repeat: This. Is. Normal.
9. Awkward as fuck compliments.
Ugh, when you want to say something nice about this new guy you’re really into, but instead you vomit words that don’t even form a complete sentence. You continue to replay this scene over and over again as you cry yourself to sleep.
10. Any good relationship can explode to bits and pieces.
Let’s face it. Just like a layoff you didn’t see coming, the end of a really good relationship is only a bad phone call or text or—worst case scenario—ghosting away. You never really know what’s going to send you (or him) over the edge.
11. Meeting new people is hard AF.
You spend most of your days at work, so it would only make sense that you might develop a little crushy crush on a colleague. But hey, that’s frowned upon and probably not the best idea anyway. If you break up, you have to continue spending time together and that’s just like showing up to hell and ringing the doorbell asking if you can come in for the day. NO.
12. You’re never as vulnerable as when you’re naked in front of someone.
Naked and trying to figure out what it is they like in the sack. Everyone is different and likes different things, so you’re inevitably going to have a few awkward moments as you get into the swing of things.
Related-ish: 10 Reasons You Should Be Single In Your Early 20s