With Every Heartbeat, I Want You Madly

Around the internet, Listful Thinking is well-known for doling out the sagest relationship advice, like the time I suggested skipping the flowers and giving your lover a potato, or the time I told you how to convince someone with cool hair to make out with you and rhymed purple with slurple. A lot of people come to me for advice on their love lives. So many people. I’m shaking the people off with a stick, that’s how many there are.

The only reason they are not pictured here is that they all happen to be camera shy.

The only reason they are not pictured here is that they all happen to be camera shy.

Ok, fine. No one comes to me for relationship advice. This is probably wise, considering that up until last year I had to use the word “boyfrond” instead of “boyfriend” to keep my commitment-phobe panic attacks to a minimum. They do come to this dumb blog, though.

The second-most-popular search term people use to find Listful Thinking, right behind “model Jepang sexi”, is “how to trick someone into loving you”. I feel pretty bad about this, because the post itself is actually kind of a trick. You think it’s tips but it turns out to be a self-righteous lecture about why tricking people into loving you is rude and creepy. Sneaky.

To assuage my guilt over that bait-and-switch, and also because it’s almost Valentine’s Day and I want everyone to know what love is (but mostly to assuage my guilt), I’ve written a new list. I promise it’s not a lecture this time, and I’ve even arranged them by level of difficulty. I guarantee that at least one of these things will probably, almost definitely, sort of work. Especially if you’re not afraid of fire.

How to Seduce Someone with Lists

Minimal Amounts of Effort

1. List the most romantic lines of poetry you can find. If she’s essentially illiterate, she will believe you’ve written the world’s most sensuous poem. If she recognizes the lines, tell her that you’re simply demonstrating that the most passionate words in all of literature pale in comparison to the actual passion you feel for her. Smooth.

2. List 5-10 original variations of “I love you more than a fat kid loves cake”. You can go romantic, or you can go humorous. Do not mix the two. You can’t follow up something like “I love you more than the gentle sea loves caressing the silky sands of the shore” with “I love you more than Jamie Lee Curtis loves that yogurt that makes you poop.” It’s not a good idea.

3. Make a playlist based on him. This one’s easy because love songs, like ants, outnumber the humans on this planet. If you’re feeling cute, make him a mix tape. He won’t be able to play it because cassettes are absurd relics, but twee is in right now.

4. List your former valentines. Stare deeply into her eyes as you set it on fire in front of her. Mouth the words, I love you. Never look back.

5. Search for “romance” on Twitter. Email him a screenshot of the results, with a sweet note about how every single thing those complete strangers said rings really true when it comes to your relationship.

"Yep. All of these apply to us."

“Yep. All of these apply to us.”

Medium Amounts of Effort

6. List chores you’re willing to do for her. Bad news: you’ll actually have to do them. Good news: if she likes you enough, you don’t have to do them well. If you make her bed and it looks like a five-year-old did it, she’ll think your incompetence is adorable and she’ll never ask you to do it again.

7. Write a romantic list that’s vaguely about him for Buzzfeed. Include enough Gossip Girl gifs, Doctor Who references and cat photos to ensure that it gets passed around the internet. When he complains about it clogging up his Facebook feed, reveal its loving origins.

8. Find a love spell on the internet. List all the steps. Perform them exactly, taking special care with your powdered worm bones and vacuum-packed chicken fur. Burn the list under a full moon. Never tell anyone you did that, because it’s super crazy and people find that off-putting.

9. Write a list of her nice qualities and put it in a ring box. Get down on one knee and present the box to your long-term girlfriend who’s been expecting a proposal for months. Surprise! It’s not an engagement ring! She’ll love your hilarious hijinks.

10. Write a rhythmic list of things you like about him. Read it onstage in a hip coffee shop while a ponytailed man plays wandering guitar melodies behind you. Shout! Whisper! Get angry for no reason! Congratulations. You’re a slam poet.

Slow it down, add one of these, and now you're a beatnik.

Slow it down, add one of these, and now you’re a beatnik.

Maximal Amounts of Effort

11. Tell her one reason why you love her. Give her a different reason the next day, and the next day and the next, and continue this for three to five years. Compile these reasons in an enormous list. Slip this list under her pillow while she sleeps, flaunting the parameters of your restraining order.

12. Write/direct/star in five to ten successful, critically acclaimed films based on your love. Try to win an Academy Award or three. Engrave a list of the titles of the films in tiny script on the inside of a diamond ring. Take her to a fancy restaurant and slip the ring on her finger as you whisper “I did it all for you” and look out over a moonlit lake. Oh. You’ll also need to find a restaurant overlooking a moonlit lake. That will be the hardest part.

13. Hire skywriters to list the things you love about him… IN THE SKY. This one is easier for you and the skywriters if you don’t love that many things about him.

14. List 100 romantic gestures and publish it as a feel-good, Hallmarky book. Make millions of dollars off of sappy schmucks. Buy a yacht with the profits and name it after him. Propose to him on it while you’re way out to sea so he has to say yes.

I love you more than a weighted body bag loves sinking deep, deep into the briny depths.

I love you more than a weighted body bag loves sinking deep, deep into the briny depths.


  1. Blueberry&Pinks

    This is absolutely brilliant, I love the way you write! Thank you for posting, really put a smile on my face! :) xx

  2. Lily Rosen

    Hi I have been following your blog for a while and I really enjoy it. I have been keeping my own blog, more of an artist blog and although our two blogs are pretty different I think it would be great if you checked mine out as well. My blog is lilybunny.com let me know what you think and maybe follow if you like. Thanks I really appreciate it :)

  3. Jeremy

    As promised, I set aside my 75 pages of law school reading to comment (and finally get a chance to read one of these for the first time in forever). 97 more comments to go…I took your silence to be acceptance to the 2 posts on Facebook as counting :).

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