Home Pop Culture How To Tell If They Are All That, Plus More: A Guide...

How To Tell If They Are All That, Plus More: A Guide To Assembling The Clues.



I’ll admit that this item is tricky, and is almost an art form if it is well-executed: if they attempt the integration of your lives too soon, they risk scaring you away with their over eagerness; too late, and they risks you leaving them because you’ve decided that “they’re just not that into you.” But there is nothing that brands a potential lover “All That, Plus More” more effectively than the successful and organic integration of you into their own life, and the insertion of themselves into yours. Of course here I refer to those milestones that occur in all relationships, eventually, if they’re intended to go anywhere: the first evening out with his circle of friends, introducing them to your own friends, etc. But I also refer to their expressed interest in your passions, in your career, in your daily life, in those people in your life about whom you care. Anyone can inquire, at the end of any day, “How was your day, my dear?” and immediately cease to listen as you chatter on about exciting project [X] and annoying colleague [Y]. But it takes a special kind of person to really, as I once wrote of one of my own lovers, take an interest in your work, and your passions, even if your career “bores them to the Seventh Circle of Hell.” They should make it obvious that they care as much about your unique life, separate from their own, as you care about theirs. It’s a very big mile marker on the highway to becoming “All That, Plus More.”


While I am not a fan of public displays of affection, pet names, or “bits” that couples tend to fall into (e.g., “cute baby talk” with each other, etc., ad nauseam), I am a fan of The Random Act Of Romance: those entirely unexpected moments or gestures that take you completely by surprise and make you feel treasured in a way that very few other things do. So I believe that anyone who is also a fan of The Random Act Of Romance (or at least convincingly acts as if they were) should receive thunderous applause for being so. It’s always nice when The Random Acts are orchestrated and extravagant (the gifting of one present on each day of your birthday month, the taking of random days off from work simply to drive you to your favorite pancake house in the middle of the next state, etc.), but they needn’t be. They may be as simple as a handwritten note hidden in your bag where you’re sure to find it later, at some point during your day, with a private joke or reference inscribed on it to make you laugh; or the delivery of a single stem of your favorite flower (which they should know from experience) with a card attached bearing a single line from what they know is your favorite 17th century English poet. It may read as silly as public displays of affection look to me, but an affection for The Random Act Of Romance is a sure sign that he or she is “All That, Plus More.”


The quality that has always ensured that a potential lover was “All That, Plus More,” however, at least for me, is a pronounced and passionate fearlessness, in their life, and in their love. Should they be unabashedly unafraid of trying new things, of having new experiences, should they take obvious pleasure in trying out those new things with you, and in leading you into those new experiences behind them, should they be unapologetically unhesitant about jumping into the abyss that is a relationship with you, then it will show. They won’t be able to hide it. And that, my friends, is when you know, beyond any doubt, that your potential lover is “All That, Plus More.” Because it is that same fearlessness that will stare back at you mischievously, as it did in my recent First Crush Dream, years after you first met, and suggest, rather playfully, that you do it all over again.