Sex & Relationships

Pretty, Pretty Good…Relationship Advice From Larry David

One of the things that made Curb Your Enthusiasm so great was the impression that no scene was ever too far from something Larry David did (or would do) in real life. This uncanny realism may have been an illusion, but assuming the Larry on the HBO series is fairly close to the real-life Larry, what lessons can we learn from a bald depressive schlump who makes good?

Here are some ways that curbing your enthusiasm can be good for your love life and help lead to a happier marriage.

Cherish Every Part of Her (Even The Ones That Stick In Your Throat)

Sometimes the guru teaches by negative example–for example showing us behavior that will definitely not lead to the supreme quiescence of nuptial equipoise. In the same way, with Curb’s frequent references to choking on a short hair, perhaps Larry is trying to give us a message. Maybe he is sacrificing his own self-image to demonstrate how inelegant it would be to complain about the rigors of love.

As with any kind gesture of this nature, if you grumble afterwards, it kind of ruins the effect. Anyway, apparently the 1970s au natural look is back in style, so chances are you may find yourself trekking through some heavy bush in the near future. It’s likely there will be casualties, but this is the price of love.

When Push Comes To Shove, Get Up In That Ass.

Calm down, we’re not talking about anal sex. We’re talking about manning up.

Getting married means a lot of things, but one of the most essential elements of marriage is a commitment to really being a man. Now, the word “man” is subject to interpretation, but it definitely requires standing up for yourself. This may mean standing up to your wife, or it may mean standing up for your wife.

We’re talking about primal situations here. Fisticuffs. Frontier-style justice. Saturday afternoon at Chuck-e Cheese. The world is full of crazy bastards. As a man—and especially as a fiancé or husband—you must be ready to throw down at any time. Learn from Leon: you must get up in that ass.

Don’t Lie, But Don’t Always Be 100% Honest, Either

Lying is bad. Don’t do it. But let’s say somehow your girlfriend or wife has a mistaken idea—and you’re not sure how she got it in her head—but it’s an idea that paints you in a positive light, despite not being, strictly speaking, true. Are you morally obligated to correct her? We say no.

For example, let’s say you once pitched a story to a magazine for Pokemon card collectors. Somehow, your fiancé misheard and has taken to introducing you at cocktail parties as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Who are you to deflate her dreams?   The point is, you may not be a hero in real life. But you can be a hero to your wife.

Accept And Embrace Her Wild Side

The key to good sex is to be generous and open. Your fiancée or wife should feel that nothing is off-limits in bed. She can indulge any kink she likes and you must not only not be shocked, but you must join in, no matter where she takes it.

This doesn’t just apply in bed. While we don’t think you should automatically agree with everything your partner says, you need to approach even her most problematic ideas with an open and patient mind.

Don’t Be Rigid


Communication and flexibility are crucial for healthy relationships. In the above example, Curb Larry refuses to give two teenagers Halloween candy, and is rewarded with a front yard toilet papering of nuclear proportions.

The real lesson comes when Cheryl yells at Larry: “You’ve got your own set of rules! And you think everyone’s going to adhere to them, but they’re not because nobody knows them.” This is something  we are all guilty of. It’s important to communicate your expectations. Help your partner understand your point of view.

Most importantly, if you want to play by your own set of rules, you need to face the consequences. Real life Larry and Curb Larry both got divorced. Sometimes it’s good to stand up for what you believe in. Sometimes, especially if you want to stay married, you have to forget what you believe in and go along to get along. Just give them candy, and don’t be a bald asshole.

—Dimitri Ehrlich

Bottom Line

Next time you stumble on an old episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, look for the hidden lessons that will take your relationship to a whole new level.

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