Weird But Important Relationship Milestone: Becoming Each Other’s Emergency Contactby Lauren Passell on April 17, 2012
It took my boyfriend and I more than 2 years of dating, living together for a year and a half, and three hospital trips (all his) to get to the “Emergency Contact” phase in our relationship. Each time he landed in the hospital, the process was made more difficult because we had not reached this agreement beforehand. If you’re in a serious relationship, talk about your Emergency Contact status now! And if you’re not, get an Emergency Contact who actually makes sense. (Not: your mom who lives several states away — or Papa John’s.)
If your boyfriend (or girlfriend) is particularly accident prone, you should be his (her) Emergency Contact. Not to be overly bleak, but it’s only a matter of time before someone who’s accident-prone is going to be hospitalized again. For someone who never gets hurt, it doesn’t matter so much. But an accident prone guy needs his Emergency Contact to be you — the person who will legitimately be the first person to run to his aid when he is hit by a cab or mugged or whatever. Because guess what? As much as his mom loves him, she lives in Ohio and doesn’t have a transporter.
If you are living together or even just definitely dating, you should be her Emergency Contact. I can see how it’d be a little awkward to use each other for Emergency Contact at the beginning of the relationship. (“Why is this form making me define our relationship when we haven’t even defined it yet?”) The Emergency Contact form might be your first official document together. As dumb as this sounds, it was sort of revolutionary the first time I filled it out with my boyfriend’s name instead of my mom’s. I was like, wow, this is getting real.
Bonus tip #1: This is nerdy, but if you are super paranoid about it, save your boyfriend or girlfriend as “Emergency Contact” in your phone. If someone finds it, they’ll know who to call immediately. And actually, who cares if it’s nerdy? It’s actually sort of funny.
Bonus tip #2: How about memorizing your SO’s cell phone number? Thanks to cell phones, nobody memorizes phone numbers anymore. But what if you don’t have your phone? What would you do? Call Papa John’s? Your best friend’s old house in Minnesota? It’s important to memorize a more relevant number. (And then sure, call Papa John’s, too. Trauma can make a girl hungry.)