How to Make Sure Your Relationship Doesn't End Up Like the Fyre Festival

What Not to Do: Exhibit A

What Not to Do: Exhibit A

By Justin P. Laplante

Have any of you caught either of the two documentaries about the Fyre Festival that just came out? About the “Luxury Music Festival” that, if you’ll pardon the pun, went up in flames? We all love watching something fail spectacularly (or is it just me?), but perhaps we can learn something from this particularly dazzling failure that will help keep our relationships winning!

1) Planning

Make Elmo happy, have enough bathrooms.

Make Elmo happy, have enough bathrooms.

Never underestimate the power of planning! Whether it’s a multi-day music festival on a private island or a day trip to the beach, planning is key. No one likes getting to the grocery store only to realize they forgot their shopping list and reusable bags at home, or worse, getting to an exclusive, expensive music festival and realizing there aren’t enough bathrooms!

Odds are your partner is either a planner, or very much NOT a planner. If they enjoy checking items off their to-do list more than life itself, why not give them the gift of taking care of all the planning and details for a day trip? (Start small, it still counts!) Just remember — cross your t’s and dot your i’s, if your partner is a planner, you’ll have to bring your A game. And don’t forget those lower case j’s.

If your partner ISN’T a planner, then what better way to show them you care than by taking care of all the details for a fun little day trip? Let them know up front you’ve got everything covered, and they just need to come along for the ride. (Pro tip: Tell them one detail, like ‘make sure to bring a bathing suit, I’ve got everything else taken care of’ in order to pique their interest!)

2) Give credit where credit is due

It works for Mr. T!

It works for Mr. T!

One of the worst parts about the Fyre Festival (in my opinion) was all the work done by the local workers in cooking, building houses, ect. that were never paid. While I’m not suggesting you start paying your partner, a little appreciation goes a long way. Did they cook dinner? Give them a heartfelt thanks. Did they take out the trash and recycling? Let them know that you appreciated it! Try to appreciate both the many things they do around the house that may have become habitual and taken for granted, but also try to notice more unique, little things they do that you appreciate. Don’t keep it to yourself, let them know! There’s nothing worse than not feeling appreciated — don’t follow in Fyre’s footsteps.

3) Cook a nice meal

Honest to goodness what they ‘served’ at the Fyre Festival. See how low the bar is?

Honest to goodness what they ‘served’ at the Fyre Festival. See how low the bar is?

Did you see the “meals” that were distributed at the festival? Let’s just say, it makes me think fondly of my elementary school cafeteria. Don’t make the same mistake! Instead, kick it up a notch and make something classy for your partner! Bam! If I may recommend an easy, favorite recipe, this grilled cheese is to die for! (Plus, you get to stick it to the Fyre Festival a little bit by showing them how a REAL cheese sandwich is supposed to taste! Bam!)

Pro Tip: Presentation! Don’t neglect presentation, a little ambiance can go a long way. Light some candles and dim the lights, put on some nice low key Jazz music, bring out the fancy China, learn how to fold a napkin, put on some nice clothes, cut your sandwich into little pieces and put them on a big plate so it looks classy, the little things can make a big difference. (Plus, if you give ‘em the ol’ Razzle Dazzle, it can make up for slightly sub-par cooking. Not that I’ve ever used that trick…* cough * *cough *)

4) Don’t Over-Hype and Under-Deliver

Far better to under promise, over deliver — and not just at work! Keep expectations low, and then wow them! Taking the cooking example above: You know you’re going to make a Bam!-worthy sandwich, and present the heck out of it. What’s a better way to tell your partner:

A: Hey honey, when you get home I’m going to cook you the best food you’ve ever eaten in your life! You’re going to love it! Get ready, it’s going to blow you away. I hope you’re hungry, cuz you’ve never eaten anything like this ever before! Bam!


B: Hey honey, don’t worry about dinner tonight, I’ll cook.

Me after I over promise, right before I under deliver.

Me after I over promise, right before I under deliver.


(Full disclosure, I got anxious just writing about A.) If you keep expectations low, the comparative luster of the food will be comparatively so much higher! (Bonus: you get to play all humble, like ‘oh, this little thing? I just whipped it up, no big deal’ and you get bonus points, and a great meal!)

Sometimes the worst unmitigated disasters can have a silver lining, so let’s learn from the dumpster fyre that was the Fyre Festival, and use it in the service of strengthening our relationships. Might as well learn from their mistakes while laughing at them!