The Best of Forge 2019

How to Have Stronger Relationships in 2020

Forge’s best stories about friendship, dating, and family

Amy Shearn
Published in
2 min readDec 25, 2019
Image: alicemoi/RooM/Getty Images

“A“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” Or so said John Lennon (who was famously in a relationship that bugged the bejesus out of everyone around him). The point is, we love to dream the world into reality with our friends, family, and romantic partners.

That doesn’t mean it’s always easy. So for you, we’ve gathered some of Forge’s best and most unexpected stories about the joys and travails of life’s most important relationships: with friends, partners, and families. Because it was so hard to choose, there’s also a bonus story for each category.

Friendship Is Always Emotional Labor” by Rebecca Renner

You probably saw it splashed all over the internet, or maybe texted to you by your best friend: The extended debate about friendship as emotional labor. Renner offers a smart and thoughtful approach that will resonate whether you typically ask for permission before venting to your BFF, or you think friendship means never having to say “Can I just be a bitch for a minute?”

Bonus: “The ‘Perfect Friendship,’ According to Aristotle” by Niklas Göke

The Video Game That Made Me Better at Marriage” by Anna Peele

A lot of relationship advice boils down to the same cliche: communicate, communicate, blah blah. (In all seriousness, though, communication is important.) Then there’s this actually new advice: Play a dumb video game together. Read the piece, and then hey, go ahead and share it with your partner, why don’t you?

Bonus: “New Research Explains Why All Your Relationships Turn Out the Same” by Emily Underwood

How to Talk to Your Dad” by Tom Chiarella

Your parents are the people you’ve known the longest, and the ones who — in theory — know you the best. But in practice, they can feel like strange fellow travelers on life’s journey. In case talking to your dad, or anyone else you love, feels like hard work, here is the laugh-out-loud-and-maybe-also-shed-a-tear advice you need.

Bonus: “The Bittersweet Joy of Being Professionally Eclipsed by Your 9-Year-Old” by Jeff Yang



Amy Shearn

Formerly: Editor of Creators Hub, Human Parts // Ongoingly: Novelist, Essayist, Person