Meal kit deliveries, they're both a blessing and a curse. On one hand you can make some really great food (and you get to keep the recipe cards). On the other, it's a little intimidating for beginners. Like, really intimidating. My S.O. and I recently subscribed to one of these delivery services and—oh boy. It's been a struggle. So far, we've had a particularly bitter argument about the amount of salt we needed, ruined a pot due to bad rice management, and literally set our brand new pair of oven mitts on fire.

Despite all of this, we managed to make it through and we created some pretty impressive meals together. We've been able to laugh after every tragedy, at least after the initial panic passes. So if you're thinking about starting a meal kit with your S.O., here's what you need to know.

Stage One: Attraction

Getting a package once a week, yeah, it’s pretty attractive. It’s like Christmas, except your package is full of delicious food and it’s to yourself. When we received our first box, it was love at first sight. Fresh, seasonal ingredients just waiting for us on our doorstep, how could we not be enamored? We were excited, but oh-so naive.

Stage Two: Realization

This is when the reality sets in. You’re sitting there gazing lovingly at your meal kit, when you realize—you don’t really know how to cook. And neither does your S.O. You try to ignore it until you’re standing in front of the cutting board thinking, “I'm probably going to chop off my fingers.” With trepidation you try to continue on, but it only leaves you fumbling at the next stage in this process.

Stage Three: Disappointment

Okay, so here’s where things get rough. The realization that you’re not Gordon Ramsay has set in. Anne Burrell would probably scream at you for those knife cuts. You’re feeling dejected, and chances are so is your S.O. Tensions rise, sometimes things set on fire, and you argue over whose fault it is that your protein is bland while your veggies taste like the Dead Sea. But you can’t give up yet. You’ve started this journey together, and you know you have to finish it. 

Stage Four: Stability

If you and your S.O. make it through stage three, then you’re doing well. You discover that after a couple of meal kits, things get easier. You’re learning how to chop things correctly and you’ve finally figured out that salt issue. Maybe something goes awry once in awhile, but for the most part, the two of you are creating amazing meals together! You may be even considering buying matching couple’s aprons at this point.

Stage Five: Commitment

At this point you and your S.O. are a team, a dynamic duo, so-to-speak. You’re working well together, and you have to seriously consider, “Do we want to keep doing this?” (Ordering meal kits, that is.) So you either have to commit or quit. For my S.O. and me, things worked out. Our meal kits keep turning up each week with awesome ingredients and recipe cards that we’d like to try again and again.