If you haven't experienced the following moment first hand, then you'll at least have seen it in a low-Rotten-Tomatoes-scoring tearjerker starring Anne Hathaway or Channing Tatum: "This is our song", someone will sigh, casting a wistful gaze towards bae and prolapsing emotions out of their eyes in a way that will unsettle your stomach.
But it doesn't have to be like that. "Our song" can be #cool, #sexy, #funny and lots of other things that don't provoke your gag reflex. The whole concept just needs rebranding.
Obviously everybody is different. There are people in the world who sincerely believe that Bruno Mars' "Grenade" is the most moving piece of music ever written and that's fine – I wish them many happy years filled with anniversary cards from Moonpig and tense arguments in Ikea car parks.
For those who like romance with realism, however, the possibilities for song choices are more diverse. Here are some rough guidelines to help you select a more workable song for your relationship that really reflects the squelchy, bratty, ridiculous nature of your love.
Do: Pick Something You Can Have Sex To
Besides pretending you can afford to eat at fancy restaurants and laughing so much your stomach tones itself, regular sex is the best bit about being in a relationship. Most people define "our song" as something that reminds them of a shared moment, and that doesn't need to be limited to the nauseating tones of whatever played in the coffee shop during your first date; it can be whatever was playing on Soundcloud during your first thigh-shuddering orgasm.
Important relationships aren't just about keeping someone's toes warm in the winter and subjecting yourself to family gatherings, they're also about sending your partner into a fantasea of intangible emotion; usually released in ecstatic facial expression, happy wet patches, and some sore days afterward.
Sex music has its own rules, but whatever your jam is, it's there to enhance a certain sensory experience. Commemorating a sexy achievement is the best excuse to have a "song", so don't shy away from naming "Aquemini" your couples anthem just because it reminds you of sweat and baby oil.
Don't: Pick A #Hype Track
Given that the Snapchat Generation has trouble sticking with a colloquialism for more than two hours, investing in one song for an extended period of time is a monolithic task, and congratulations to you for making it this far. Now remember: this is a song you want to be listening to for the rest of your life, or at least until you both go to college / get sick of staring into each others retinas, so be extremely cautious about what you pick. It's important to separate the stuff you actually like from the stuff that will only be relevant for a few tweets before being reduced to a faded, questionable stain on the trouser leg of culture.
A good rule of thumb is to look back into the history and decide on something that can stand the test of time. Hype-tracks from the past are OK – "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" shoots confetti-filled joy into every relationship any time, "Heaven" by DJ Sammy is actually kinda cute and, let's be honest, no one could get tired of listening to Len's "Steal my Sunshine". But avoid tracks that came out recently, or you could be putting a deadline on your relationship. There's nothing more upsetting than the idea that somebody, somewhere, in 2014, will be crotch-rubbing or sharing endearing anecdotes to "Yonkers".
Do: Pick Something You Both Like
If Sex and the City only taught me two things, it's that running up several flights of stairs in a pearl thong is ill-advised and compromise is the key to any relationship. Whether you have to sit down and manually shuffle through iTunes until something you both like comes on, or decide via sentimental algorithm that "I've Got A Feeling" is the track that, for whatever reason, most accurately expresses your mutual love and respect, make sure you land on the same page. Don't end up in a place where every time Miguel comes on the radio your partner scrunches up their face with glee and you have to try to French kiss them through clenched teeth and regret.
Even if you love Paolo Nutini's deep cuts and their favourite band is Cannibal Corpse, there will be something in between that gets you both vibed. A relationship needs foundation so keep building baby. When you've finally found it, make sure not to settle on something you've adored your entire life and aren't willing to sacrifice as emotional collateral. Make it pleasurable.
Do: Pick Something Funny
By all accounts, "our song" is a sickly concept that perpetuates the existence of Disney-style romance, ludicrously and inexplicably expensive hotel suites, and compilation albums like this. For example: ask somebody why their song is their song and the story usually ends with something like, "and in that moment, I (conveniently forgot about the incident with the girl in Malaga a few weeks ago and) knew I loved her" or "our eyes met across a crowded room and, for the first time ever, Ed Sheeran was talking complete sense". It's never, "and during the emotional key change, we did a shot of Sambuca and chundered in the bin" or "that's when I came on his face". But why not? What about the people who don't live their life like a candle in the wind machine on-set of a Richard Curtis film?
Despite all evidence to the contrary, "our song" doesn't have to be partnered with puppies and wedding catalogues. It can just be a funny, cute thing between you and the individual/s you like enough to let them have the softer pillow a few nights a week.
Don't: Pick R. Kelly
Or anybody who is already/likely to be accused of being a massive sex offender.
Do: Pick Beyoncé
If there's one thing people in relationships like to do best it's rub their happiness in the broken face of the world, live-streaming their smug sense of triumph on every social networking platform. So if you're looking for the sonic equivalent of a bed couplie with a caption like "Sunday's with this one <3" then look no further than "Drunk in Love", a track by someone who has built an entire empire on the immediate sense of failure felt when anybody glances at her thighs.
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