Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

The Evolution of A Modern Day Relationship

Most of us like to think that we’re unique and special snowflakes. If we were lucky, we grew up with parents who encouraged this thinking, hanging up our artwork on the fridge, bragging to their friends about our mundane accomplishments (third place in the school spelling bee, mastering a scrambled eggs recipe, learning to ski the bunny slope), and boosting our egos when we felt insecure. Then we grew up and had a hard time letting go of the idea that we’re more special than everyone else — an idea that is most apparent when it comes to our romantic relationships. We like to believe that our love affairs are deeper than other people’s love affairs and that even our breakups are more gut-wrenching than the average person’s heartbreak, when the reality is that most of us have relationships that follow a very, very common path. After the jump, the evolution of a modern day relationship. Honk if it looks familiar.

1. Get a boyfriend.

2. Tell everyone you know you have a boyfriend.

3. Change your Facebook status to “In a relationship.”

4. Give your boyfriend a pseudonym on your blog, like “The Boy.”

5. Blog about how you’ve never been this happy before and now you realize every relationship before wasn’t anywhere near this real.

6. Start obsessing about whether boyfriend likes you as much as you like him.

7. Analyze boyfriend’s behavior with your best girlfriends and anyone else who will listen to you.

8. Decide to relax and “just enjoy where things are.”

9. Boyfriend surprises you with dinner reservations to celebrate your three-month anniversary.

10. Go back on the Pill, even though it makes you kind of crazy, because this relationship is way too serious for condoms.

11. Stop hanging out with your friends as much because your relationship is really important and if they’d ever had such an important relationship as yours, they’d understand.

12. Flip through bridal magazines at the newsstand and begin making hypothetical guest lists for your wedding.

13. Look for apartments on Craigslist that you can move into with your boyfriend.

14. Start wondering when the boyfriend is going to tell you he loves you.

15. Google “when will he say the ‘L’ word” and have minor freak out that it’s been four months and he still hasn’t said it yet.

16. Email your former roommate who married her college sweetheart a couple of years ago and ask her when her husband first said “I love you.”

17. Feel better when she says it took him five months.

18. Tell her all about how awesome your boyfriend is and how you’re planning to maybe move in together when your lease is up this summer.

19. Jokingly say to your boyfriend one morning at his place that if you lived together, you wouldn’t have to go home first to feed your cats before going to work.

20. Get freaked out when all he does he chuckle and remind you that he’s allergic to cats.

21. Decide not to answer his texts or emails for the whole day so he knows how much he screwed up.

22. Get annoyed when he doesn’t text or email all day.

23. Call him late that night and demand to know why he’s been avoiding you.

24. Decide you need “a few days to yourself.”

25. Cave, and see him two days later.

26. He tells you he loves you and you know this is the best relationship EVER.

27. Totally freak out three days later when you and your boyfriend run into one of his co-workers and he introduces you as his “friend.”

28. Break up.

29. Tell everyone you know you’ve broken up.

30. Change your Facebook status to “Single.”

31. Spend a weekend watching the first three seasons of “Sex and the City.”

32. Cut your hair short.

33. Sleep with some hot random guy you meet in a party one night.

34. Wonder why hot random guy never calls you afterward.

35. Wonder why your ex-boyfriend never calls.

36. Decide to call your ex-boyfriend and tell him you think you left some Philosophy moisturizer and a pair of Tory Burch ballet flats at his place and you want them back.

37. Put on a cute new outfit and meet your ex-boyfriend for a quick drink so he can give you your shoes and moisturizer.

38. Tell your ex-boyfriend you miss him.

39. Make out with him outside the bar before you head home.

40. Wait for him to call afterward.

41. Text him and tell him it was really good seeing him and maybe you could get together again some time.

42. Wonder why he isn’t texting you back.

43. Realize that today would have been your six month anniversary.

44. Spend the evening crying and eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream straight from the container.

45. Decide to take a break from dating.

46. Write a blog post about how you’re taking a break from dating for at least three months.

47. Meet a hot guy at a friend’s birthday party who asks you out.

48. Decide it’s stupid not to date anyone for three months.

49. Go out with the hot guy.

50. Wash, rinse, repeat.

96 comments… add one
  • avatar

    BoomChakaLaka May 31, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Honking like crazy until 15. With my last (and first real relationship), we actually dropped the L bomb after only 2 weeks of dating. Then it was all love and roses for 2 years before things started swan diving fast and hard. It was gut wrenching. Then I got back on the bandwagon at Step 28. Yup, that sounds like me alright. HONK HONK.

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  • avatar

    Lynn May 31, 2011, 12:29 pm

    Damnit.

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  • avatar

    _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 12:34 pm

    Ah, women, you make things so complicated.

    My paths have always been a lot simpler:

    * Be single and not really looking for anything.
    * Have some at least somewhat interesting woman become interested in me and ask me out or make it clear she’s open to being asked out.
    * Become out of shape.
    * Stay with her until it’s so obvious that it’s not working that she breaks up with me.

    OR

    * Have an immediate and obvious spark with someone.
    * Fall head over heels.
    * Screw it up somehow.
    * Drink massively.
    * Exercise and get into great shape.

    Somewhat close to 100% of my relationships have followed one of those two paths.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 12:41 pm

      Yeah I don’t see “get fat” in the list, but I think it probably should go there. Because that definitely happens in every relationship I get into. Currently my bf and I are trying to stop the “get fat” before it gets out of control but its easier said than done, because this blue cheese potato salad I’m eating is DELICIOUS.

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        MsMisery May 31, 2011, 1:01 pm

        Is that in your happy-phase?

        Once, after a bad break up, I lost about 20lbs I could not afford to lose. People at my work started to ask if I was “ill.” No, I just stopped eating but once a day because food tasted like paper and eating makes me want to throw up… That lasted almost 4 months. Stress diet, FTW! :-/

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        BoomChakaLaka May 31, 2011, 1:05 pm

        Oh that happened to me too, totes forgot to put that in there. I also was at a pretty low paying job, so I couldn’t afford to go out and buy new clothes so I really looked silly going to work with all these over-sized clothes on. It was a horrible, horrible time.

        Also, what about the silent sob at the desk once the relationship is over? Or maybe the silent sob in the work bathroom?

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 1:07 pm

        Heh if only it was always happy fat. Currently we are happy and fat. Sometimes I am sad and fat. Part of it is that dating involves food. Also when I’m single I cook healthier things alot more than when I’m coupled. Then I tend to cook bad for you things that my boyfriend would like, eat out alot more, snack rather than eat because the boys I’ve dated are all about the snacking. Also I occasionally eat ice cream and other bad, easy things when I’m angry or bummed or bored, so thats the sad fat.

        When my ex dumped me, though, I was also too upset to eat for a couple months. Also lost about 20 pounds, but unlike you, I really could stand to lose about 15 or 20 pounds, so it worked out well for me… Until I got over it and started eating again, then alot of it came back.

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        applescruff May 31, 2011, 1:59 pm

        When I’m single, I very much do the “eat when I’m hungry” thing, so if I have a big lunch I may not be that interested in dinner. But guys are ALWAYS interested in dinner, so then I go/join in even if I’m not in the mood for a big meal.

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      • avatar

        LTC039 May 31, 2011, 2:04 pm

        I do the opposite! I barely eat & lose weight when I’m single, & then gain it back when I’m in a relationship… I’m trying to break that cycle in my current relationship.

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    • avatar

      Laurel May 31, 2011, 1:01 pm

      My boyfriend wasn’t looking to date / anything serious before we got together. He caught my interest so flirted a lot until he asked me out, and we’ve been together since (almost a year and a half). So should I assume he’s going to get fat and things will fall apart? 😉

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      • avatar

        _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 1:04 pm

        Not at all! Assume he’s not an idiot like I am. 😉

        Actually, it’s not like I don’t know what to do in relationships. I am simply unable to apply what I know to be good advice to myself. I’m sure there are numerous deep-seated reasons for that, and I’ll look into them when I finish these donuts.

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      • avatar

        dobby May 31, 2011, 3:15 pm

        yummmm….donuts….

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      Britannia May 31, 2011, 2:06 pm

      Yeah, I didn’t really understand this article either. It’s not my MO, at least. All I could think of while reading is, “Uh… what? This hypothetical girl is CRAZY.”

      I follow your MO, _jsw_. You put it very succinctly. Except I don’t do the “get fat” part :/

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    • avatar

      MissD May 31, 2011, 8:13 pm

      Mine have followed mostly the same two paths as well, though I’ve also done:
      1. Have enough of a spark that I figured I’d go out with the guy-since I was dead bored of being single.
      2. Date him long enough that either I couldn’t stand it anymore or he broke up with me.
      3. Obssess if and only if all my other friends were coupled up.

      1. Have an immediate and obvious spark with someone.
      2. Fall head over heels.
      3. Stay with him until it’s so obvious that it’s not working that he breaks up with me. I started this after trying to break up with my first serious boyfriend WAY back in the day, caved in when he cried, and thereafter didn’t have the guts to be the one to break up with someone ever again. It didn’t help that my next serious relationship was suicidal and I was afraid to leave him. I haven’t entirely broken the pattern yet, either, since my almost ex-husband was the one to “break up” with me. Though I will admit, I nearly broke it off after his affair…and would have had I known he really just wanted to be with her, despite what he said.

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      • avatar

        MissD May 31, 2011, 8:16 pm

        Sorry, that was meant to go after jsw’s first post. Oops. Kept reading and got distracted…

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  • landygirl

    Landy May 31, 2011, 12:35 pm

    You are so right on it’s skeery!

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 12:38 pm

    Honk honk for 31/32! Only I rented the first two seasons of the Tudors instead of sex and the city. It made me feel better to watch Henry kill all his wives and think “Well, at least I got out alive.” But I definitely chopped all my hair off as soon as I stopped crying.
    I am also guilty of number 12… especially when you go to 5 weddings a season, you can’t help fantasizing.
    But not guilty of #3. In fact I was totally against going “facebook official” because of what happens when you get to #30 and all these casual acquaintances feel the need to comment “oh I’m so sorry” “you looked so happy together” “there are plenty of fish in the sea.” Shut up, we haven’t talked since college.

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    • avatar

      BoomChakaLaka May 31, 2011, 1:07 pm

      Omg, this is the one thing I hate about the comment feature. I’m single (and most likely grieving!) Do you think I want your two cents at this moment? Facebook needs to write a code for now comments to be allowed if someone goes from In a Relationship/Married/Engaged to Single/No Relationship Status Listed.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 1:12 pm

        Well I think we could all use a little social media etiquette. New rules:
        If you have not spoken to the person in question in person or on the phone in the last month, you may not comment on any status that is possibly sad (such as: breakup, dead relative, lost job).
        If you have not spoken to the person on the phone or in person in the last six months, you may not comment on any status. You may however “like” a status that is OBVIOUSLY happy (such as: “Awesome, I’m pregnant.” “Yay, I’ve got a great new job.” “So excited for X.” If the status just says “I’m pregnant,” then you may not assume it is happy and should not say a damn thing.)
        If you have not spoken to the person in more than six months, just don’t comment or like stuff. At all. Thats creepy.

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        SpyGlassez May 31, 2011, 1:33 pm

        I disagree about the sad status thing, especially regarding deaths. When my grandma died, I put it on FB after the family had all been notified (my sister was in Thailand at the time, so I waited till she had been told in person). This is because as a kid, I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s house and she was the “neighborhood grandma.” We moved when I was a teenager, but I have gotten back in touch with people I knew all those years ago. Having them post their memories of my grandma and their condolences meant more to me, even though I hadn’t seen them in 15 years, because they actually knew her. My friends around here could be comforting because they knew what grandmas were like, but they couldn’t commiserate the same because they didn’t know MY grandma. I do agree that people should be watchful of what they say (“It’s for a reason;” “He/she is in a better place”).

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        SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 1:54 pm

        Exactly. I guess maybe its not a blanket “If you haven’t spoken to the person.” Maybe more “if you have nothing meaningful to say.”
        I don’t know why people think they are making the situation better by saying some well known standard phrase.
        Also when they don’t really know YOU, things may be the wrong thing to say. If you are a religious person, then maybe having 20 people tell you your grandma is in heaven now makes you feel good. But if you’re agnostic or just mad a God right now, then that will probably make you feel a whole lot worse. And the only way to know what is a good thing to say is to actually know the person, not who they were 15 years ago. Although I bet stories about that time they went to your grandma’s house and she gave them the best chocolate chip cookies ever will make you feel good either way, right?

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      • avatar

        HmC May 31, 2011, 4:41 pm

        I dunno. If you’d be offended by someone commenting on your status, why would you friend them? I personally never comment on statuses, or do much of anything on facebook. But I wouldn’t add them if I would find any minor contact offensive. Also, you can change your status without including it in your news feed… or just change it from “in a relationship” to nothing.

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        SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 4:52 pm

        I don’t find ALL contact offensive. But I do think its offensive when a person you knew 5 years ago comments with some stupid saying on your broken heart. I would be offended if a friend I speak to regularly said something to me like “there’s plenty of fish in the sea.” Maybe more offended because my friend should know thats not what I want to hear. But a random acquaintance is more likely do commit such faux pas because they don’t know me or what I want to hear.
        Also I’m not going around friending people I don’t know or knew a long time ago, but I also don’t go an unfriend people I knew once but don’t stay in contact with.

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      • avatar

        HmC June 1, 2011, 11:46 am

        If you’re that sensitive to internet etiquette, I’d recommend unfriending people you don’t want contact with, not making personal announcements in your newsfeed, or avoiding Facebook altogether. Life is too short to waste time actively putting yourself into an arena full of narcissism, etiquette faux pas, and mind-numbing cliches, if you let those things bother you.

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        SpaceySteph June 1, 2011, 5:24 pm

        Why shouldn’t I want to spread the word of internet etiquette to the world?
        I was being slightly facetious with my listing of the rules. Its not such a big deal, mildly annoying at worst.
        But I probably am due for a FB friend cleaning anyways, its been a good 7 years since I joined FB and the only unfriending I’ve done is exactly 1 ex boyfriend. Bound to be others I shouldn’t be friends with anymore.

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      • avatar

        missmolly May 31, 2011, 3:55 pm

        Everything you do on facebook shows up on your profile. If you scroll over any of these, there is an “x” that will pop up to the right. Click it and it goes away. Same is true for relationship status. If you change your status from “in a relationship” to “single” and you don’t want anyone to know, just immediately go to your profile and “x” it. That way it won’t come up on your profile or on anyone’s news feed.

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    • avatar

      LTC039 May 31, 2011, 1:48 pm

      I chopped my hair off during the end of the relationship & then dyed it black just before is completely crashed & burned.
      I used to say I dyed my hair black to match my soul…So dramatic.

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      • avatar

        spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 2:24 pm

        Ah, the youthful ability to be overly dramatic about absolutely everything.

        I used to keep my hair dyed black and then paint it with streaks of whatever colors I was feeling that day.

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      • avatar

        LTC039 May 31, 2011, 2:32 pm

        For the record, I was 19 yrs old!

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      • avatar

        Britannia May 31, 2011, 2:08 pm

        I had a hair appointment already scheduled, and it just so happened to be the morning after I was dumped by a boyfriend I was getting very seriously hopeful about… for another woman. So when I showed up to my hair appointment, I asked for the chicest pixie cut known to man, with bangs and all that craziness, to “give me a makeover”. It was the perfect solution! A change in style made me uber confident and I got asked out a lot after that 🙂

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  • avatar

    spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 12:45 pm

    51. Acquire too many cats.

    52. Die alone.

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    • avatar

      _jsw_ May 31, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Those are mutually exclusive.

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      • avatar

        spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 1:26 pm

        Cats are not people. They are furry jerks.

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR May 31, 2011, 1:31 pm

        And barrage of thumbs down commencing in 5…4…3…2…1…

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        PFG-SCR May 31, 2011, 1:32 pm

        And barrage of thumbs down commencing in 5…4…3…

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR May 31, 2011, 1:34 pm

        *Sorry for the double-post – that first comment didn’t show up originally*

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      • avatar

        spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 1:41 pm

        “MEOW” actually means “I’m better than you” in cat.

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR May 31, 2011, 1:46 pm

        I thought we all agreed last week that it meant “fuck off”?

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 1:56 pm

        Depends on the context. Could mean either. Definitely never means “I love you,” though.

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        PFG-SCR May 31, 2011, 2:19 pm

        Doesn’t the “purr” mean that?

        I used to have a cat that I thought loved me, but I’ve learned at DearWendy in the past week that it apparently never even liked me.

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      • avatar

        spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 2:25 pm

        “PURR” means “I’m tolerating you for now”

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 31, 2011, 2:06 pm

        This is me not taking the opportunity to say I don’t like cats.

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  • avatar

    LolaBeans May 31, 2011, 12:58 pm

    man i could “honk” at most of those…. until this relationship.. lol……

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray May 31, 2011, 2:07 pm

      That just means you’ve hit the 17/18 mark. You have a few more steps to go. 😉

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  • avatar

    MsMisery May 31, 2011, 12:58 pm

    Holy shite. I have my own list of crazy, but it’s not as cray-cray as this. Most of my crazy involves too much jealousy and over-analyzing every move and word inside my own head/on the phone with my bff.

    I also never change my status on FB. I don’t even HAVE a status on FB to change. None. Of. Your. Business. Y’all. (Because mostly I haven’t been in a relationship since Lincoln was president, but that’s besides the point. I prefer an air of mystery).

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary May 31, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Haha I can see steps of this in my past relationship. Great post Wendy 🙂

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  • avatar

    Rachelgab May 31, 2011, 1:09 pm

    Or, stay single for going on 3 years because you’re absolutely terrified of relationships. Yeah, don’t worry, I’m in therapy.

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  • avatar

    SGMcG May 31, 2011, 1:26 pm

    This list is totally null and void when you meet your potential-future-boyfriend-into-THE-ONE at a sci-fi/comic book/anime/*insert geeky description of fandom* convention. Those lists usually start with:

    1. Go to said convention with the mission intent to have an excellent time

    From there, it usually evolves into various branches of relationship develompent depending on how you get boyfriend; whether boyfriend is monagamous or polygamous; and/or whether boyfriend is available or not. Evolution is also influenced on how well you wore your cosplay costume, if you had one that day and/or if you utilized potential boyfriend’s services as a cockblocker. It also is greatly influenced on the cultural influences/fandoms supported by you and your potential boyfriend, how much alcohol you consume, whether you sleep at the convention (or not) and whether you obtain the dreaded con crunge.

    And I just realized that I wrote my description almost like those video game instructions on how one evolves various pokémon into different pokébattles. As if I wasn’t geek enough. Damn. I’ll be in my bunk.

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    • avatar

      spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 1:45 pm

      I knew my wife was The One when I caught myself downloading a Squall/Rinoa FFVIII fanfic and pasting in our names.

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    • avatar

      MsMisery May 31, 2011, 1:47 pm

      I dated within the con circle. HORRIBLE idea. Not only do I have to see, like, 4 exes every time I go on vacation, but it’s like high school: we’ve all dated and broken up with each other, and everyone knows about it. And mass consumption of alcohol and cons only exacerbates whatever issue is going on between you, your boyfriend, and the Sailor Venus he’s been eyeballing since Thursday. Don’t shit where you eat!

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      • avatar

        spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 1:56 pm

        And blow a perfectly good chance at hooking up with a doppleganger of Faye Valentine! Lunacy!

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        SGMcG May 31, 2011, 2:23 pm

        I will admit that dating within the con circle of friends is a horrible idea, especially if said circle is highly incestuous. Yet dating outside of that initial regular circle, when you meet at the convention, is not a bad thing. It’s prime opportunity to get your flirt on and hone those lady killer skills. You already got some things in common by being at the convention, so it’s fun to explore if there’s anything else. By the time the convention is over, you got good memories and a great test of skills to apply outside of the convention circuit. Also the friend you make at the convention is an awesome potential boyfriend to go to future cons with.

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        spaceboy761 May 31, 2011, 2:30 pm

        I had a really hard time pulling ass at cons when I’d cosplayed as Cheer Bear from the Care Bears. The fact that I greeted every chick I saw by screaming “CARE BEAR STARE!!!” and having six differents colors of silly string shoot out of my stomach and into her face probably didn’t help my cause either.

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        SGMcG May 31, 2011, 2:51 pm

        Pics of said costume please! I’m having a difficult time picturing it. I can’t think of a mechanism that will make one individual shoot six cans of silly string simultaneously…unless you just mounted them so that they’re fixed and used six of your fingers to PUSH.

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        Maracuya May 31, 2011, 3:21 pm

        This can’t be real. What con were you at?

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        AKchic May 31, 2011, 7:51 pm

        *shakes head* I’ll stick with the Ren Fairs. At least there all I have to worry about is a sword fight. THAT I can defend against. Silly string – now that’s just indefensible!

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  • Public Pearl

    Public Pearl May 31, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Nope. Can’t relate. Maybe I’m lucky, maybe it’s one of the benefits of marrying young, I don’t know, but I’ve never been through this sort of rom-commy chick-lit drama nonsense.

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    • avatar

      sarolabelle May 31, 2011, 1:44 pm

      you are one of the lucky ones.

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      knagrom June 3, 2011, 6:33 pm

      I can’t relate either, but only because I can’t even get to step 1. Sometimes I’m glad, because most of the rest of it sounds pretty silly/awful (and I’ve seen PLENTY of friends go through it)…*shrug*

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    AKchic May 31, 2011, 1:44 pm

    Weird…

    *shrug* I’ve seen the cycle with other people and don’t understand it, and now that it’s spelled out for me, I STILL don’t understand it. Is it something hormonal? Mental? Both? Or am I just the weird one?

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    • avatar

      sarolabelle May 31, 2011, 2:00 pm

      women just want every guy to be “the one” and they put a lot of pressure on the relationship for it to be the one. And if it’s now then we get really sad. Those that don’t put that pressure on relationships might get out of this cycle.

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      • avatar

        AKchic May 31, 2011, 4:54 pm

        I can agree with you there. Too many women are hung up on this fairy tale “The One” business. Even my mom is like that. Any guy I so much as hang out with is asked about as “The One”.

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      • avatar

        Marie May 31, 2011, 9:20 pm

        My mom does the same thing!

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    LTC039 May 31, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I was def. guilty of #11 (not hang out with friends so much) & I can soooo relate to watching Sex & the City!
    How about ask your friend to call your ex & tell him you’ve been “partying too hard” (i.e. drugs) so that you can look “cool” because he hated going out, drinking, or doing anything fun for that matter. Also so he can start wondering about you again bc he has a new gf…
    I know I know…it’s sad…BUT I’ve grown up since then, haha

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    Teresa May 31, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I’m only partially guilty of these…..6, 7, 11, 19 – 25…..and I fall off at that point…. then jump back on at 36 – 39 and again at 45 – 49………So ya….here’s some honking from me……

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  • avatar

    airivera May 31, 2011, 3:01 pm

    I feel like this article relied on a lot of cliche, negative stereotypes about women.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy May 31, 2011, 3:04 pm

      It’s not really an “article.” It’s just a fun little list that probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray May 31, 2011, 7:06 pm

        Ooooh, Wendy, have the guys make a list of their 50 steps. (1) I’m sure their persepctive of the evoluation of dating will be funny/interesting and (2) Then we can cover all the stereotypes and no one can complain.

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        LTC039 June 1, 2011, 8:41 am

        I don’t think they’d use 50 steps..It’d be more like 3 or 4.

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  • avatar

    fearfulsymmetry May 31, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Woah, woah…women actually act this way? It’s creepy and borderline psychotic. In my entire time being a female, I have never acted this way. I’m actually a little freaked out and feel really bad for men.

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    Jshizzle May 31, 2011, 6:45 pm

    I am thankful the only applicable one for me is “get a boyfriend.” I don’t think any of my friends have a blog, we’re all very private about our relationships, and half don’t even use facebook. So where I’m from there are two paths, depending on what type of career path you’re pursuing:

    Path 1:

    1. Get a boyfriend (around 21)
    2. Get married/Buy a house (23)
    3. Have a kid (24)
    5. Have another kid (26)

    Path 2:

    1. Get a boyfriend (around 21)
    2. Wait 4-6 years (25)
    3. Buy a house together (25/26)
    4. Get married (25/26/27)
    5. Have a kid (30)

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      crazyayeaye May 31, 2011, 11:51 pm

      Holy crackers! Buy a house between 23-26?? Where in the economy-forsaken country do you come from?

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 12:21 am

        It’s possible, especially for people in areas of the country with a buyers’ real estate market. I’m in Tucson, 21 years old, and own a house.

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        crazyayeaye June 1, 2011, 1:14 am

        I have serious respect for you for owning a house at 21. I’m actually in the southwest too, though not in any position to buy, even in a buyer’s market like Tucson. Though I suppose my sense of financial feasibility is warped from being a poor grad student for the past three years with an indeterminate number of years to go till I’m left to find a postdoc with relatively minimal pay. Gotta remind myself why I’m doing this again….best not go down that path.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 1:42 am

        Good luck with your doctorate 🙂 The world needs more people who are willing to do the hard work to help society. I’m just very lucky… but it really is the time to buy, even if it’s an investment instead of a necessity, and I’m looking at it as a solid foundation for my future – my mother used to own a house in this very neighborhood and sold it before the recession for twice what I just paid for the exact same thing.

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        Kate June 1, 2011, 1:25 am

        It depends on your job, your down payment, your bank and the market. But I would guess most people will be waiting longer than in the past to buy.

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        Red_Lady June 1, 2011, 10:48 pm

        And in some places, rent is so damn much it’s almost cheaper to buy…

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      Kate June 1, 2011, 1:26 am

      Wow. Very different than where I’m from. Interesting, though!

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    thyme May 31, 2011, 7:13 pm

    This is my pattern:

    1. Super cute guy I meet randomly appears interested, and I decide, “Sure, why not?” because I haven’t been on a date in a billion years.
    2. Guy is really sweet on first few dates, but has a couple fairly obvious red flags/incompatibilities.
    3. Decide minor incompatibilities aren’t important because this isn’t going to get serious or anything, continue seeing him. Dating is fun!
    4. Start thinking about him constantly, talking to him every night.
    5. Realize it is getting serious, and the incompatibilities seem to evaporate.
    6. Gush to my friends about all the ways he is so different from the irresponsible/immature/undependable man-children of my past.
    7. OMG he is perfect, he loves me, I love him, we exist on a higher plane and totally get eachother. He could be the one!
    8. Relationship becomes comfortable, normal, status quo.
    9. Start noticing that I have to remind him to take care of things a lot.
    10. Beleive that, with my enthusiastic help, he will learn to be as responsible as I am.
    11. Start getting annoyed at how much he depends on me to take care of his shit for him.
    12. Bicker a lot.
    13. Wish he would just become more responsible/mature/dependable, because I love him so much and I really don’t want to lose him.
    14. Realize that he’s never going to be more responsible/mature/dependable, and that those red flags I saw in the beginning are a big deal after all.
    15. Break up and feel desolate for a month or two, knowing I made the right choice in my mind, but wondering in my heart how life can possibly mean anything without him.
    16. Latch on to next available crush with way too much enthusiasm in order to distract self.
    17. Scare crush away with palpable neediness.
    18. Over-analyze possible reasons why crush never called back.
    19. Go through months-long dry dating spell, go out with girls a lot, but never meet anybody interesting.
    20. Become embarassed when I realize how needy and crazy I acted with that crush.
    21. Gradually realize that I put up with way more shit from ex than I should have, and swear never to date anyone so irresponsible/immature/undependable ever again.
    22. Super cute guy I meet randomly appears interested, and I decide, “Sure, why not?” because I haven’t been on a date in a billion years…

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      Teresa May 31, 2011, 7:17 pm

      THIS

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      SpaceySteph May 31, 2011, 8:47 pm

      Oh man the 3-4-5 progression I am totally guilty of. How many times have I thought to myself “it doesn’t matter, I’m just having fun” to find myself months later head over heels for a boy I should not be with. I need to remind myself: you WILL fall in love with him, if you hang around thinking its not serious, and then someone will get hurt.
      When a mutual friend heard I had a date with my current boyfriend that night (our second) he said “Oh my god, you’re going to marry him.” You never know, maybe I will, maybe I won’t. At least this time I didn’t go in thinking it was no big deal.

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        thyme June 1, 2011, 7:31 pm

        That’s exactly what I mean! I, too, have finally come to the realization that I am incapable of casually dating a person. If I like him enough to go on more than 2 dates with him, we’ll be together for years. I’m just never going to be one of those people with tons of entertaining dating stories.

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    emjay May 31, 2011, 7:23 pm

    Sorry, but this hypothetical girl sounds nuts to me. I’m more of a go with the flow kind of girl who does not sit up at night dreaming of her wedding, moving in together, when they are gonna say they love you. Because it all comes together eventually. I have enough things in my life to stress over, and these things just don’t seem as important to me. I like to know we are on the same page, and that these are the things that might come up in conversation, but it is not stuff to lose my mind about.

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      AKchic May 31, 2011, 7:49 pm

      Don’t blame you. I find it confusing and a waste of time/energy/emotions that could otherwise be used on more useful endeavors.

      But, I wholeheartedly admit to being a nutter.

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      Britannia May 31, 2011, 7:44 pm

      I agree with you, but received many thumbs down when I expressed it. I don’t understand why some people would advocate this cycle of wasted energy and emotions, focusing so much on getting “the egg” (love and marriage) to hatch quickly that their life passes them by.

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    AKchic May 31, 2011, 7:48 pm

    I don’t see the stereotypical “burning ceremony” that has become commonplace, nor do I see the rush to the therapist to ensure that the hypothetical woman doesn’t get caught into the loop again.

    What about the obligatory facebook posts of “I’m better off” and “I can’t believe I lowered my standards” and the obligatory posts from friends (of both sexes) agreeing and validating your hotness (whether you are or not is moot) and how he didn’t deserve you for whatever reason? I see this a lot.

    Or, the other oddity – the ones where women post “haven’t dated in X number of months/years”, which is also to imply that they haven’t had sex in that amount of time, but they also go on to say that they “don’t need a man” to “validate” themselves and they prefer being single, yet the tone of the post laments the lack of relationship… am I the only one finding this annoying and a mind game that just wastes time (and sends mixed signals to those of the opposite sex who are otherwise clueless in the dating world)?

    I guess I just wasn’t born with a typical female relationship decoder gene. Leaves more room to plan for the zombie apocalypse!

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet May 31, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Amelia? Is that you?

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      Rachelgrace53 June 1, 2011, 9:07 pm

      Exactly what I was thinking.

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    emjay May 31, 2011, 10:10 pm

    I just think that too many girls have it in their head that this guy must be the one, cause the great chemistry, that they pressure everything. Girls,ladies why? Why do you drive yourself crazy instead of letting it happen naturally? If you keep pushing the issue and driving yourself crazy, you are just going to push that person away. And then you will never know if he really is the one, or if he really loves you cause you are pushing so hard to hear those 3 little words. So to make you happy, he says it before he really means it. Sometimes it takes a month, six months, a year or even 2 years. Some guys want to be sure before they say it because they want to really mean it. If the relationship is great, the chemistry is there, it will happen in its own time. Like I said, life is full of stress and these are things that will naturally manifest in do time.

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    Christina June 1, 2011, 1:23 am

    Honk on #4. Myself and 3 or 4 girlfriends I’ve noticed call their long term boyfriends “the boy” in conversation.
    Also honk to _jsw_ for the “be single and not really looking for anything.” I’ve seen more than one friend of “the boy” go through years of dating girls who were interested in a guy who wasn’t looking and stayed with him until it was obvious that it wasn’t working and they broke up.

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    jena June 1, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Haha, this sounds like all the “Girl Talk” columns at The Frisky. Which is why I’ve decided to stop clicking on to that website.

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    Green_Blessings_Goddess June 1, 2011, 3:21 pm

    This is nuts! Healthy relationships do not go like this. This list is obsessive and nutty. Hope you all get it someday and have healthy relationships that matter and last and get out of the craziness of the cycle.

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    CharlieGunn June 1, 2011, 3:57 pm

    My sequence of events is more like this:

    1. Realize someone likes me after being oblivious for a time.
    2. Let them ask me out, thinking I may grow to like them.
    3. Sorta date for a little while, out of boredom.
    4. Come to the cold fact that I have no romantic feelings for them… not even sexual feelings.
    5. Do my best to let them down easy.
    6. Add them to my long list of suitors-to-friends.

    Although, my current relationship is more like this:

    1. Meet in middle school, establish close friendship.
    2. Secretly love for years.
    3. He kisses me, and we dance around the idea of friends with benefits.
    4. Things get serious quickly, and the relationship opens new doors in my social life.
    5. I move away, and he agrees to move after a year.
    6. Long distance relationship puts strain on things, brings out ugly sides.
    7. Finally together again, trying to fit the pieces together.
    8. Currently driving to our new home together. (Literally.)

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet June 1, 2011, 5:15 pm

    When it comes to the differences between the sexes while breaking up, Shmitten Kitten put it best: http://www.shmittenkitten.com/2011/03/difference-between-sexes.html

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    Prague June 2, 2011, 5:47 pm

    Who the hell does any of this?

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    averardoll June 16, 2011, 8:22 pm

    I giggled. A lot.

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