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.