Attempting to date at 23 years old, in a city full of backwards-hat-wearing, button-down shirt sporting, high-fiving Boston bros has proven to be one of the greatest struggles I have ever faced in my life.
I have now come to learn, through my own experience and through watching my friends, that you can only take so many “might as well give it a shots” until you come to the conclusion that getting excited about a new guy usually lasts all of about one week.
It’s surprising, really, how stunningly similar the cycle is every single time. If you ask me, people should have to disclose certain information up front to ensure no one wastes each other’s time.
For example, before I agree to go on a date with you, I’d like to know a few things: Are you secretly a homophobe? Are you racist? Are you still in love with your ex girlfriend? Do you currently have a girlfriend? Do you not care about food and only drink herbal tea?
These are all facts that, if told to me up front, could save me a lot of wasted mascara, stress and text messages.
Sadly, that is not how the world works, and therefore, we are all forced to go through this same sequence of events at least a few times when attempting to find our mate.
For those of you lucky enough to have never experienced this, I have broken down this cycle into what I believe are the six major milestones of the classic "two-week relationship."
1. The Fated Meeting
The majority of the time, if you’re in your twenties and a female in a city, you’re going to meet a new boy at a bar or a party.
There are, of course, those all too common Tinder dates, but those are really in a category of their own and would require a whole separate article.
Sure, sometimes a cute customer at work asks you out or the new guy at the office is super dreamy, but because this is reality and not a 90s rom-com, chances are, the hottie at the gym didn’t even notice you and the guy you bumped into on the street isn’t going to magically be swept away by your beauty.
If anything like that has happened to you, congratu-freaking-lations. For the rest of us commoners, though, nine times out of 10, the match is made under the influence of at least a little bit of alcohol in some sort of public setting.
The meeting usually happens casually and in an unexciting way; although by the end of the night, you’ll be telling all your friends that it was totally fate that you both went to get a drink at the same time and how crazy it is that you originally weren’t even going to go out that night!
You’ll chat for a while, most likely discussing how much you have in common, like the fact that you both love coffee and music.
He’ll buy you a few drinks because he wants to get in your pants is a gentleman, and at the end of the night, you'll exchange numbers and promise to hit each other up.
2. The Scheduling Of The Date
Typically the prelude to the making of an actual date happens over the course of a few hours the next day. You wait until 11 am or so and then gather opinions on whether or not you should text “that guy from last night.”
You all decide yeah, sure, you have nothing to lose. And just as you’re beginning the half-hour-long process of deciding what your opening line should be, he texts you!!
It will usually read along the lines of, “Hey, how was the rest of your night,” or “Hey, how you feelin' today lol” or something equally uninteresting.
The two of you will continue this texting conversation over the next few hours, discussing how ridiculously hungover you both are and how great bacon, egg and cheeses are.
You’ll probably drop far more hints than you think necessary to get him to ask you out, like, “Oh my gosh there’s this great bar by me I’ve really been meaning to try…” or “Yeah, I pass that place every Wednesday but have never gone in,” and finally he’ll say it: “Wanna get drinks sometime this week?”
Yes, a date with your soul mate!!! You tell all your friends and make sure to emphasize that it’s not a big deal at all; you barely even know the guy.
3. The Week Of The Date
This is the most emotionally turbulent week of the relationship. Leading up to the big date is when you’ll probably convince yourself that this man will definitely be your future boyfriend and you’ll become anxious every time your phone vibrates.
You’ll think about how random it is that both of your dads went to the same college, and how the fact that you both hate baseball must be some sort of sign.
You’ll remember him to be way cuter than he actually is, and you’ll imagine how good the two of you will look together.
When your friends ask about the date you’ll probably say, “Oh, that, yeah. It’s whatever. I’m sure it’ll suck,” all the while secretly hoping you’ll soon be laughing with all of them about the fact you were so nonchalant about meeting your soul mate.
Maybe if you’re a stalker really good at using the Internet, you’ll find his Facebook or Instagram so you can verify his looks.
You’ll linger on the pictures, thinking that maybe he’s not quite as attractive as you thought, but not everyone photographs well, and besides, you’re pretty sure he has a great personality so his looks don’t even really matter.
He’ll text you a few times during the week and you’ll giggle out loud at things he says that are barely funny.
You’ll constantly remind yourself not to get excited, as these things never work out, but you’ll secretly get excited and think maybe this time it will.
4. THE BIG DATE!!!
The day of the date you try to not be excited and remind yourself he could cancel at any moment. You grow annoyed when he takes too long to respond to your “Are we still on?” text and convince yourself he’s bailing.
When you finally confirm the time and place, you tell yourself not to get too fancy; it’s only a first date that probably won’t go anywhere, anyway. Still, you put on a little extra mascara and perfume, just for good measure.
On the way there you listen to that Taylor Swift song about everything changing after a first date and picture sitting on your roommate’s bed when you get home, gushing about how this date was different from all the rest.
The initial meet up is one of the most awkward moments you’ve ever had in your life. It takes you too long to find him, and when you finally do, you're not sure if you should hug or wave, so you end up doing a weird combination of both.
You think it’s strange that he chose to sit at the awkward four-person table in the back instead of at the bar, but you go with it.
You start your small talk as if you’ve known each other forever and are just old friends catching up, instead of two people who drunkenly made out at the bar the previous weekend.
You notice his Boston accent is a lot thicker than you originally thought, but you think, hey, maybe it’ll be a charming thing you can make fun of him for.
You imagine you and your friends discussing how crazy it is that you ended up with a Boston guy because you usually hate Boston guys, and you smile to yourself in the foreseen irony.
The conversation is fine for the most part, and he makes a few good jokes here and there. He seems interesting enough with a stable job and family, and he’s three years older, which is a huge plus.
Sure, there are awkward pauses, but it’s a first date, so what can you really expect? After two drinks, you both decide it’s time to head home, and you look past the fact that he doesn’t pay for your portion because maybe he’s just super broke this week.
When the date’s over, you give each other awkward goodbye hugs and say, “We should definitely do this again.”
5. The Aftermath
This is where the relationship starts to fall apart. You promise your friends you won’t overanalyze the date, so you mostly put it out of your mind and try to focus on other things.
The days and week after your date, your date will text you here and there and you’ll talk mostly about work or the weather.
You’ll begin finding yourself more annoyed than excited when you hear your phone go off, mostly because these conversations are boring and clearly leading nowhere.
You may even accidentally go a few hours without responding because you’ll have completely forgotten he texted you in the first place.
Eventually, he’ll propose a second date on Thursday, which is the night you usually order Chinese food and eat in bed while watching Netflix.
You’ll picture yourself in your safe cocoon of a bed enjoying your crab rangoon and reruns of "Scandal," and then, it’ll hit you: You’d rather spend the night with General Tso than with him.
As you begin to think about it more, you realize the date was only mediocre and you don’t really care about seeing him again. You start to remember little things about him and the date that you found weird and annoying.
Why was he wearing his sunglasses inside for so long? And who wears white sunglasses past age 13? Was that a homophobic remark he made at one point or did you hear him wrong? And what was with all that reminiscing about his drunken college days?
You decide that his thick accent wasn’t cute; it was obnoxious. And that joke he told at the end of the night didn’t make him funny; it made him a racist. Also, it was a first date, and he should have paid the 10 bucks for your goddamn drinks.
You realize that all you two really had in common was the fact that you both happened to be at the same place on the same night.
You’ll remember the last few guys you dated who you really liked, and you’ll think back on how, with them, you didn’t have to sit around mulling it over to decide if you wanted a second date.
With them, you knew you wanted a second date. And with that, you decide to stop wasting your time.
6. The Breakup
Eventually you’ll realize you should probably say something to him about not wanting to go out again. You think of how you hate when guys blow you off, so you vow not to do the same to him.
If you’re lucky, the texting will just taper off naturally without either side really being at fault. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll usually have to text him something about not being ready for a relationship or getting really busy with work and not having time to date.
The two of you will end things amicably, and despite the fact that you live one mile from each other, you’ll probably never see him again.
You’ll sit in your bed Thursday night with your stomach hurting from too much Chinese food, and you’ll think to yourself that you’re done dating.
It’s always the same and you’d rather be alone. You promise you’ll spend less time dating guys you don’t like and more time bettering yourself.
And you’ll keep to that promise, until Saturday night when you meet that new guy Nick...
Photo via We Heart It