The Seven Stages of LUUUUURVE

Drinking: Apple juice.
Singing, over and over: The chorus to a specific T.Swift song, because I can.
Thinking about: Gilmore Girls season 7.
Traumatised by: The last five minutes of last Sunday’s True Blood. Lawd.

The last couple weeks have been a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Never have a series of events been SO RIDICULOUS and yet SO UNFUNNY at the same time. This week has been similarly awesome but for vastly different reasons. I should just throw myself onto the el tracks right now & save myself the assorted aches and pains.

Okay, I’m being melodramatic. In between the drama and the deep depression, some really amazing things have happened. It’s important to focus on that, right? RIGHT. Onward and upward, brave girl!

A lot of my relationships have undergone some serious transformations lately and it’s gotten me thinking about the growth, development and eventual decay of relationships. After many diagrams and conversations, I’ve got it pretty well generalised to a seven-stage life cycle. Having identified the cycle, in a perfect world I’d be able to figure out why it happens and stop the growth at the best places, like scientists do with cell development. But I can’t. There are too many variables that I can’t identify, which I really hate. Ah, the many inconsistencies of the human heart.

Presenting the Seven Stages of a Relationship. Think of it like the life cycle of a frog or something, only with more romance and crying and fewer words like “spawn.”

I mean MORE words like spawn.

I mean nothing. What?

. . .

Stage one: Single and happy. You’re dating or not dating, going out a lot or not going out a lot. Whatever, it’s exactly what you want to be doing. Life is awesome! You’re on your own, you’re pleased about it and you’re having a fantastic time. But all good things must come to an end, and suddenly you are in…

Stage two: Unattached and unsettled. You’re still single, but it’s been a minute and you’re not psyched about it anymore. The fact is that dating sucks. 99% of people are chronically uninteresting and this is 2010, so who settles anymore? You imagine a future filled with crocheted teacosies and cats, which if you’re me, translates into wailing “NOBODY WILL EVER LOVE ME!” at every moment, appropriate and otherwise. This lasts until…

Stage three: You meet someone. Holy shit, has there ever been anyone so perfect? It’s like you were made for each other! You’re SO! DAMN! EXCITED! You go on romantic dates and make your friends sick by constantly talking about how amazing your new man/woman is. Constant contact, cutesy nicknames, loads of sex, public displays of affection, the works. Gross. Except for the sex part, that’s pretty awesome. And then you reach…

Stage four: You’re in a relationship! The intensity of stage three has worn off because you’re not trying to impress the other person as much. You let them see, for better or worse, who you really are. You get to know another person, map out their mind and their likes and dislikes, and you love what you see. The parts you don’t love, you deal with. Ideally, this study goes on forever and is eternally interesting because people are always changing. I guess this is when you get married. But in most cases, this eventually leads to…

Stage five: Familiarity breeds contempt. The thrill is gone. You get bored because hey, now you know the other person; challenge gone. You get annoyed because you’re bored. You nag or refuse to nag and find yourself checking out more and more. Even the sex gets boring. The sound of their voice sets your teeth on edge. You stop fighting it and you arrive at…

Stage six: Breakup. There’s not much to say here because no matter the circumstances, the breakup sucks. Horribly. But you go through the tough conversation and the immediate aftermath and you get your stuff and find yourself at…

Stage seven: Depression, or as I call it, “LEAVE ME ALONE TO DIE.” The intensity and duration of this stage depends on a lot of things, but one thing is for sure–it feels like forever. In most situations you get really dramatic and convince yourself that you’ve lost your only chance at true love, you cry, you punch things, you get really drunk and bitch about your ex to your friends. Whatever you need to get through this that isn’t vandalism or grand larceny is just fine. Because at the end of the tunnel, whether it’s lined with medication or not, you come right back out into the light of…

Stage one. The species would never survive if not the triumph of hope over experience. Rinse and repeat.

Ah, relationships. Ain’t it grand?

Loves you!

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