Placing people into little boxes is a good formula for getting ripped-to-shreds on the internet, but sometimes typecasting is the only way to make sense of the messiness of one’s 20’s. If I could go back in time and show myself this list, I would have felt less alone all the time. Dating when you’re so young is an endless stream of confusion and frustration. Maybe someone can seek solace in the shared experiences of dating the wrong person at the wrong time. And for the record, all of these people can be male or female, this is just my own personal experience as a straight-woman.
1. The Husband
This guy is super nice, super into you, and super ready to move things forward. He wants you to meet his parents after two weeks of knowing one another. He wants (read: needs) you to change your Facebook status from “single” to “in a relationship” after four days. He’ll check in on you every waking moment of every waking day, and this relationship will ultimately fail because you’re not ready to sign away your freedom. He will go on to make The Wife, aka the girl ready to settle down at 20, very happy. Caution: These guys tend to switch from nice to reputation-bashing in a second. It comes with the territory of being emotionally intense. You might be everything to him when you’re together, but watch out after things go south. It’s going to get ugly.
2. The Friend
The Friend is everything you hoped for in a boyfriend. He has the exact same interests as you, you can hang out all the time and it doesn’t get suffocating, and he even likes hanging out with your friends. The thought of having sex with him repulses you. Wait, what? Yep that’s right, he’s The Friend, not a boyfriend. You’ll figure this out before things get too weird, but not after a few sexual-mishaps. Caution: If you don’t figure this out in time you might lose each other as a friend. It will suck big time, but you’ll learn a very valuable lesson about sleeping with every male you have a connection with.
3. The Boyfriend
The Boyfriend is exactly the opposite of The Friend. You love having sex with him, you ache when he’s not around, and you’re pretty sure you both hate each other. He hates you enough to keep you wanting more, and you hate yourself juuust enough to let it happen. He’ll be the first guy you try to fix. It will also be your first taste of extreme denial. You have very little in common with each other, but opposites attract, right? Wrong. You’ll figure out that not all people are assholes and love doesn’t have to suck. Caution: This one will hurt the most. It will be one of the most emotionally abusive, confusing experiences of your early 20’s and it will be your first suitcase towards a rounded-out set of Louis Vuitton emotional baggage. It will also teach you about self-worth and you’ll come out the baddest bitch since Blue Ivy. Every relationship after this will be ten times easier. Congrats! You did it!
4. Someone Else’s Boyfriend
Yikes. Not everyone does it, but some of us do. This one usually follows The Boyfriend. You’re emotionally scarred and convinced everyone’s awful anyway. You want to take on the role of The Boyfriend to gain some control back into your life. It will be exciting but emotionally draining. You’ll figure out (hopefully) what you’re doing to yourself and get the hell out of there. Caution: Being the other woman is no fun, and if you’re a good person with a normal conscience you’ll feel bad about it for the rest of your life. Again, an excellent life lesson.
5. The Normal
This guy shocks you in his normalcy. He doesn’t appear to hate you and he also isn’t proposing on the first date. He lacks any overt emotional-issues and has no qualms talking things through when it gets rough. You miss him enough when he’s gone but not enough to spiral into a Blanche Dubois-type insanity. You initially find yourself making up problems to fit the mold of what you know about relationships, but ultimately give up when they fail to drive you apart. You feel together, but retain your independence. Caution: Sounds like you’ve got things figured out…but maybe double check he isn’t a con man or serial killer, you know, just in case.