1. The Living-Together-But-Not-Really Girlfriend
At first, things were coy. You would put some panties and a toothbrush in your purse, wake up early in the morning to strategically apply lip balm and mascara, and float out of the house like a sexually active tooth fairy before you ever became a burden. But then, things progressed, and eventually going home to your apartment one time in a three-day weekend was just too much of a hassle, so you just started camping out at his house — watching TV with his roommates, wearing his sweatpants, and complaining that someone left the soda cap off and now a brand-new bottle of Pepsi is flat for no reason. You’re not living together, you’re just Squatting Girlfriend, and are chugging your way along to the “well, I’m always here anyway, why am I even paying rent at my apartment?” conversation. Just a very romantic scenario all-around.
2. The Best Friend/Makeout Girlfriend
You two aren’t actually dating, you’re just really good friends who happen to sit next to each other at parties and then end up making out for a while because, come on, it’s not like either of you were going to harpoon your great whale tonight, anyway. In fact, several times during these makeout sessions, you’ve actually opened your eyes during the kiss and very clearly thought, “This is weird. Why am I doing this? Oh, well,” and kept kissing. The terms are never defined, and you both vaguely know that you’re going to separate when something even remotely better comes along, but for now you just get to be the de facto girlfriend-slash-makeout-partner while everyone waits.
3. Reluctantly Chill Girlfriend
“Don’t worry, man, she’s chill. You can smoke weed in her apartment, even though she doesn’t really like the smell and her roommates are definitely going to yell at her about it. And she’ll definitely pick you up and take you to work because your transmission was ruined from street racing. Don’t even worry about it, you can borrow 50 dollars. She’s chill, she gets it.”
How did you become Chill Girlfriend? There is but one path to becoming Chill Girlfriend, and it’s dating a hot guy who vaguely reminds you of Brandon Boyd from Incubus, who has meaningful tattoos of black lines on his arms and smokes way more pot than anyone with a functional life could possibly smoke. You think it’s sexy and mysterious and just-bad-boy-enough, so you become Chill Girlfriend to accommodate his shenanigans. Eventually he’ll still probably cheat on you with a girl named Tinsel he met at a jam band festival but, you know, you tried.
4. Batshit Insane (But Let’s Be Honest, Kind Of Hot) Girlfriend
You can feel the crazy flowing through your nervous system and straight out of your fingers as you tap away some thinly veiled threat in a text message. Your relationship has become a blur of passive-aggressive posturing, unnecessarily harsh comebacks, and piping-hot hate sex. You know that you have become Batshit Insane Girlfriend, and that the guy is definitely telling his friends how crazy you are — which somehow simultaneously makes you hate and love him more — but you can’t stop yourself. You just need to let the crazy seep out of your pores onto him while you sleep next to each other, before waking him up at 3 in the morning to ask him why he doesn’t love you as much as he loves his mother. It won’t last, but boy does it burn bright.
5. The Social Media Girlfriend
There are more adorable pictures of you on Instagram than there are actual enjoyable moments in the relationship. Your love is like a really aesthetically pleasing brunch that actually doesn’t taste very good, and costs 25 dollars, which is like, a highly bullshit price for a prix fixe brunch that doesn’t even include a bloody mary.
6. The DARE Counselor
This one’s bleak, but needs to be addressed, because “maybe I can love him out of his binge drinking habit” is a bridge we must all cross as we make our way into Enlightened Romantic Adulthood. We will all try to save the hot, complicated addict, and we will all fail, because that’s not how addiction works. But if all works out, the two of you will cross paths roughly 4.5 years later, when he is clean (and maybe married to a Christian girl with long, wavy hair that he met at church?), and you two will get coffee and he will give you a rare, satisfying amount of closure by telling you how “totally fucked up” he was when the two of you were together, and how he’s “sorry for putting you through that.”
7. The Mom
Sometimes you just pick up where Mom left off, and before the relationship even gets serious, you find yourself doing dishes and cooking nutrient-dense dinners and being confronted with skid marks when you sort the laundry. Somehow, you skipped right past the Sexy Girlfriend phase, and ended up being the authority/nurturing figure in the life of a guy in his mid-to-late 20s. (Note: This guy is often in some sort of numerous-roommate situation, and you end up taking care of all of them, as well, because they are the Island of Misfit Bros and cannot take care of themselves. It basically ends up being a reverse Mormon situation where you are the sole wife figure to the group of brother-husbands, and the only emotion you ever really experience is “fatigue.”)
8. Wifey Material.
Suddenly, you find yourself calling him from the grocery store to joyfully ask him what he wants to eat for dinner, and deeply looking forward to preparing a special meal for when he arrives. You wake up early to get bagels. You take long walks in the city that intentionally go past his favorite places — and he does all of these things for you. You’ve started doing all the things you once thought were corny or too demanding, and started looking at photos of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward while sighing deeply. Somewhere along the line, you transformed into Wifey Material, and part of you isn’t even scared.