When you first start seeing someone, everything is rosy and good and nothing is dark and bad, and there are no tears or drama or jealousy. It’s the lovely, simple time before you even have your own feelings figured out.

You don’t want to seem needy and clingy and overly-attached, but suddenly all your friends seem lackluster and your new beau is the zenith of all that is fun and amazing in the universe and you just want to non-creepily spend every spare second in their company. So you make plans. First it’s happy hour, then food, then maybe a movie. Then it becomes all these inane activities. Let’s go rock climbing, let’s try trapezing. Ever hiked in the Shenandoah’s? LET’S DO IT.

Because when a relationship is first getting off the ground, you’re hopelessly reliant on organized activities to give your time together some structure. The gist of the plan is essentially meaningless, but there’s an unwritten rule that you’ve got to have one. Both parties must at least pretend there’s an underlying reason for meeting up besides possibly wanting to exchange DNA.

So the Big Date is scheduled and details confirmed but fro-yo becomes dinner which turns into drinks which leads to morning coffee and suddenly you’ve powered through all the classic date night activities in a single whirlwind evening and you find yourself sprawled on a couch watching re-runs of sitcoms wishing you’d spaced things out just a little bit better. It’s like speed dating except with one person instead of a roomful of singles.

And now things aren’t rosy and good or dark and bad but some kind of murky pinkish middle ground.

Is this (just) real life?

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