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Have You Ever Gotten “The Disease”?


Things with the boy have been going pretty smoothly for the past few weeks! You guys finally made it through that awkward phase where you only texted each other when you were drunk, and now you’ve been meeting up for (sober!) study sessions during the week pretty regularly. Waking up to find him sleeping next to you in your bed is not an unusual sight anymore. Your friends have met him, you really like him you’re kind of infatuated with him, the birds are singing outside your window, all that good stuff.

But then one Saturday, you wake up next to him and for some reason feel… icky. And it’s not just because of his humid morning breath that’s blowing directly into your face. There’s this indescribably strong urge to just get him out of your room already so you can carry on with your day. It’s 11:30, your friends are probably all at brunch deciphering the sheer puzzle that was last night. You’re missing out, and you’re pissed off.

But why? A week ago you cuddled in bed with him until 3 in the afternoon and loved every millisecond of it. He has done absolutely nothing wrong, yet now you can’t explain why you suddenly shudder at just the thought of his stupid face.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Well, my friend, you’ve got The Disease.

It’s nothing to be worried about. It happens unexpectedly, the cause is unknown, and the only cure is to cut off all contact with him until you feel back to normal. Everyone gets it now and then, and although it is slightly tragic, it’s just a fact of dating life.  The worst part of The Disease is breaking the news to the guy, who by now has let his guard down and is completely under your spell.

Little research has been conducted on The Disease since it is a recent discovery in the dating world. However, specialists in this field are beginning to ask questions in hopes of understanding its cause. For instance, why do you suddenly lose interest in a guy who has done nothing wrong? It just doesn’t make sense. A cool guy who likes you just as much as you like him should only make you feel ecstatic, not nauseated. What is going on in your brain that makes you feel this way?! Could simple psychoanalytic theory (thank you, Psych 101 textbook!) explain this phenomenon? Could it be that, subconsciously, we know we are not ready to have a full-blown relationship, so when a guy who seems to be boyfriend-material enters our life, we just mentally shut down? That is one possible explanation, but who knows if that’s really what’s going on.

And I need to know! I’m suffering from The Disease right now and it’s worse than H1N1. Things were going awesomely with this guy Max since around Thanksgiving. We were exclusively seeing each other, but kept it casual – hanging out with him never got in the way of seeing my friends. We talked every day over winter break even though he was visiting his family in London, and I couldn’t wait to go back to school so we could be together again… But within 24 hours of seeing him, I contracted The Disease. Maybe he brought it back from Europe, I really don’t know. Since then, my symptoms have been ignoring his texts and phone calls, rolling my eyes whenever I hear his name, and pretending I don’t see him walk by me on the street.

I still have no idea what to tell him. I’m pretty sure Max would take “I’m sorry, I can’t see you anymore… I have The Disease” the wrong way, and I don’t want that kind of rumor spreading through campus.

Hopefully some day, a vaccine will be available so my granddaughters never have to suffer through this awkward experience when they’re in college. But something tells me The Disease is as stealthy and unpredictable as the common cold, so until then… pass the tissues!