1. You Lose Your Figure: Sure, in the beginning the butterflies may cause you to lose your appetite and the excessive amounts of sex (if there is such a thing as excessive sex) can substitute for your former cardio routine for awhile. That is the lust stage, a stage for which I am a huge proponent. BUT, if you’re not careful, soon enough you will become a complacent, chubby little love slave… spending nights in with your beloved instead of shaking your former tight little body on the dance floor with your girlfriends. Your white wine spritzer will be replaced with pints of rocky road and the passionate, wild sex you used to have turns into cuddling… Avoid this at all costs. Take up yoga, keep up your daily run, and don’t turn into a creature of consumption… when love consumes you, you consume everything else. Consider your waistline warned.
2. Your Fashion Sense Deteriorates: remember those hot little dresses you used to pull out for Vegas trips and first dates? Remember the way you used to exfoliate/deep condition/moisturize/wax/tan/whiten on a daily basis? Remember the way stilettos make your thighs and rear end look perfect? No, you don’t. Turn around and look in the mirror at the slightly disheveled woman in sweat pants and mussed hair wearing a foolish love smitten grin. The self-justifications are equally foolish: he loves me just the way I am. I am beautiful on the inside. Look, I really am glowing. No, you’re not glowing, that is your face getting oily from your lack of facials and cleansing. You know a woman has really lost it when she stops shaving her legs for days on end and offers to give away her hottest clothes to her “single and looking” friends because she “doesn’t need them anymore.” If this is a friend of yours, walk away… in that fabulous mini skirt that she gave to you.
3. You Ditch Your Girls: We’ve all seen it happen. The girl that organizes your events/trips/wild weekends meets “The One” (who likely doesn’t deserve her anyway) and stops returning texts/phone calls/invitations. She’s too busy thinking about him and doodling his name. Sure, before she was a young, hot, outgoing, professional woman… but now she is the equivalent of a pile of grade-school pudding scribbling his name in the margins of her income statements. She begins to generate “couple” friends, who aren’t nearly as fun as your bunch. She phases herself out of the group and soon you don’t recognize her (not only has she lost her personality, but she’s gotten fat and wears bad clothes… see above). You and your girls bemoan the loss of another soldier and you all swear to one another that will never be you. Until you lose another girl to another not nearly fabulous enough boy the following weekend. Really, this will never be you…ever…you swear… right?
4. Your Formerly Captivating Wit Turns Into a Perpetual Witless Stupor: You used to be the life of the party, holding cocktail conversation effortlessly. Your witty banter and ability to finesse your way through flirtation with the use of the appropriate amount of double entendres has withered away. If you even attend a party, it is likely with your beloved at your side and you risk losing yourself in an insular conversation between the two of you. If, by some miracle, you show up to the party alone or with your girlfriends, you are unable to take part in the inside jokes (due to your prolonged absence from your friends) and, if you dare speak, it is about Billy/Rick/Sean or whatever his name is. I know you’ve witnessed this exchange:
Normal Girl: “Sara, try this Cosmopolitan… isn’t it to die for?”
Lovestruck Sara: “Oh, no thank you. Billy/Rick/Sean only drinks whiskey.”
This exchange is taking place in some kind of head-in-the-clouds-while-wearing-rose-colored-glasses type of world that you are… luckily… not a part of. Down that Cosmo and grab another. You don’t have a date with you, so you are fully entitled to drink for two… or to walk over to the beguiling man in the corner and chat him up, drink in hand.
5. Fabulous Dates Become an “Anniversary Thing”: you love the symphony/underground music/art shows/shopping/day trips/poetry readings/theater/foreign films or a myriad of other equally fabulous and diverse things. The numerous men that ask you out first ask about your interests… and then, because you are a hard to get ridiculously wonderful little thing, they do their best to impress you by taking you somewhere that thrills you in hopes that you will find them equally or at least marginally thrilling as well. If you make the mistake of finding a singular man thrilling enough and letting him know this, he will grasp that the chase is over and he will rest on his haunches. You have been caught, my formerly engaging friend. Now you are lucky if your beloved takes you to a baseball game… on your anniversary. Settle in for pizza or, god forbid, he may expect you to do all of the cooking. Say goodbye to your formerly flawless manicured hands. They are now ruined by heat from the stove and washing the dishes.
6. You Become Boring: when you stop growing, learning, experiencing life… and being your wildly fabulous self… this is what happens. You are now nothing special. You blend in. You are one of the sheep.
7. You Might Get Knocked Up: okay, maybe not on purpose, but kind of. I don’t know what makes people lose their mind in this kind of a way. Protection becomes a thing of the past. The woman may begin skipping her pill or going off of it all together. The man decides that he can “time it right”. They become reckless, as if a love child would be a tiny little blessing. Reminder: children cost a lot of money. They scream. They want and take. They are quite demanding. And, you will have to feed/bathe/change them. All of this will make your life a whole lot less sexy.
8. Your Musical Tastes Begin to Offend Even the Least Discerning Ear: out of nowhere, Celine Dion makes sense. Of course, you used to despise the fact that she told you ten thousand times in 1997 that her “heart would go on”… but now it all makes sense to you. You play this music loudly in your car and in your house. Eventually, you forget to be embarrassed by your new musical tastes and you impose it upon your friends (if you have any left at this point). Try to get a grip. This music didn’t make sense before because it formerly offended you by its mere existence… remember this. And turn it down.
9. Um… Other Men: variety is the spice of life. If you really have found “The One,” if that mythical being exists, then more power to you and be on high alert because odds are he’s going to be a hot commodity. But, if you’ve just found “One of the Many,” then don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have you ever noticed how men refuse to settle down because they are always checking around to see if there is anything better out there? (If he’s lucky enough to be dating you… laugh at his exploration because he won’t find anything better)… Women should take the same initiative. I am not saying to spread yourself around. I am NOT a proponent of that. A loose woman does not deserve to end up with one of the Good Ones. However, you should flirt. Date. Nothing is wrong with a kiss here and there. Let men pursue you. Though they are jealous and possessive creatures and may react in a seemingly negative way to your many suitors, if they are a worthwhile man at all, they will step up to the plate and attempt to make an impression on you. Be gracious, be kind, and be hard to get. Let yourself experience what’s out there.
10. You Lose Your Fabulous, Head-Turning, Independent Self: you used to be an off-the-charts cool chick. You could quote The Hangover/SNL/Dumb and Dumber at the drop of a hat. You designed your own clothing. You threw charity events. You wrote poetry. You were an avid hiker. You developed your own film in a dark room. You played the guitar. You killed it on your xbox 360. You were an ace at beer pong. You were a bonafide sex kitten. And, then, you became comfortable. You stopped doing all of the things that made you fabulous. You stopped filling your own calendar and began waiting for him to call and fill it for you. You looked around your former world with love clouding your eyes, unable to see all that you have lost and all of the people looking at you with grave concern. Your friends invite you to see a band you used to be obsessed with and you say, “I’m not sure if I can make it yet. I don’t know what Billy/Rick/Sean is doing that night. I’ll get back to you.” Please, take back the reins to your life. You used to be so awesome.
* Maybe It Should Be Called…. Why Falling in Love CAN be a Stupid Thing To Do… I’m sure it is entirely possible to fall in love the “right” way and maintain your fabulous self in the process…
**I am prepared to eat my words. I may, at some point in my life, fall in love and become helpless and pathetic like the masses. I’m sure I will take great pleasure in my demise. I am also aware that some men exist that have the ability to make life more exciting and enhance daily experiences… if you are one of these men, thank you for existing.
*** I must remind you to NOT take me too seriously. I am sure many of you are in love and very, very happy (just don’t forget to wear your stilettos every once and awhile).