grilly's *totally academic* guide to affairs

so i was thinking; what makes a person have an affair? if tv and movies are anything to go by, sometimes it's because there's a problem at home; but more often it's not because the cheater doesn't love their partner, they just miss the excitement of the earlier stages.

over time, relationships get more stable (hey, this is just statistics; unstable relationships ultimately fall apart, right?). they don't become any less enjoyable, perhaps they even get more enjoyable. depends on how deep or shallow you are as a person i suppose. but if you're the kind of person who doesn't mind lying continually for your whole life about who you are, why not have your cake and eat it? why not have the cuddly fireside joys of a well-established long-term relationship, while enjoying the rarefied untapped potential of a new relationship?

as relationships unfold, they unfold slower and slower. less is new every day. so there's not a linear pattern here. i reckon milestones are at 3 months, 9 months, 18 months, 3 years, 6 years, and so on. so i've been thinking about an idea of how a person who wanted to cheat and ultimately experience every stage of a relationship simultaneously should behave, and i would like to present it as an algorithm.

every three months, start having a relationship. you are only allowed one partner at any given stage of a relationship: in my opinion, 0-3 months, 3-9 months, 9-18 months, and so on. it has been suggested that maybe the milestones aren't temporal but rather more flexible; that doesn't affect the overall algorithm. why not put in your own ones? in order to experience the full joy of a long-term relationship, in case of ending up with two partners in the same stage, you dump the most recent one. this has the added benefit of protecting you from being dumped in case you are ever found out by your long-term partner; you've got another one right around the corner.

0 months: start going out with A
after 3 months, things change a bit and you (being a cheater) want to live through that time again.
3 months: start going out with B
now you have two people who are in the 3-9 month category. you don't need two, you only need one in each category, so dump B and get someone else to go through the first 3 months again.
6 months: start going out with C, dump B
9 months: you have been going out with A for 9 months, and C for 3 months. start going out with D.
12 months: dump D, start E
15 months: C now enters 9-18 month stage with A, so dump. you now have A (9-18 months), E (3-9 months). start going out with F.
18 months: dump F, start going out with G.
21 months: you have G at 3 months, E at 9 months, A at 21 months. no clashes! start going out with H.
24 months: dump H, start going out with J.
27 months: you have J at 3 months, G at 9 months, E at 15 months, and A at 27 months. why not go through those first three months again? start going out with I.

by this point, you're going out with 5 people, and you've had 10 concurrent affairs. you must have insane time management skills to last this far, especially if you've moved in with A.

i think you get the picture.

disclaimer: i take no responsibility for hearts broken, dreams shattered, or periods of depression entered as a result of reading this guide. I shouldn't have to point out that this idea developed from me thinking 'things were different when we started going out' not 'i want to cheat on my partner'.
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