The Five Love Phases

February 16, 2009

Ah, love is in the air.

As I look at my life – married to a loving wife – it seems to have happened so fast. But we know growing up is slow when you’re a kid. It takes a long time to be ready to fall in love, to be married. Children love a lot of things before they learn to love someone else enough to marry them.

The Church of No People Institute for Higher Learning has outlined the ‘Five Phases of Love,’ based, in general, on what children love, as they grow toward actually loving another human being. Maybe your phases overlapped, or went by different names, but I think we’ll find a common thread here. You can tell me what your childhood obsessions were before you discovered the other gender.

The Phases of Love in Boys and Girls

Girls Phase One: Barbie
Girls start out really early trying to ‘find themselves.’ They seem to want to learn how to be beautiful, how to be mommies, how to be a ‘big girl’ (or a princess.) So they love dolls, they love playing ‘house,’ they love to do and be everything mom does. I don’t know what drives girls to do this. Boys don’t seem to seem so preoccupied with trying to figure out how to be grown up. Maybe it’s in our DNA – the girls will figure out how to be adults, marry the boys, then tell them how to be adults.

Boys Phase One: Legos
Case in point. The girls are over there, getting business done, and all the boys are doing is sticking blocks together. Now, I know that boys are supposed to have ‘analytical minds,’ and that our prehistoric engineering instincts are at work when boys play with Legos. But I have another theory as to why boys love Legos: it’s fun to smash things. Your little genius isn’t going to be the next great engineer. He’s getting ready to play ‘Godzilla.’

Girls Phase Two: Horses
Once girls figure out that Ken will never do what Barbie tells him to do, now matter how much she nags, she moves on from playing house, and has the equivalent of a mid-life crisis. Where a middle-aged recent divorcee might get a smoking hot car, a little girl fantasizes about being whisked away on a beautiful white horse…with rainbow hair…and sparkly feet.

Boys Phase Two: Ninja Turtles
Girls begin to love animals about the same time boys do. But while girls are obsessed with graceful creatures with flowing manes prancing across a flowery meadow, boys are obsessed with oversized mutated amphibians who live in a sewer, eat pizza, and smash things. Makes sense.

Girls Phase Three: Boys
Finally, girls grow out of dolls and horses. They also seem to lose any semblance of intelligence or self-control as they become giggly little hyenas. The girl is now ready for years of obsessive swooning over yearbook photos, awkward dances, and laughing with her friends in such a way that is completely repellant to boys.

Boys Phase Three: World of Warcraft
Sure, maybe boys at this point like girls. Or at least, they like them in principle. Maybe they’ll even take a step towards temporarily obtaining a girl. But really, boys are obsessed with getting home from school, booting up the computer, and logging a marathon game for hours of questing and smashing things.

Phase Four: Marriage
Phase four is finally the phase when both genders meet in the common, desperate struggle to not be left alone. Suddenly, you find half your friends are married, and the market is shrinking at an alarming rate! Quick, do some sit ups, comb your hair, pull yourself together! Finally landed the right person? Whew. Breathe a sigh of relief. Now be attached to that person 24/7. Call each other stupid mushy names. Say you’ll ‘die’ if you ever have to leave each other overnight. How sweet.

Hopefully, you remain in this phase for a long time, but the honeymoon can’t last forever.

Women Phase Five: Tupperware
Tupperware parties, basket parties, candle parties, soap parties, scrapbooking parties, chocolate parties. Any hobby which gets you away from your man for a while. Maybe you picked Tupperware at random, not because you like it, but because you know your husband will never want anything to do with it.

Men Phase Five: ESPN
Twenty-four hours a day: grown men with the physique you’d like to have, on a ball field – smashing each other.

How did your love phases go? What were your childhood obsessions that you eventually grew out of (hopefully)?