What ‘A to Z’ can teach us about the dating world

I know that I could totally be biased here. I happen to love romantic comedies with every fiber of my being, and A to Z is basically a weekly installment of a well-acted rom com. But still, I think we can all agree that Cristin Miliotti deserves a happy ending after getting killed off by the writers of How I Met Your Mother.

The premise of the show is to display all the moments big and small, from beginning to end, of the relationship of Andrew and Zelda (the two main characters). In fact (and I swear this is not spoiler-alert-worthy), we’re told in the opening of the show that Andrew and Zelda’s relationship will last eight months, three weeks, five days and a few hours. We know exactly how long it lasts–though of course we don’t know what happens at the end. This is television, after all.

But then I was thinking. . . what would happen if you knew the expiration date of a relationship before it even started?

The last guy I dated was in my life for four months. The first month of those four was perfect. We enjoyed each other’s company. We laughed at each other’s stories. We learned our mutual histories. We met each other’s friends. But then, at a certain point, he started getting weird. Weird about the fact that we had been together longer than he expected from someone he met on Tinder. Weird about us not seeing anyone else and me assuming that meant being exclusive. The weirdness eventually got overwhelming, and our relationship just couldn’t handle it anymore. We broke up the night of my birthday party. Great timing, I know.

Would knowing the expiration date of our relationship have saved me from a lot of heartache? Yes, it absolutely would have. And that is certainly a tempting thought. It makes me want to find a machine that can predict the future. Then find another machine to take me back in time and avoid this guy I used to date. That would certainly make life easier.

If we knew the ends of our relationships before we started them, we probably wouldn’t embark on the relationship in the first place. And then consider all of the character building (as cliché as it sounds) that we’d miss out on. Would I be with my current boyfriend, for instance, if I hadn’t learned from the boy who couldn’t commit? Probably not. I may not have been ready for him otherwise. As hurtful as the end of my last dating dalliance was, I now know it paved the way for my current commitment.

The meeting of Andrew and Zelda on this rom com series is adorable. We know that something happens to end the relationship later, but that doesn’t cheapen the meeting. The only thing that would cheapen that is if we found out Zelda had been dead the whole time.

Blair Thill is a project manager in media living in New York City. Her not-so-secret goal is to write the next great romantic comedy. She’s a chronic over-thinker, and would say she uses sarcasm as a defense mechanism, but it tends to work in her favor when it comes to meeting people. The key to knowing her is to watch Almost Famous and read Jane Austen.

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