From Our Readers
October 06, 2013 6:00 am

Today I wanna talk to you guys about Imaginary Dating Disorder. Despite being a condition that I may or may not have just invented, Imaginary Dating Disorder (IDD for short, ‘cause there is no way that I’m typing that out every time, especially since my ‘n’ key is having a moment] is a very real and traumatic disorder. Okay, maybe not traumatic, but it’s sucky, like really sucky. IDD is what happens when you let your imagination do its own super creative but annoying thang, and it is not nice.

I shall explain IDD to you, using my test subject, Suzie, whose name has been invented because she doesn’t exist. Now Suzie is single, not by choice, but it’s also not her fault because she’s awesome. Suzie spots a guy, maybe chats to the guy for a second, only a second, but that’s enough, because Suzie is suffering from IDD. First stop:

• Imaginary Guy

The guy was real enough only moments ago, you saw him, right? There he was, being all unassuming, just passing through, but Suzie feels like she knows him already. He had a beard because all sexy guys do, which means that he’s an artist, no, a writer, yeah, definitely a writer. And he’s a super successful writer too, if she’d got his name, she would have known him straight away. And he’s vegan, he probably does yoga too, he plays the ukulele, is regularly part of a flash mob, is best friends with Michael Fassbender and has a pet Llama. This guy is the one. He is the one and he’s gone and maybe Suzie will never see him again, but wait, hold on, noooo! Maybe he has an:

• Imaginary Girlfriend

A guy that super freaking awesome couldn’t possibly be single, could he? Well he plays the Ukulele, so no, definitely not. Sorry, Suzie, meet his imaginary girlfriend. This is the girl that Suzie has always wanted to be. She’s tall, curvy in the right way and has blonde hair down to her butt. She surfs, can cook every vegan meal in the world EVER, but never puts on a pound. She is annoying as hell in her wondrousness, but so sugary sweet that you can’t help but like her, and it kills you. It kills Suzie. Poor Suzie. But there may be light at the end of the tunnel. This girlfriend is imaginary, right? So maybe Mr Dream Man is actually single, maybe he’s been looking for Suzie all his life. Therefore the next step would be the:

• Imaginary Asking Out

‘Wait!’ he says as Suzie’s about to turn the corner, and he’s back at her side, breathless and grinning. He noticed her, with all her beauty and natural awesomeness seeping out into the atmosphere, and now he simply HAS to speak to her. He NEEDS to know her name. They chat in the perfect, bashful fashion, swapping small talk while snatching glances at each other. ‘I was thinking of going to the premiere of [Insert lusted after and current movie here] because I am a friend of the stars,’ he says, ‘would you like to come with me and have all the free stuff?’ Of course Suzie accepts, this is the one after all, and fate has plopped him onto her plate. The date is perfect, he calls her beautiful and life rules, which leads them on to their:

• Imaginary Future

Imaginary guy comes up with a clever, unique, yet classy way to propose, and Suzie is surprised and elated. ‘YES!’ she screeches and he doesn’t even think her voice is annoying or hag-like, and loves her all the more for it. Suzie has somehow become the perfect girlfriend that she feared before, with time and magic, and she is brimming with confidence. They never argue, never get bored, do everything together and never stop smiling. When Suzie discovers she’s pregnant, it was something they’d been planning for and they’re overjoyed. They deck out the nursery in gender-neutral yellow, (not because they don’t know the sex of the baby, but because they don’t want the baby to be bullied by gender expectations) and buy reusable nappies and a LOT of organic food. When the baby is born, it is beautiful, (not like people always think their baby is beautiful when it looks like a gooey, screaming onion, but it’s actually a pretty baby, it’s not even gooey) and they all live happily ever after.

THE END.

That was a lovely story, right? Sucks that it’s all imaginary. Suzie’s mind went a bit mad with IDD and she got carried away. The boy never came back, the perfect future never happened and now she’s mourning the loss of a life that never was. That’s why IDD sucks, you get these ideas in your head that just snowball and run downhill, crushing everything that came before.

If only there was a button that switched off your mind when eligible guys appeared on the scene. Well I’ve got awesome news for you, science has discovered that if you live in the moment and focus on the here on now, (i.e. How soft his beard looks or how cool his Star Wars t-shirt is) then you are ten times less likely (I just made that figure up, but it sounds good, so I’ll go with it) to suffer from IDD.

So there you go ladies, it’s too late for Suzie, but you can be saved. Live in the here and now, admire his shoe taste, compliment his aftershave, heck, ask him out if you want, just stop lusting after imaginary guys, because imaginary guys can’t deliver real futures.

Imaginary Dating Disorder is a problem, but it needn’t be YOUR problem.

You can read more from Tilly Boscott on her blog.

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