Passing the parcel was a fun game when we were kids. Now it’s passing the partner aka group dating. How does it work? Nothing as spicy as wife-swapping, this is more about a close-knit bunch of friends where one boy starts dating one girl within the group. Once they break up, one or both find comfort in the arms of others from the same group. Over time, most of the girls end up dating most of the boys. What’s hilarious is how a couple declaring undying love for each other are seen wrapped around another friend just days later, professing the same kind and quantum of love.
What is even more fascinating is that despite the emotional rough and tumble, the group doesn’t disintegrate. As they say, a group that loves together, stays together!
Be single and flaunt it
They insist they are single not because of lack of options but out of choice. Some have “commitment phobia”, some are too much of a “free spirit”. We suspect no one’s really found them good enough to date. Or they haven’t mustered the courage to ask someone out.
These “proud” singletons, however, don’t lose a single opportunity to remind their friends about the long list of boys/girls supposedly vying for their attention. And they can often be seen sniggering at committed couples. Sour grapes, guys?
The sensible (and rare)
For every OTT, compulsively status-changing, annoying clinging couple, there’s the sensible sweet couple. They may come to college together but they have separate sets of friends and talk about things other than each other! They’re so much in love but don’t make the rest of us gag. We heart!
He is her high school senior’s best friend’s neighbour, whom she “friended” on Facebook because they had some 156 mutual friends! First they chat endlessly online, soon love blossoms, then marriage plans… babies, their names… the works. But hold on to your keyboard, the two haven’t even met in person!
Recently a Calcutta girl left her college, family and even country — spending daddy dear’s money — to go and study in the UK just to be near her new boyfriend, found on Facebook.
In most cases, the fairy-tale ending does not happen but one thing’s for sure — Mark Zuckerberg is the new Cupid on the block.
They live their lives and their loves on Facebook. Every twist and turn of their tumultuous (read childishly stupid) romance is played out in status updates. A good date translates into “love is in the air”, a fight means the relationship status is immediately changed to “It’s complicated” and a break-up means weepy updates followed by “awww” and “poor darling” comments from FB friends, by the dozen.
Whatever the status-changer is up to, the world needs to know, in excruciating detail.
Then there are the ones who are in a relationship with everything — be it their fave cheesecake, shopping hotspot or gaming console! They are, in fact, in a relationship with Facebook!
On a leash
It’s a dom-sub relationship alright, minus the kinky sex gear! One partner decides who to hang out with, where to eat, what movies to watch and how much to spend. He decides the length of her skirt, she treats him like her personal chauffeur. And the other partner goes along, all in the name of love.
“After a point I realised that I had lost control of my own life. I had to call up and ask for my boyfriend’s permission before asking my mother. And it was easier convincing my mom!” says a 21-year-old.
The lovey-dovey couple
They can be found in every college, the too-much-in-love couple joined at the hip. Never to be seen alone, they often turn up in colour co-ordinated outfits. Their romance starts with a spectacular proposal, a super-romantic date and a showering of gifts. Then starts the constant texts, the love-struck Facebook status messages, the common display pictures, the mushy and squishy photo updates and the quick calls every hour “just to hear your voice, baby”. They ditch plans with friends without a thought if their other half becomes available and can’t stop talking about how “he completes me”. Dagger in the heart!
This type is mostly male and mostly intoxicated… not with alcohol but dramatic self-pity. They will mope and moan about their lost love, imagined or real. Everyone on campus will know their “love story” and subsequent “bitter heartbreak” and they expect everyone to treat them with kid gloves. The men will grow a beard (a must), the rarer female Devdas will write furiously in a diary and listen to With Or Without You on loop. And whenever possible, this tribe will get drunk. Sometimes, the heartbreak is just an excuse to get smashed, repeatedly.
Bound for rebound
Some people need to be in a relationship, all the time. They break up with one person and in the throes of skewed emotions and raging hormones, start scouting for the next prospective partner. Strangely, they end up finding one too, in a matter of days. Time and again. This lot absolutely detests staying single. Maybe it’s to get over the ex or perhaps it’s just for the sex, but “once bitten, twice shy” does not apply to them.
He bathes once a year when summer ends and probably knows no girl except the ones on his PlayStation. She’s haughty and Miss Know-it-all. Or Miss I-don’t-wax-ever. He’ll drive you insane with his moody angst, she will tell you which underwear is best for you. We anoint them
The Undate-ables! And every campus has them… so many of them! Aargh.
If you are a girl and don’t have an FB stalker, you must be living under a rock. But stalking, once the preserve of men, is hardly a gender thing anymore. On Facebook, everyone stalks. Be it the annoying guy who constantly sends friend requests and game requests and keeps liking your every post and commenting on your every picture or the bitter ex-girlfriend keeping tabs on her guy and his latest squeeze. Earlier, if a guy liked a girl, he had to work up his courage and go ask her phone number. Now all he needs to do is log on to her FB profile and prowl. Who uses a phone to communicate now anyway?!
Most of it is harmless stalking but sometimes it gets out of hand, when a stalker tries to get in touch in person. Or creates a fake account with your pictures and starts posting on your behalf. There are laws against this, so don’t hesitate to contact the cops.
Serial daters are not that different from serial killers. They plan their next target even as they are dating one person. This type flaunts each relationship like a badge of honour, so the more the better. And they date all kinds — the geeky library type, the hot girl, the science chick and the political activist, just to tick all the boxes. “When you go to an ice cream shop, do you pick the same flavour every time? No, na?! Dating is just like that!” declares a 22-year-old self-confessed serial dater.
At a time when “me” is often more important than “we”, open relationships are the way to go for many youngsters. While it’s all about “space” and “individuality”, what it really means is “I’m with you till I find someone better”.
Sometimes it means both partners are allowed to date others, without any guilt or heartburn. The term “friends with benefits” is the buzz among today’s youth, who don’t want to complicate their lives with the big — Obligation, silly! But as it often happens with matters of the heart, someone or the other ends up getting hurt. Then? Enter Devdas!