I’m generally a fan of things Jason Segel has a hand in — “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Knocked Up,” etc — so it didn’t take much convincing for me to go see “The Five-Year Engagement” a few days ago. Without giving any spoilers, I’ll say that I enjoyed it but was somewhat disappointed by the fact that it started to veer into “Whoa. I’ve never seen this relationship situation really addressed in a movie before“Â territory — which I greatly appreciated —Â but then got a bit more Hollywood towards the end.
Now, I understand why movies do tend to inch toward the “Hollywood relationship.” Although we bitch and clamor for realism, we still do generally want to be entertained and feel good at the end, and showing certain types of “real-life” relationships might cause people to enter the theater with buckets of hot butteredÂ ZoloftÂ instead of popcorn.
With this in mind, here are four types of real-life relationships you’ll probably never actually see in a movie
1. The man with the life-long side piece
In one of the most baffling types of real-life arrangements inÂ existence, there are men who Â have started and ended multiple relationships but managed to maintain the exact same side chick throughout each one. I guess it makes sense — comfort and consistency are, frankly, the shit — but if that isn’t the most ambitious-less, Everest College-ass relationship shit I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.
2. The f*ck buddies who don’t even really like f*cking each other
A couple years ago, a friend told me about an arrangement she had with a guy who’d come through once a week, have a couple glasses of moscato with her, and then would proceed to have terrible, awful, unbearably awkward sex with her. They both hated it — apparently he once fell asleep while she was on top of him, woke up, gave a couple more pumps, and fell back asleep — but this “relationship” continued for a couple months.
Thinking that this friend was an just a sadÂ anomalyÂ of coital despair, I told the story to another friend, who expressed that she also was in aÂ similarÂ arrangement — a full NBA season (seven months) of awful sex. When I asked her why she continued a friends with migrant worker benefits arrangement, she replied “I don’t know. I guess I just liked the way he smelled.”
3. The people only dating because…wait, why the hell are they dating again?
I was actually in a relationship like this a few years ago. We didn’t really like each other all that much, we both knew it wasn’t going to last longer than a year, and, well, did I mention the fact that we didn’t really like each other all that much?
I guess you can say that we stayed together because of the sex, but is it really worth staying in a relationship where both parties give each other a 5.5 to on the “10 point Like Scale” just because you’re sleeping with them four times a week?
It ended after exactly one year, which was maybe 11 months too long.
4. The people who’ve always pined for each other…but die without ever actually getting together
In the movies, these situations usually get resolved with some contrived-ass deferred meet cute that puts them in a situation where they have no choice but to realize that they need to be together.
In real life, though, sometimes these people continue to see each other in passing and at parties and continue to wonder and fantasize, but never actually hook-up — a situation as sad as the thought of Derrick RoseÂ proctoringÂ a PSAT. (Too soon?)
Anyway, people of VSB, can you think of any other types of relationships you’ll never see on screen? Also, if anyone out there has actually been in one of the type of relationships described today, come to #REMINISCEDC Saturday night and either I or Panama will give you a hug (if you’re a woman) or a shot (if you’re a man). Actually, f*ck it. Hugs and shots for everyone!
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)