OP-EDS

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November 21, 2003

Winter, relationships: They don't mix

Last Friday, I was walking towards Pick when I was sideswiped by a screaming gale of wind that left me apologizing to the foreign student I crashed into. Picking myself up, I outwardly cursed the blasted weather that is part of Chicago, and continued towards Cobb. Now, I tend to have a pretty clean mouth, but the extremes of Chicago weather just made me crack. All through class, I was alternately shivering and steaming hot, due to the overactive heater and thin windows; needless to say, I was not in a good mood when I left class. As I thawed out during lunch with the girls, I listened to the usual round of complaints going around the table and realized one thing: almost every remark concerned the inability of men to commit. Some were going through breakups, others were dealing with current boyfriends, and the last few were griping about PBFs (potential boyfriends). Intermittently bitching in my head about the weather, and listening to the dissatisfied women around me, I began to wonder if dating and winter were incompatible. I mean, obviously people date during the winter, but is it harder for relationships to last in the winter?

So I decided to make a list of reasons why winter keeps screwing over the dating game. Some of these have been submitted by my friends and others are the products of my extensive reasoning and thought.

The boys have been thinking (for once) over Thanksgiving/winter break and have come to the conclusion that they don't miss their girlfriends/hookup partners. Therefore, they find it easiest to just end things when they get back to school.

The looming holiday of Valentine's Day puts added pressure on an already cracking relationship, causing the guy to bolt so fast he leaves skid marks on the A-level of the Reg. I pity the boy who has an anniversary, his girlfriend's birthday and Valentine's Day in the same month.

The cold weather makes men lazier than they already are, thus sequestering them within their dirty apartments/frat houses/dorms. Their respective ladies don't want to make all the effort to see the boys, thus drama...

When dressing in layers for warmth, women forgo the traditional sexy appeal that their primitive boyfriends require for brain cell activation. Unfortunately, when some cold-blooded chick walks by wearing a mini-skirt, your man's eyes are locked to her chapped, frozen thighs. That's just begging for an argument, which leads to the next reason.

Students here generally take more classes in the winter, thereby increasing their stress levels. Problems may seem more dramatic than they really are because we're all irrational and cold.

There's nothing new during winter quarter; you're in the middle of your class sequences, you've already met new people through the clubs you joined in the fall, and the parties are lame because everyone's at home watching Real World reruns since its too frickin' cold outside. Relationships thrive on new experiences and surprises; doing the same things, especially if the relationship is just beginning, is one of the quickest ways to kill it.

People are super bored in the winter, especially at this school, and the rumor mill is always getting the most play. So when there's any drama between couples, even the Bartlett ladies find out about the current problem. This only further exacerbates the problem, causing one or both parties to flip their lids.

It's cold, and people want a warm body in their beds. A girlfriend of mine admitted to this a couple of years ago; the only problem is that eventually you realize that you're sleeping next to someone who is just taking up space and drinking all your orange juice, and you just can't take it anymore.

So there may be a couple of lessons to take from these musings. If you're in a long-term relationship and have already survived one Chicago winter, you're good. If you're in an autumn relationship, get ready for a bumpy winter. Just remember, fun dates and not spending all your time on the couch watching movies will keep your love life fairly spicy. And if you start dating in the winter, don't be surprised if your relationship changes for the better come spring.