The Relationship Advisory System

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I don't know about you, but I'm reporting suspicious

activity regardless of what the Homeland Security Advisory System states. Whether the threat level is green or red, a bomb is a bomb, and I'm

always going to be on the lookout.

Before disposing of this model altogether, I found a use for

it to outline the stages of a relationship. Under my assessment, I think I'd like to stick to Green this

summer—and maybe move into Blue/Yellow by the Fall. Where do you think you fall on the scale? And, do you have suggestions/additions

to my color level assessments?

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Read on for The Relationship Advisory System.

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GREEN: Low Risk

of Marriage

This is where most men think they want to be. 3 AM booty calls are the norm. Whoever happens to have cash on them

pays for meals when you hang out. You refer to one another as "friends". You're mostly out in groups if you do end up starting the

night out together. You both feel

that there may be someone better out there, but you're just having fun. There

are no expectations. Going a week

without contact is just as acceptable as being together for 48 straight

hours. Usually Green is short

lived, though gifted couples can stretch it out for months. Sex can be great at green, but

sometimes it is a bit empty.

BLUE: Guarded

Risk of Marriage

Hmmm, this person just won't go away. The Blue stage is all about more

intense testing. You're starting

to go on one-on-one dates, taking turns doing what each other likes to do, but

usually pretty casual: dinner, walks, short trips, running errands, attending

parties together, etc. You're

finding out if you're compatible at Blue. No more going more than a few days without talking. Blue can be incredibly confusing as you

both wrestle to figure out what the other is thinking and where this thing may

be going. At Blue, you realize

that your companion hooking up with someone else would be mildly

disappointing. However, it may be

the catalyst for a talk: you admit

that it would bother you more than you thought. Whatever the catalyst may be, you both realize that this

thing is getting more serious. Sex here is getting better—you're getting

familiar with one another and developing feelings.

YELLOW: Elevated Risk of Marriage

OK, so you've strung enough dates together to get to that point

where you're considered together. Yellow is the "gateway level". You're exclusively dating now. Yellow is that amazing part of the relationship where you realize you

are starting to fall. Your mind is

saturated with thoughts of the person and you're giddy every day. Lots of "landmark dates" happen

here: those dates you will both

remember forever, for whatever reason. Can you keep this feeling forever? Big events happen at yellow: you meet parents, borrow one another's

cars, and spend a lot of nights together—and the sex rocks.

ORANGE: High

Risk of Marriage

Now you've done it. You've left Yellow. Orange

is a tough level. When's the proposal going to happen? The longer Orange lasts, the more

people talk. You're now so

familiar with one another that you're getting really good at pissing each other

off just for shits and giggles. You are now a unit. You

must reply in one line together on an Evite: "John and I will be there". Terrible things are happening—you have

to pick up their Aunt from the airport, attend their sister's boring

graduation, subject your ears to their middle school cousin's orchestra

recital. And while your ears melt

under what sounds like an atonal horror film score you are starting to think of

your friends who are frolicking through the Green level fields under gorgeous

Blue level skies. Other than

Green, Orange is the most likely level where you'll stop seeing someone. Sex is

good, but sometimes used as a tool for power/leverage in the relationship.

RED: Severe

Risk of Marriage

So this is it. You've come this far. Somehow you've both withstood the elements and each other to actually

want to get married. Remember,

Orange was just a phase—one final adjustment. Only the nice things from Green, Blue, and Yellow are here:

the amazing giddiness, learning something new about each other every day, and

whoever happens to have cash pays. Red is a continuous challenge and even when Orange rears its ugly head

(maybe you have to attend one of their stupid friend's parties, or spend a

weekend with in-laws) you make it work. Sex is great here, and it makes babies!

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