24 Stages Of 'True Love,' As Written By Second Graders

This is sadly an unfinished epic, but there's still lots to learn. This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com.
@ted_scheinman / Twitter via TheAwl

Courtesy of Matthew Malady at The Awl, the story behind this self-help-book-made-from-a-napkin masterpiece. Two girls in a second grade classroom somewhere — girls who are destined to grow up and write advice columns if not actual self-help books — wrote the listicle above in the ten or so minutes they had to spare after finishing their assignments early. Their giggling caught their teacher's attention, and their work was then confiscated before they had the chance to find a proper publisher. They didn't even get a chance to finish the list, in fact, which Malady believes only adds to their work's wonder:

"The missing portions, or lacunae, in the manuscript leave a lot of delicious questions, as does step nine, which is really a palimpsest-type situation—you can see that it once read: 'You go in bed forever.' There's a variety of interpretations here. Maybe they were just tired after all that dancing? Frankly, it would take a professional paleographer to tell whether certain missing numbers were left blank intentionally, or out of delicacy, or even which 'rules' correlate with which numbers. It's like the Dead Sea Scrolls except more important."

And with that in mind here's the list in full, illustrated with GIFs because I think we all know the Dead Sea Scrolls would pop up first on BuzzFeed if they were written today:

1. First you stare at the person.

2. You get close to each other

3. You ask for a date.

4. You go in bed and do sex

5. When you kiss you suck and lick

6. Get "nacked" in bed and do more sex.

7. [blank]

8. Go dance and put your noses together.

9. [also blank]

10. You go in bed forever Then kiss forever.

11. Take a shower together and kiss.

Please note: this is not a GIF of shower stall sexytimes — even though there are a lot of raunchy Prisoner Cell Block H GIFs out there. It's just a photo of a cat in a shower. Why? Because I think shower sex is gross. There, I said it.

12. Give each other rings.

13. Go to the pool together.

14. — 24. [all blank/unfinished]

OK, now everyone go make their relationships better!

Follow Alex on Twitter.

Photo credit: @ted_scheinman / Twitter via TheAwl

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