Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars


We Americans love to talk about our wars. We love learning about them, we love making movies about them and we really, really love pretending to punch Hitler in the face. It's why we spend half our time claiming that our political opponents are Nazis; our generation missed out on the chance to go after the real thing.

Unfortunately, war is an incredibly complex, ever-changing topic, and understanding military history is both time-consuming and very, very hard work. So we're going to explain it in terms most anyone can understand: ex-girlfriends.

The American Revolution

Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars

The First One. It wasn't that great, you had no idea what you were doing and the sex was clumsy and awkward, but in your mind it will live on in legend. But you're ready for the next one. You need the next one. In fact, you're so desperate for another chance to touch real, actual boobs that you wind up with ...

The War of 1812

Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars

The Forgettable One. She just kind of ... happened. You guess. Really, you don't remember much aside from a few evenings spent groping around and an utterly disappointing trip to the Olive Garden. If you had to make a list of your former lovers, she would rank as "Included." Some people claim that she's the one who helped burn down your last apartment, but whatever. You wanted to move anyway. It didn't last very long, and you were glad when it was over, but at least she helped prepare you for ...

The Civil War

Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars

The Crazy One. This girl was into anything. You invented new shit just to keep up with her, and it still wasn't enough. She partied harder than anyone you've ever met, invented no fewer than 14 new positions and spent half your relationship trying to convince some British guy to come over for a threesome. She openly wondered how cool it must have looked when your last apartment burned to the ground. You're hung over just thinking about her, although you still love to fantasize about the unbelievable things she let you do. You had to swear off dating for a while just to catch your breath, right up until your friends dragged you into ...

World War I

Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars

The Setup. Your friends had this great girl, someone they knew from work. They wanted you two to get together. Really wanted you to get together. Like, desperately. It got weird. Of course, it had been a while since you'd been with anyone, and you were kind of reluctant, but your friends just wouldn't take no for an answer. Finally you gave in, if only to shut them up. You and she went out for a little while, and you had a few good times, but it wasn't that special for either of you. Frankly, it seemed to mean a lot more to your friends than to you. But at least you were back in the game, which opened the door for ...

World War II

Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars

The One. True Love. The one by which all others will henceforth be judged. You thought you knew what love was before, but you were wrong. She was perfect. Beautiful, smart and incredibly sexy. She helped you forgive your friends for the Setup. Your parents were proud of you for dating her. Sex? Please. She did things the Crazy One never even dreamed of. While you were with her, it felt like you could take over the world. She pushed you to become a better man, and you will always be grateful to her for it. You still carry her picture in your wallet. If it hadn't been for that time you caught her with her Russian co-worker, you would still be together. Unfortunately, you did, which led directly to ...

The Korean War

Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars

The Rebound. What can you say? It was short and unsatisfying for everyone involved, and by the time it ended, you were more relieved than anything else. There wasn't even that much attraction there; she just kind of happened to be available and it seemed like a good idea at the time. It's not that anything went particularly wrong, though. At the end, things kind of returned to the status quo, unlike ...

The Vietnam War

Failed Relationships Understood Via U.S. Wars

The Dirty Hook-Up. Wow, do you regret this one. Like, bone-deep shame-style regret. You wouldn't even admit that it happened at all except for your one asshole friend who absolutely had to tell the entire world. You don't remember how she got into your life. Maybe your friends might have introduced you to her? It might be time to get new friends.

Still, it wasn't so bad at first. She was new and exotic, had a few ideas you'd never tried before and reminded you just enough of The One that you could close your eyes at night and pretend. But then things got out of control. She started calling constantly and at all hours. She spent all your money and ran up a huge credit card bill. You never knew whether she was coming over to have sex or pick a fight. You tried to call it off, you really did, but it never seemed to work. No matter how confident you were the night before, somehow you always woke up the next morning back in bed with her. She wasn't even that hot. After it was finally over, she trashed your car with a baseball bat. It took forever to get rid of her, and you swore that you would learn your lesson. Seriously. The next time will be different.

After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

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