A: Hey, what’s up? You’re looking a little anxious these days.
B: I know. We’re getting close to the romance deadline.
A: The romance deadline?
B: Yeah, in a couple of days I have to decide who I’ll be going out with for the next five years or so.
A: Oh, right, I forgot. Have you decided between boyfriend and girlfriend?
B: I’ve thought about it a lot, and I definitely want a girlfriend.
A: That’s cool. But don’t you worry that the standards are higher if you say you want a girlfriend? I’ve heard that boyfriends are much easier.
B: I heard that, too. But girls are what I’m really passionate about.
A: Couldn’t you just get a boyfriend first, and then switch if you don’t like it?
B: Some people try that, but it can be awkward. Better to just be honest about your intentions from the start.
A: Fair enough. So did you get any acceptances?
B: Yeah, two different women have agreed to date me. Cindy and Alyssa. But I have to choose one.
A: Hey, that’s great that you go two offers. Have you made a choice yet?
B: Well, I had coffee with Alyssa, and we really hit it off — she’s beautiful, and charming, and laughed at my jokes. I definitely think we would get along well over the next few years. I met Cindy, too; she’s a knockout, and clearly very talented, but there wasn’t as much of a spark there.
A: That can happen. So are you going to choose Alyssa?
B: I’m tempted, but the thing is — Cindy’s US News ranking is much higher.
A: Her what?
B: Every year, US News puts out rankings of boyfriends and girlfriends. Now, Alyssa is a solid top-20 girlfriend, but Cindy is top five! I’m really worried I’d be making a mistake by passing up the opportunity to go out with Cindy. Everyone has heard of her.
A: That sounds a little weird to me. How do they come up with these rankings?
B: Nobody knows, really. But everyone takes them very seriously. Still, I keep hoping that the NRC will update their boyfriend/girlfriend rankings soon. Those are supposed to be much more scientific.
B: The National Romance Council.
A: But look, you seem to have really hit it off with Alyssa. Who cares that US News ranks Cindy higher? The concept of a “boyfriend/girlfriend ranking” just doesn’t make sense — what matters is how well you personally get along with them, not some pseudo-objective measure of excellence.
B: It’s easy to say that, but this is a big decision. I’m really worried that, ten years from now when I’m ready to get married, my prospective spouse is not going to be nearly as impressed that I went out with Alyssa than if I had gone out with Cindy.
A: Come on, it’s five years of your life that we’re talking about here. Your chances of eventually being happily married would seem to be a lot better if you choose someone you’re likely to be happy with right now.
B: You’re right, I know. Well, I hope Cindy won’t be disappointed. I don’t think she’s used to being turned down.
A: Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure she’ll get over it.