Relationships in terms of International Relations Theory

That guy in the leopard print toga you kissed on the Wednesday of O-week was merely a Temporary Alliance. He was super pretty and miraculously appeared with his arm around you just as your friends stopped being fun. You utilised the opportunity because you’re strategic like that. Strategy wins wars people! As do Togas. Well, at least they used to.

When you rekindled things with him in the concert mosh on the Friday night this alliance morphed into a “Great and Powerful Friends” situation. Concerts are like wars. They are potentially perilous and consequently, much safer when you have a sexy man (superpower) holding your hand. This is also known as an “Insurance Policy.”

He never texted you afterwards (formalised the alliance in a treaty) and you never expected him to because you read Machiavelli in first year and thus consider yourself a realist. Everyone knows that College boys are like the US: they do as they please then forget about it the next day.

You’re secretly just a tiny bit sad about it though because, like John Howard going into the Iraq War, you prefer to rationalise your terrible life choices. That, as well as the fact that he had nice abs and it’s just a pity you won’t be able to admire them again.

Containment is when you conceal all details of your love life from friends and family. It’s for the best really. Transparency is for failed states not ANU students. You’re the equivalent of a member of the Security Council. You could be self-imploding and it would be nobody’s business.

Domino Theory is when your friend gets a new boyfriend and stops being interesting. You avoid her because everyone knows that, like Communism and Mad Cow disease, boredom is contagious. Reverse Domino Theory is when she calls you out on your crap and you get coffee at Harvest. You tell her she needs to wax her eyebrows. Urgently. She informs you that your dress is transparent. Transparency is also good for geo-politics. Alas, friends again!

Hegemonic Stability Theory is if you only date guys that make it damn obvious they like you. As in, reply to messages within eight seconds flat, hold your hand in public and make things “facebook official” eerily fast. This theory is as ineffective in relationships as it is in the real world. Everything looks fine, but be aware, your relationship is a train wreck. When America was the global Hegemon they went to war in too many places at once, for some dumb reasons and some good ones, and then ran out of money and legitimacy to fix their own problems. Thus, the world is back in a multipolar, unpredictable state of perpetual chaos.

An Arms Race occurs when you date a guy that just isn’t a big talker. You are both too stubborn to make any moves so instead stockpile weird ideas about where things are going until you’re a neurotic mess and assume the other hates you for no legitimate reason.

Structural Bipolarity is when you are dating two jokers at once and it’s starting to turn you into a bit of a crazy person. Neither of them feels like committing to anything other than their tight v-neck shirts so you are in limbo and just hating on the male species at large. Eventually one of them throws some punches (missiles) in Cube (Cuba – geddit?) and you tell him he is a twat. Too bad because the other is already in serious talks with his roid-cruncher mates about some new gym program and doesn’t have time for ladies anymore. You buy yourself a few of the first guy’s old missiles to protect what is left of your dignity.

The Treaty of Westphalia is that bizarre list you made in grade seven with pink highlighter regarding all the traits of your perfect man. Come on, no one is nice AND funny. You have to choose. Plus, real life boys possess the capacity to choose too. And chances are it won’t be you. You don’t have enough oil.

Humanitarian Intervention is when your friends try to set you up. They are seriously concerned about your aforementioned life choices. It is a colossal failure though because set ups, like Humanitarian Interventions, only work if they are swift, unprecedented and, well, forceful. Your friends still pat themselves on the back for this act of charity. Like the media, they can censor what they say and think and 90% of it is outright rubbish.

The Neo-Conservative interpretation of this article would be “My god, don’t date crazy IR enthusiasts!” However, this deduction would be the equivalent of saying that Democratic Peace Theory is a thing. It just isn’t. There are more guns in the US than the rest of the world put together. Plus, personally I’d much rather live in Bhutan, a Constitutional Monarchy than New Zealand, an unadulterated Democracy. They have like, Yetis. So much cooler than sheep.

NOTE: 96.7% of these scenarios were purely hypothetical. I’m too busy for that shit.

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