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Strike a random conversation and throw in a subtle hint that you would want to go out with her. Give her some time. Your hint was supposed to be subtle, but she will still run a mile with it. Your idea of going out implies casual dating, a fling. She, of course, has other plans.

She will reject your subtle advances, but only for a little while. It will not be long before she will start questioning and regretting her own decision and will want to turn it around. She will hint at wanting to hook up with you – obviously not meant in the true sense of hook up, because she will claim she is much too innocent for that. You will be pestered to ask her out again, simply because she doesn’t want to do that. You will ask her out again, and because technically, you were the one who approached her again, this puts her in the driving seat. Her reply will be in the affirmative this time. She will establish from the start that she wears the pants in this relationship.

Your relationship will be a big secret. No one has to know, no one has to find out. When together in public, you will talk to her like you would to any other friend. Obviously, you will wink at each other, but that will only be for the two of you to see. Somewhere during that winking she will notice the colour of your eyes. She will later tell you how beautiful your eyes are.

No one must know that the two of you have upgraded your status from friends to lovers. You are allowed to hug anyone you want to but not her, and you are definitely not allowed to hold her hand. You are not just being nonchalant; you are taking it to the next level.

Don’t panic, or be sad. This phase will pass.

And soon it does. She will gradually tell her inner circle about you, and then proceed to tell her family. And then, she will change her facebook status from ‘Single’ to ‘In a relationship’. Putting it up on facebook is what makes the commitment official for her. Since she would want to mention who she’s ‘In a relationship’ with, it means that both of your facebook statuses get changed. Oh happy day.

It will not be slow and subtle. The transition from making the relationship secret to public will probably take one night, or less, given the amount of time it takes for her to successfully take over your facebook profile. She will memorize all the two thousand something tagged pictures you have, posting comments such as “Oh, what a cutie you are” and “My guy is like so hotttt” on the ones she especially likes. It is highly unlikely that she doesn’t like them all, unless you’re with another woman in a picture. She will demand that you remove those pictures immediately.

When you log into your facebook next, she will not only have commented on your pictures but would have been rampant on your facebook wall as well. Brace yourself for a plethora of “hugs” in asterisks, “I love you”, “I miss you” and words such as honey, baby, sweetheart and the likes. It is vital that you reply to her wall posts, else she will get offended and eat your brains out to know why you’re ignoring her. You will obviously have to comment on all her pictures.

Come her birthday, and she will expect diamonds for presents. You, being short on cash, will only get her gold. But she will be consoled by the fact that you spent the entire day with her – and that includes not just the meal you took her out to, but the minutes and the seconds you spent on the phone with her because she couldn’t spend any part of that day without talking to you.

You are not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, because you believe that you don’t need just one day to tell someone that you love them. However, she will want to be extra nice on V-Day. When you tell her not to do anything special for you, she will cancel the huge teddy bear but will still get you the gigantic box of chocolates. Her card will say that it is a gift “for being such a special friend, not a Valentine’s Day gift”. Try to abstain from slapping your forehead when you read it.

Your cell phone inbox has always had a series of cheesy messages from her, but now they will have more content asking you about the ‘surprise’ you are planning for your first anniversary, which is around the corner. You take her out to lunch on your anniversary, and she will come back hurt at the lack of red roses and promises of fidelity. Apologizing incessantly will make her angrier, but she will give in at the end of the day and call you up to cry over how stupid she had acted.

You meet her every weekend, but pretty soon the week long distance will be too much to take. You propose meeting her once a week in addition to the weekend, but even that seems to less. Skype becomes the solution to that, because having a webcam on will ensure that she can see you all the time. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t talking, it doesn’t matter if you’re busy with your work, it doesn’t matter if you’re asleep; she just wants to see you at all times. Her world becomes dark the moment your face disappears from sight, and so having a perfectly functional webcam is the central ingredient to her well-being. If you have to leave the camera unattended to go to the loo, you must orient the camera towards the door so that she can keep an eye out for “unwanted thieves” in your absence. Just be grateful she doesn’t want to hear you pee.

Constant staring will become boring after a while, because how often can she comment on the beauty of your eyes? Skype conversations wouldn’t go down well with her, because you guys talk all the time anyway. The ingenious solution she proposes is that you watch a movie ‘together’ on Skype. You will not understand how that works, but allow her to explain. It is imperative that the two of you have the same copy of the same movie, and even more imperative that you start the movie at the same time. You are not allowed to watch the movie in full screen, because along with the movie, the screen also has to be devoted to her live image via webcam. She wants to see you watch the movie with her, because she is doing the same.

Sharing facebook passwords will be a must. If she dies, she has chosen you as the person worthy of getting rid of her facebook account. She considers this an honour bestowed upon you.

When you fail to commemorate the two year milestone in your relationship in a manner suited to her satisfaction, she will feel the need to do something to make you commitment even stronger. In her terminology, it means to do something to bind you to her so that you never get to leave. She will want to talk about the future – your future, together. Daunting.

You need not worry, because she will have everything planned. From your graduation to your masters to the number of children you will have, she will know it all. You only have to follow her master plan to keep her happy. She will have your engagement and wedding already planned. The dates, the decoration, the dresses, the venues, the guest list, probably even the number and names of kids she will want to have – with you, of course.

Her insecurities will play up from time to time when the two of you will be in different cities for college. To mark her territory, she obviously can’t come in and pee around your dorm room. Instead, she will go digital, and decide to post a black heart (the sideways cone) on your facebook wall. You will be forced to change your facebook profile picture to one of the two of you, with a caption such as ‘My sweetums’ on it. The world must know that you are hers and hers alone. And what better way to do it than through the largest social networking site there is?

Of course, she will miss you relentlessly, which means that you will have to brace yourself for a lot of sad and crying emoticons, and a lot of actual tears as well. She will randomly call you in the middle of the night and cry her eyes out on the phone, because she misses you so much it hurts. She will amaze and baffle you with her ‘commitment’ to you, because she will count not just the days, but the hours and minutes and even seconds, until she gets to see you again.

During your tenure at college, Skype will take on a new meaning, because that will be her only way of being able to see you. The two of you will extend your hands towards the laptop screens and curse it for being there, lamenting over the inability to touch that face in person. Don’t be depressed; she will make you feel better by quoting the number of days again. You will, obviously, watch many more movies on Skype. She will tell you that if it weren’t for Skype, the two of you would’ve broken up long ago. Ah yes, kudos to new advances in technology.

Being far away from you and unable to see you every week, she will get a little insecure. Cross out the little and make that a lot. She will portray paranoia like you have never seen before. Every girl you talk to will be the one you are cheating on her with, and thus will have to be excluded from your list of friends. Any female who may be in your vicinity such that you can smell her perfume, will be the slut who is trying to steal “her guy”. If you make the mistake of getting a picture taken with a member of the opposite sex, she will walk all the way to your dorm if she has to, just to make sure that you are still faithful to her.

With her going out guns blazing on all your female friends, it will only be a matter of time before you find yourself solely in male company. And then, she will worry about you turning bi and hooking up with one of the boys. So eventually, you will be left with no friends. But no worries, since who needs friends when you have her, something that she will be quick to point out.

Day in and day out you will be on the phone or on Skype with her. You will create new records of texting. And even that will not be enough. She will need more assurances; she will tell you to move up the engagement date she had planned to the coming month.

You will want to break up with her. She will not take kindly to it. Keep in mind that she is a bag of hormones, even though it is not her time of the month yet. The moment you hint at a breakup, she will become such a pathetic weeping heap that the sorry sight alone would make you want to put off the breakup. Obviously, since you suggested the breakup, she will want you to take it back. She will need constant assurances that she is your “only love”, that she is “the one”. Your failure to provide any will be the start of the tedious breakup process.

You will tell her that you did not like being friendless because of her paranoia. She will accuse you of cheating. You will tell her that you would have wanted some say in plans of the future, instead of suddenly being told to get engaged next month. She will accuse you of getting cold feet. You will break up with her. She will start plotting your murder.