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No Going Steady

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A semi-aversion of a Love Dodecahedron, only instead of stable, dedicated relationships, the romantic situation is just too scrambled for it to form. Characters seem to go through partners faster than an allergy sufferer goes through tissues. This can land the story more on the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism unless the characters are middle schoolers, where week-long girlfriends and boyfriends happen all the time. With characters any older than that, it usually turns ridiculous.

Compare Dating Do-Si-Do, Really Gets Around and Temporary Love Interest.


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    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics features a teenage version with nearly every character just casually dating. The girls get mad when Archie dates another, but it's commonly accepted that Archie, Reggie, Betty and Veronica all date whomever they want.
  • While it tends to take longer than the above examples, a good chunk of Spider-Man's supporting cast has dated other chunks of it. (Flash Thompson has dated TWO of Peter's exes and one girl that had a crush on him, just to pick one example)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation is notorious for characters going through partners as if they were tissues. Some characters went through so many partners that they ran out of people to pair with, and had to date someone they'd been with in previous seasons. In one notable case, two characters changed sexual orientation to be together—and as soon as they broke up, one of them changed orientation right back.
  • 7th Heaven is perhaps the only show more notorious for its musical-chairs dating.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager, also by the creator of 7th Heaven, does this a lot. Amy gets pregnant by Ricky, then falls in love with and illegally marries Ben. Grace dates Jack but then they break up because he slept with Adrian. Adrian dates/sleeps with Ricky a lot but doesn't mind going out with Jack a couple of times. Grace then falls for Ricky who still has sex with Adrian a lot even though he and Grace are technically dating. Ben's best friends, Henry and Alice, were dating but then they had sex too. And apparently it was bad. And the second time was bad too. So they break up and Henry flirts with/has a crush on Amy's sister Ashley who also appears to like him. Alice goes out with the then-single Jack. But she still is up to sex with Henry... and we're only on episode 14 of season one.
  • The first couple of seasons of Sex and the City ran on this (particularly Samantha), though by the series end they were all in steady relationships, all of which reflected the serious character growth they had undergone during the course of the series, except Carrie's.
  • Both the original and reboot series of Beverly Hills, 90210 were/are known for having the main characters go though partners faster than they change clothes. Kelly is probably the worst offender in the first series and Annie in the sequel.
  • On Seinfeld, Kramer and Elaine each had a couple significant others that lasted a few episodes, George was briefly engaged, but otherwise, the four main characters go through Girl of the Week pretty much every week. Kramer is more likely to have a "money making scheme of the week" though.

    Video Games 
  • The Urbz is a spinoff of The Sims. You can kiss characters but, unlike in the main series, you can't actually settle down with anyone. There's no actual romance rearing and you can't have children.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses doesn't limit support levels like many previous games (except for the protagonist's S-Support, which can only happen with one character), but the A-rank support for a lot of pairs is explicitly romantic, which can give the impression late in the game that the students are falling in love every other week.

    Visual Novels 
  • Until the end of Daughter for Dessert nears, the protagonist can have commitment-free sexual relationships with all of the girls.
  • Subverted in Double Homework if the player wants a relationship with Lauren. Lauren will only go all the way if the protagonist will agree to publicly declaring Lauren and himself as a couple. However, it won’t preclude him from bedding anyone else.
  • Enforced in the original Tokimeki Memorial with the "Bomb System". Making dates with one girl exclusively is the easiest way to lose. If you don't take other girls you know on dates once in a while, they will feel neglected and "bomb" you (i.e. spread gossip about you), making the feelings of all of the other girls negative — including the girl you're focusing on! The balancing act this creates between building a strong relationship with the character you're truly interested in and keeping all the other girls happy is one of the trickiest aspects of the game.

    Real Life 
  • Real Life Averts. Whilst they still will get genuine surprise from many, long-standing couples exist that last through high school, or even beyond, though they are still relatively rare.