It's a dating jungle out there, and in order to survive, you need to know how to identify the animals -- especially the ones likely to tear you to shreds. With that in mind, Westword consulted with dating experts to zero in on the people who've contributed to the longest, most awkward nights of your life.
Our men's list is coming soon, but today, ladies are first. Check out the top ten Denver women you've probably dated, scientifically classified (sort of) and illustrated by the renowned Noah Van Sciver.
Stalkasaurus Ex Also known as: The Stalker
A representative of this phylum is generally characterized by an intense desire to know what her paramour is doing, and even thinking, at any given moment, morning, noon or night. Several texts a day to check on what the object of her affection is up to? Think again: She'll send dozens, especially if a response raises concern -- something that everything from a casual misspelling to a carelessly chosen emoticon is capable of doing. But that's no surprise, since she puts every action through its psychological paces, after which she usually assumes the worst about your relationship. Ask for a beer instead of soda? She'll conclude you can't stand to be around her unless you're hammered. Kiss her on the cheek instead of the lips? She'll accuse you of not being excited by her anymore. After a while, her paranoia tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. That's why she's known as Stalkasaurus Ex.
Princesserous Also known as: The Princess
The typical member of the genus Princesserous doesn't have a drop of royal blood in her veins, but she makes up for this deficiency by treating the rest of humanity like a collection of serfs born to satisfy her every whim -- and for those who fail to do so, no form of verbal torture is deemed too extreme to use against them. When hitting the town, she becomes apoplectic not only at inadequately obsequious waiters or anyone foolish enough to think she'd open a door herself, but also at fellow diners who talk too much, chew too loudly or look at her for too long -- or, alternately, who don't look at her long enough. Be sure to stop at the ATM before squiring her in public, because she'll order the most expensive item on the menu, take two bites before declaring it inedible and then blame you for it, even if she's the one who picked out the restaurant.
Continue to see more of the top ten Denver women you've probably dated. Gangoffourormoria Also known as: The Crowd Bringer
The Gangoffourormoria is not a solitary creature. She can't go anywhere without a girlfriend, or maybe ten of them. Abandon the thought of a date for just the two of you. When you arrive at your destination (she'll pick the place -- usually a club in LoDo), you'll always find a pack of her pals already there. Worse, she'll lose interest in you the instant she sees them, lost in ecstatic greeting squeals, elaborate hugging rituals and small talk with so many inside jokes and private references that even a Department of Homeland Security codebreaker couldn't make heads or tails of it. Moments of bedroom romance aren't immune, either: The minute her phone buzzes, she'll forget about you faster than Usain Bolt after getting a hot foot. And her phone is always buzzing.
Musculature Reformorza Also known as: The Body Reshaper
Usually someone who was out of shape, and whose attempts to tone up involve obsessive gym time and gobbling dietary supplements of questionable legality, the Musculature Reformza tends to have such a fondness for body building that she's been known to do curls at the dinner table; such an unnaturally deep voice that she's sometimes mistaken for James Earl Jones; a bone-crushing handshake that's ruined the careers of several promising pianists; and a back pat that doubles as the Heimlich maneuver. Her idea of a fun date is carb-packing at a restaurant where the kitchen echoes with the death throes of doomed animals and/or a microwave burrito from 7-Eleven, then weight training whose fervency may cause a date who can't clean and jerk at an Olympic level of proficiency to end the evening with a dislocated shoulder (Crossfit, anyone?). But hang on to her number in case you need help moving.
Continue to see more of the top ten Denver women you've probably dated. Overtrainula Also known as: The Overtrainer
A more austere variation of Musculature Reformza. the individual grouped under the Overtrainula classification attempts to maximize her physical gifts by getting as lean as possible rather than pumping up. Forget spending a quiet evening at home. She's not happy unless she's climbing a Fourteener using only her fingernails or, in emergency situations, her teeth. Body fat is her arch enemy -- so much so that you can hear her bones rubbing against each other when she walks -- and if she thinks an extra ounce has collected on her frame, she'll react as if she's just broken the scale on The Biggest Loser. That's unlikely, though, due to an intense suspicion about anything she consumes that few dudes can match, no matter how hard they try. Swallow a Wheat Thin and she'll ask why you're poisoning yourself.
Gastrophile Abnormalectus Also known as: The Exotic Foodie
In contrast to the Overtrainula, the Gastrophile Abnormalectus loves to eat, as long as the items that make up the meal are so unusual that they'd trigger most people's gag reflex. To her, food isn't something to provide warmth, comfort and a sense of well-being and security. Rather, it's the stuff of adventure, especially if it's officially considered endangered. Dining with her requires a platinum stomach lining and the mental acuity to pretend that what you just put in your mouth doesn't have at least a fifty-fifty chance of killing you. Afterward, the technologically savvy GA will spend hours online comparing her reaction to that of others like her. On the plus side, this activity may allow you time to slip out for a burger. Too bad you won't be able to keep it down.
Continue to see more of the top ten Denver women you've probably dated. Passivaggresiva Also known as: The Passive Aggressive
A person of the Passivaggresiva order is pleasant and agreeable on the surface, but it doesn't take too much digging to uncover a deep-seated disapproval of pretty much anything you like. Suggest a hit movie and she'll go without complaint -- unless you'd interpret smiling remarks about how Hollywood flicks are created for audiences on the intellectual level of eighth-graders to be a complaint. Take her to a popular club and she'll eagerly hit the floor with you -- and just as energetically insist on listening to classical music while rubbing her temples on the way home. If you ask if she'd rather do something else, she'll deny it with the persistence of a patriot under enemy interrogation. But the truth behind her eyes may leave you worried about her murdering you in your sleep.
Nympho Prolifica Also known as: The Woman Who Can't Say No
When it comes to the horizontal mambo, the Nympho Prolifica is a helluva dancer -- the sort of sexual artist who sees each trip to the sack as an opportunity for Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli to reward her with a perfect ten. The problem is, she doesn't limit herself to a single partner. Especially when she's had a little too much to drink (which is pretty much every time she's in a joint with a liquor license), she becomes so erotically charged that any person she bumps into en route to the restroom may wind up being dragged to a stall and getting the sort of workout that's frowned upon in Zumba classes.
Continue to see more of the top ten Denver women you've probably dated. Hipsterrifica Also known as: The Hipster
Hipsterrifica has the innate need to embrace a trend before others have recognized it, and to discard it the second anyone else on the planet gives even the slightest indication of following in her footsteps. The behavior means a person dating her is fated to doing a lot of things that aren't even slightly enjoyable: splatter art made by covering yourself in paint and repeatedly running into walls, say, or maybe attending concerts featuring music made entirely of armpit noises. Moreover, there's a better than even chance that Hipsterrifica won't like it, either. Her mission isn't having a good time; it's being first to decide something's cool, and being the first to realize it isn't anymore -- even if it never was.
Ravericious Delectus Also known as: The EDM Addict
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To be an example of the Ravericious Delectus domain, a subject must not just be a fan of the EDM lifestyle, but hooked on it to such a degree that she can't walk, talk, eat, have sex or breathe without 140 beats per minute of dance music thump-thump-thumping in the background. MDMA are her favorite initials, and she thinks any party or fest that doesn't end with her stumbling into the breaking dawn with her mascara giving her raccoon eyes and her hair matted to her head as if it had been spackled with papier-mache flat-out sucks. Which would be fine every once in a while, but she can't stop or even slow down long enough to have anything resembling a coherent conversation. Average length of a date: 72 hours.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Top ten 'You know you're NOT from Colorado when' punchlines."