Hey Ted,

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we are legally in a relationship now. You are officially my boyfriend. Facebook has automatically updated your relationship status.

Here’s what happened, Ted…

In the state of California, if a squatter moves into an unoccupied space and the owner does nothing about it for long enough, she can legally own the property. In this case, the squatter is me and the space is the position of being your girlfriend. Seeing as how this space is currently unoccupied, I’m going to claim it as my own.

I know that we’ve only been having casual sex, but now you’re my boyfriend. This has been going on for six months, the minimum amount of time needed for a squatter to claim ownership, and you haven’t kicked me out. Well, you do kick me out of your apartment regularly, but you haven’t kicked me out of this tryst (your word, not mine. I call this pre-marriage). Fortunately, I discovered squatters rights, a loophole in the legal system that means that we are currently officially dating.

You see, the problem is that you left the space open for a squatter, so now you’re my boyfriend. I know you claim to be “seeing other people,” but I’ve been recording the comings and goings from your apartment. I believe that I have enough legal evidence to prove that I’m your only regular sexual partner.

Furthermore, a squatter can gain legitimate rights to a property by paying rent in the form of improvements to the space. I think it’s pretty clear that I’ve made improvements to you; when we first met, you didn’t even know how to politely tell a woman she needed to shower, and now, you’re a pro! When we first met, you didn’t even realize you had HPV, but thanks to me, today, you do! So now you’re my boyfriend.

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Many use squatting as a way to make a political statement about the economic disparity in our country between rich and poor. I too would like to make a statement — one about the differences between girls with boyfriends and girls who experience boyfriendlessness. Girls with boyfriends continue to get more boyfriends even if they squander their original boyfriends by breaking up with them. Contrast this with girls who have never had a boyfriend. Without a boyfriend, they become increasingly desperate, making them even less likely to acquire boyfriends. This is the vicious cycle that perpetuates boyfriend inequality, which is only stopped when they inevitably fail to reproduce. For those girls out there, I say: let’s squat together.

Of course, Ted, I’m not advocating that they squat next to you, because obviously you’re already my boyfriend.

Hmm, I see that you’ve changed your number and blocked me on Facebook, which seems odd since you’re my boyfriend. Sadly for you, squatters are protected by tenants rights, which means the landlord can’t come in and change the locks and cut off utilities while the space is still being occupied. Therefore, I’m going to have to request that you please unblock me; you are, after all, my boyfriend.

And you still haven’t answered my text explaining to you that you’re my boyfriend.

Oh, you’re going to respond to my invocation of squatters rights with a restraining order, my new boyfriend? Well, aren’t we the legal aficionado now, right? WRONG!!

The only way to deal with a squatter is through eviction. You need to take me to court. Which is actually kind of romantic, because before this you hadn’t taken me anywhere ever. But even still, squatters have a pretty decent chance of gaining legal ownership of a property in court. So feel free to sue me, but I’m pretty sure you’re my boyfriend.

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