Experts on the syndrome, such as Dr Hesadickhead at the Plenty More Fish in the Sea Research Institute, explain that the illness can cause erratic and unexplainable behaviour, especially in young men who aren’t quite young enough to not know better. “In the early stages of the illness the main side effect is that it causes the young man to take an eager and keen interest in a young woman he meets, spending valuable money and time getting to know her. It is just at the climax of this stage that the second phase of the illness kicks in, the main symptoms being that he unexplainably loses interest over night, never wants to see them again regardless of what he may have said before, and in technical, scientific jargon, ‘drops off the radar’.”
Whilst these symptoms are dangerous and frightening in themselves, undoubtedly the most serious side effect is that it leaves attractive, intelligent young women feeling unnecessary self doubt and confusion. Theorists on the syndrome believe that the malignity of this side effect is so extreme that women come to blame themselves, and it is indirectly responsible for articles such as ‘how to bag your man’ and ‘how to stop your man cheating’ pervading popular female literature of today; as a man evidently has the luxury of waiting to be ‘bagged’ and if a man strays God forbid it should actually be down to his inability to keep it in his pants, but really because she was probably nagging too much.
It’s hard to spot the warning signs of a sufferer of VMS, and a bit like a nasty itch you don’t realise you’re dealing with it until it’s too late. Unfortunately he will appear a decent, interesting and interested guy, making them particularly hard to spot. One thing which helps trigger the second phase of VMS, the vanishing itself, is if the female shows the same level of interest in the male as he has in her. Therefore the best way to avoid becoming a secondary victim of VMS is to behave like an emotionally stunted and crippled being with a range of feeling equivalent to that of a plastic cup.
If you are a secondary victim of VMS don’t worry you’re not alone, and whilst this article may sound like it’s going to lead you down the path to bitter spinsterhood, really all VMS means is that he probably wasn’t worth your time in the first place, and definitely isn’t now. There have also been cases where young men have been lucky enough to escape VMS all together and, shock horror, are able to co-exist in an emotionally functioning capacity… so don’t resign yourself to the shelf and a life with cats as companions just yet.