Dating is a massive part of the college experience, but all cards come off the table and excuses start flying when long distance is mentioned. The key to long-distance dating is as simple as this: if they wanted to, they would, and when you want something to work, you’ll make it work. Mary Mary said, “nobody told them the road WOULD be easy”. I’ve been in a relationship for nearly four years, and two of those years have been long-distance. I’m here to tell you the road won’t be easy. However, the road can be enjoyable and spontaneous—if you do long-distance right. When you think about it, being in a distant relationship is just like being in any regular relationship but with the perks of having space. And if I’m being honest, your partner can cheat whether they are three or 300 miles away, so that excuse is dead.
Most long-distance relationships, in general, suffer from communication issues. We’re going to skip the “communication is essential” lecture; everyone knows that much, and we’ve heard it all before. You and your partner should discuss your boundaries and your likes and dislikes. In my first semester of college, my partner and I suffered from establishing our boundaries with friends of the opposite sex, which caused a lot of unnecessary disagreements. When we finally established our comfort level and boundaries with opposite-sex friends, the issue never arose again. It really is that simple. Whatever your boundary may be, it needs to be communicated with your partner. After all, ladies, men are not mind readers. And not to burst any bubbles, men, you all are horrible communicators through the phone and in real life.
Along with communication comes syncing schedules. Communicating is not only about expressing feelings and solving problems; communication is also simply speaking. If you want your relationship to work, you have to make time for your partner, especially when you aren’t granted the luxury of physically being with them. I mapped out my whole schedule for my partner. He knew exactly where I would be and at what times, and it helped get our schedules in sync. Whenever we both had free time, we would FaceTime, catch up, have dates, etc. Sharing your schedule with your partner also gives them peace of mind because they know what you are doing.
I mentioned that my boyfriend and I would go on dates; creativity adds spice to your relationship. There’s a computer app called Teleparty that we use to have movie dates. It allows you to watch Netflix movies with your partner and use the chat box to chat. When one person pauses the show, the other’s gets paused as well. We pop popcorn and have a grand ole time. Order the same food, get dressed up, and have a dinner date via FaceTime to take things even further. Doing these things is absolutely obnoxious, but that’s what keeps your relationship fun and spontaneous.
Although you may not see your partner every day, make use of your holiday breaks. If possible, take turns traveling to see one another over these breaks. When you visit, be sure to spend a significant amount of quality time with one another to make up for the time lost. As someone whose love language is physical touch, I appreciate and enjoy every second I get to spend spooning, cuddling, and… read between the lines. Distance increases anticipation and appreciation; every moment spent with your partner feels like falling in love all over again.
I know, I dropped some gems, but ask yourself, doesn’t everything I just mentioned apply to regular relationships as well? There you go, there’s your answer. The same rules that apply to a long-distance relationship apply to a regular one; therefore, long-distance being hard is a myth.
Images: Natasha Hall / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
Dating is hard, like really hard, especially when you’re a college student. Even if you’ve found the right person, there are countless obstacles that make having a healthy relationship in college feel almost as challenging as trying to make it to your 8am after a night of binge drinking (almost). It’s easy for even the smallest insecurities about your relationship to get the best of you when you’re living in a literal cesspool of horny college students. You may be too clingy, become the psycho girlfriend you used to make fun of, isolate yourself from your friends (rookie mistake, who else are you gonna bitch to when your relationship ends?), or just assume your S.O. can read your mind. All of these qualities are just asking for relationship drama, so for those of you attempting
the impossible monogamy in college and seem to be failing, here’s a list of reasons why you might feel your relationship’s going to sh*t.
1. You Are *Literally* Inseparable
In high school, spending an hour alone with your boyfriend required sneaking him in the window while your mom was at the grocery store. In college, you have even less of a grasp on the concept of boundaries! The blurred lines of work, play, and close proximity cause many couples to spend every second together. You abandon your interests and other friends to be with each other, even if you were just together earlier that day. Although sacrifice is important in a relationship, a life revolving solely around your boyfriend compromises your independence, and frankly, sounds boring as hell.
When spending time together becomes an obligatory routine, you can kiss the fun in your relationship goodbye, and because you’re so codependent, you’ll stay with each other even if you’re unhappy. At this point, anything sounds better than attempting to rebuild your friend group or having to avoid your ex in social settings, so you blissfully try to ignore the fact that your relationship has reached its expiration date.
2. You Live In a Bubble
Ah the honeymoon phase, the best part of every relationship. Lucky for us, this phase often lasts longer in college because you sleep over at a guy’s place, leave at 4am (without shame), and go to class the next day with no repercussions. We’re living with minimal responsibilities, which makes the initial stages with a guy feel unreal. Unfortunately, as with real honeymoons, this phase has to
crash and burn come to an end at some point. Once he goes home for summer break, decides to go abroad, or you try to introduce him to your parents and he freaks the f*ck out, reality sets in.
Turns out Brad, whose greatest accomplishment is a one-handed keg stand, may not be your perfect match in the real world, and every red f*cking flag about him slowly emerges. The boy you’ve spent three nights in a row sleeping with has never seen you in daylight, you rarely hang out sober or leave campus together, you never go on real dates, he never brings you around his friends, and you don’t have anything in common. You find yourself settling for this relationship (which you’d never put up with after graduation) because it’s college and it’s supposed to be fun. In reality, you need to get your sh*t together and leave him…like yesterday.
3. You Just Want A Relationship
You want the convenience of a consistent f*ck, the comfort of knowing who you end the night with, and to avoid the struggle of taking the kinda-hot-but-creepy guy from the gym to your date party. Basically, you’ll date anything with a pulse. While all of these are totally valid reasons, you’re completely ignoring the fact that you don’t want to be with HIM. Being in a relationship because of how it can serve you without genuinely giving a sh*t about the person you’re dating will not work. If there’s no foundation of love (or even like) in your relationship, you will undoubtedly outgrow one another as you go through college and beyond (especially if this is a freshman year relationship). As Tove Lo said best, “only one d*ck, that’s a bummer,” if you’re putting yourself through a relationship where you don’t love the person attached to the d*ck, it’s time to move on.
4. You Don’t Trust Each Other
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In a place with thousands of young adults in (what they think is) their peak attractiveness and hookup culture setting the norm for romance, it’s no wonder jealousy is an issue. I mean, how do you not freak the f*ck out when Beta has a mixer with Gamma Phi and the girl he made out with once his first week of freshman year is gonna be there!? The answer is trust.
If you are both totally ok with exclusivity and trust each other, then jealousy shouldn’t be an issue. Granted, this isn’t an easy feat when college has us thinking there’s always someone better out there. Unless you’re both 100 percent committed, you’ll resent each other for having never experienced other people in college, so figure your sh*t out and make sure you’re on the same page.
5. You ALWAYS Need Be In Contact
You’re at the pregame, music is blasting, and all your friends are on their 6th tequila shot screaming the lyrics to “Since U Been Gone.” However, you’re not drunk, and you’re not singing Kelly Clarkson, instead you’re in the corner on your phone reassuring your boyfriend your boobs aren’t “too out” tonight. You want to make sure he doesn’t feel forgotten or like you’re having too much fun without him *eye roll.* You’re stressed, you can’t be present in the moment, and you’re pissed he’s monopolizing your time. The expectation to be accessible 24/7 is simply
This goes for social media as well: hundred-day Snapchat streaks with meaningless filters and over-the-top Instagram posts to demonstrate your “commitment” to one another are obvious overcompensating. Oh and btw, no one cares you two kissed on the beach in Miami over spring break.
6. You Don’t Communicate Properly
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Having the “what are we talk” at 1am when you’re beyond drunk and slurring your words while his roommate is throwing up in the background is definitely not the way to jumpstart your relationship. Your drunken alter ego cannot be trusted to perfectly execute the monologue you practiced five times with your girlfriends. Spoiler alert: couples trying to have important conversations, long-winded fights, and professions of love solely while intoxicated or via text will never succeed.
Real communication requires sitting face to face and—yes, soberly—discussing exactly what you need to discuss. You can’t leave the job of communication in his hands alone or vice versa; if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re trying to get accomplished, he sure as hell won’t either. As a result, your boyfriend/girlfriend will be left entirely in the dark on how you’re feeling and you’ll probably resort to passive-aggressive tactics that will only make things worse.
7. He “Wasn’t Ready”
First of all, if a guy treats you like his girlfriend, wants all the perks that come with it, but says he’s “not ready for anything serious,” you need to drop his ass! Just because you may have reached what you consider “relationship status” does not mean he’ll magically stop using Snapchat as his main method of communication or stop trying to make plans strictly after 10pm. He has difficulty dedicating an entire evening to you when it comes at the cost of missing literally anything else with his friends, and the thought of spending his weed budget on flowers is nauseating. Sure, he might “love u,” but the effort he’s able to put into the relationship right now is dismal. Before you lift your beautifully manicured hand to b*tch slap his face, accept the fact that he just isn’t ready. Raise your standards back up to where they belong and stop wasting your time and energy on him.
8. You Were Long Distance
If couples who live on the same campus can barely master it…I pray for you overachievers tackling the long distance thing. If you’re successful, you’re going to have one hell of a love story to tell.
As you can see, there are a multitude of ways for sh*t to hit the fan with college relationships, but this is not meant to be a pessimistic roast. There are absolutely some cases where people marry their college sweetheart. You may go through multiple of the above issues and come out the other side stronger, you may literally find love in a hopeless place (aka your residence hall), or you may just be looking to go through as many partners as you can in four years. Whether your relationship is on the fritz or you’re in romance heaven, good luck navigating the whirlwind of dating in college.
Even though my majors are communication and poli-sci, my true love is anthropology. Think of me as a millennial Jane Goodall, but instead devoting my life to studying the behavior of chimpanzees in Tanzania, I’m studying the behavior of douchebags on campus. (Same thing, really.)
When you spend a long time living among another species, you start to become an expert in their mannerisms and might even adopt some of their behaviors (which in the case of f*ckboys, I strongly advise against).
Listen, I’m not saying I’m a saint, but I have learned a lot about living amongst, interacting with, and falling for f*ckboys the hard way, so hopefully you won’t have to. If anything positive has come from my experiences with these ~lovely~ young men, it’s my vast knowledge on the subject. Think of this as an Anthropology 101 textbook, except you’ll actually learn something from reading it.
F*ckboys rarely fit neatly into one of the following categories and new breeds of them are popping up every day, so beware. If you have ever been personally victimized by a f*ckboy and want him to be roasted on the Off Campus podcast, make sure you send your story to [email protected]
The Classic F*ckboy
Definition: Let’s start with the basics. Every kind of f*ckboy is pretty much some variation of the Classic F*ckboy. Despite sucking, he probably has one or two redeeming qualities such as being good in bed, being reeeeally f*cking hot, or always paying for your shots. He isn’t subtle at all about being a mega-asshole and actually takes pride in it. Gross.
Where to find them: Classic F*ckboys come out anywhere they can find girls and alcohol.
How to spot them: Like I said before, these lovely individuals aren’t at all subtle about being f*ckboys. They have some pretty clear red flags, and even though I feel like I don’t need to spell them out, they include:
-You see him hook up with someone else at a party, even though you guys are “talking.”
-He’s f*cked over a lot of people you know, and all of your friends have warned you about him.
-He’ll text/Snap you at 3am after pretending not to see you at a party both of you attended that night.
-He begs you to not use a condom and insists he is “too big for them.”* LOL, yeah right.
*PSA: Never fall for this bullsh*t!! F*ckboys in particular are rarely “too big” for a condom (call it karma), but regardless, condoms come in so many sizes that this excuse will ALWAYS be a lie.
How to deal with them: Classic F*ckboys are, hands down, the best of the f*ckboys to get involved with since you kind of know what you’re getting into. I know every girl dreams of finding a boy who is a massive douche to everyone except for her, but when you’re fishing from a pool of college boys with raging hormones, that can be hard. A Classic F*ckboy is the next best thing by default. However, don’t think you can change a Classic F*ckboy and for the love of God, please DO NOT have unprotected sex with him.
The Frat Star
Definition: Close your eyes and envision the worst frat guy you know. You’re probably thinking of a specific letter-wearing, Natty light-drinking, jump-off-the-roof-into-a-folding-table type of asshole. This is the guy who believed joining a frat would make girls forget he’s kinda ugly and has the personality of drywall.
Where to find them: Frat Stars can be found in their fraternity house basement, sitting on the fence or roof at a darty, and walking in big herds of people who look exactly like them.
How to spot them: Frat Stars are pretty hard to miss. During the day, they’ll be wearing joggers, khakis, or salmon shorts (depending on the season) topped off with a fugly shirt that says “Fall Rush 2019” or something similar. At night, his uniform changes to a sports jersey and jeans or whatever outfit coordinates with their party’s theme. You’ll know a guy is a Frat Star if:
-He unironically says, “Saturdays are for the boys” even one time.
-He lives in his frat’s house.
-His primary form of communication is snap DMs that say “party at the house tn.”
-His “brothers” only refer to him as something that fully isn’t his first name.
-He’s always aggressively challenging other guys to beer pong.
How to deal with them: Frat F*ckboys are pretty low risk since they’re super easy to spot. If, for whatever reason, you’re into a Frat Star, just ignore him. He’s probably never been rejected in his life, so that will totally freak him out and he’ll fall in love with you. Just remember, like the Classic F*ckboy, you can’t change a Frat Star and no, they don’t grow out of it after graduation.
The Finance Bro
Definition: Finance Bros are similar to the previous two types of f*ckboys, but this category really applies to anyone with a superiority complex. A Finance Bro’s main differences are they wholeheartedly believe they are way smarter than everyone else (#fakenews), and are a liiiittle less obvious about being f*ckboys.
Where to find them: Finance Bros mostly hang out in the business school or the library. If for no other reason, they do this to maintain the facade their major is soooo much harder than everyone else’s (but let’s be real, what’s so hard about entering numbers into an Excel spreadsheet). They’re probably also in a frat.
How to spot them: The go-to uniform of Finance Bros is a name-brand tee shirt and khaki shorts (year-round). Basically, they’re repping any douchey look that screams, “my dad got me a sick internship at Goldman this summer!” Their actions are pretty similar to those of obnoxious bros everywhere, including:
-Constantly negging you in ways that go way too far or genuinely insult you.
-Always having one AirPod in, even when you’re speaking to him.
-Not shutting up about how hard his major is, but skipping class at least ⅓ of the semester.
-Refusing to make an actual commitment to you because his real girlfriend is his summer internship/job prospect/Excel spreadsheet.
How to deal with them: Finance Bros are constantly negging and rarely show anyone else respect. Honestly, I’m kind of a fan of negging (mostly because drunk me thinks flirting = being an asshole), but it’s definitely not a respectable way to try and get women. If a guy is negging you to the point that you feel disrespected, walk away, because he’s a piece of sh*t. The fact that his major means he will probably be rich down the line doesn’t mean you have to put up with bullsh*t. (Plus, he’ll probably end up in jail for white collar crimes/in trouble with the SEC at some point anyway.)
The One with The High School Girlfriend
Definition: This one should be pretty self-explanatory: he and his girlfriend decided to stay together and try a long-distance relationship when in reality, they probably won’t last past Breaksgiving*. F*ckboys with high school girlfriends either hide their relationships completely or claim to be in an “open relationship.” Either way, they’re bullsh*tting you.
*Breaksgiving: the holiday that overlaps with Thanksgiving break, during which many high school couples that tried to stay together break up.
Where to find them: These super sh*tty guys walk among normal people, so they could be literally anywhere. They’re usually freshmen (but there’s often a weird outlier who’s a junior with an uncomfortably young girlfriend), and you’ll probably meet him at a bar or party.
How to spot them: Generally, people in committed relationships who are seeking something outside of said relationship are pretty sus. If you suspect he has a girlfriend, look out for any of the following behaviors:
-He shuts down any and all conversations about his hometown or high school friends.
-The same girl is all over his Insta/Facebook/phone background but he never explains their relationship (friend, family, girlfriend, etc).
-He never posts pictures with you, and if you post something of you together, he untags himself and/or doesn’t like or comment.
-He goes MIA when he is home for breaks.
How to deal with them: Let’s be very clear: you are entirely off the hook unless you know he has a girlfriend and continue to pursue him. If you do get a little sus, bring it up ASAP. Asking for clarity doesn’t make you crazy or clingy, but try not to initiate that conversation when you’re belligerently drunk, otherwise it may come off that way.
Honestly, just thinking about being in this situation gives me full-on anxiety sweats.
If you find out he has a girlfriend, you should stop talking to him. As the great Lizzo said, “I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be your side chick.” Plus, you don’t want to get involved in a ridiculous situation because that’s literally so high school.
Definition: Benchers are hands down the worst type of f*ckboy since there’s no good way to avoid them until it’s too late. Trust me, I’ve been there. Basically, his M.O. is acting like your boyfriend for some time before pseudo-ghosting you, apologizing, and then starting the cycle over.
Where to find them: Since Benchers come off as relatively normal guys, there’s really no one place you’ll find them, thus making them that much harder to avoid. A Bencher might be your lab partner, standing behind you in line for the bar, or being introduced to you by a mutual friend. Yikes.
How to spot them: The only thing you can really count on with a Bencher is that he isn’t going to act or dress like Classic F*ckboy, so sadly, I can’t offer much in that area. I can tell you that you’re probably being benched if:
-He cancels all of your plans at the last minute with totally valid excuses and before you know it, he’s been blowing you off for a full week.
-Any time you hang out, it’s late at night and totally on his terms.
-When you’re finally moving on from him, his spidey senses tingle, and he texts you asking to hang.
-He wants all of the benefits of a relationship but won’t commit to you.
-He’ll apologize for being a dick, promise to change, then make no adjustments to his behavior.
How to deal with them: The first time it happens you must say, “Thank U, Next.” As someone who fell for a Bencher more times than I can count, it’s super unlikely he will change his behavior. Get out before it becomes a seemingly unbreakable cycle and you end up crying to the bartender after a few too many tequila sodas…not that I’ve been there before or anything.
The Nice Guy™
Definition: Nice Guys™ get their degrees in convincing unsuspecting girls that they aren’t f*ckboys. A friend once told me the “nice” in Nice Guys™ stands for Neurotic, Insecure, Clingy, and Emotional. Basically, they live to victimize themselves and have total Ross Geller syndrome. I’m not saying every boy is a f*ckboy, but hey if the shoe fits…
Where to find them: Nice Guys™ are everywhere, although you typically won’t find them pounding shots in a bar or spilling cheap beer on you in a frat basement.
How to spot them: Most other types of f*ckboys come with bright red flags, which is unfortunately not the case here. You know you’re dealing with a Nice Guy™ if:
-He’s been in multiple relationships but claims that breakups were never his fault, aka he’s somehow always the victim.
-He expects you to act like he created peace in the Middle East when he offers to buy you breakfast the next morning.
-He won’t commit to you because he has “intimacy issues” from when his ninth-grade crush didn’t like him back.
-He’ll freak out and tell everyone you’re a bitch if you end things with him.
-He says any of the following: “it seems like girls just want assholes,” “I’m different than other guys,” or, my personal favorite, “I’m a nice guy.”
How to deal with them: Not to get all emotional, but the sheer possibility that someone might end up being an asshole isn’t necessarily a good reason to write all guys off. That said, proceed with caution—Nice Guys™ typically hide all of the normal warning signs until you’re in too deep, and you don’t want to end up being blindsided. If and when you do fall for a Nice Guy™, just remember, you’re not the first and you won’t be the last.
My best advice as a whole for when you decide to dip your toe into the truthfully unimpressive dating pool of guys at your college/university is to listen to and trust your friends’ opinions. You’re likely to have some different groups you’re a part of, be in different clubs, etc., so your friends may know something about a guy that you don’t and could be a deal breaker.
Although it’s annoying as f*ck to hear your friends put down the guy you’re shamelessly obsessed with, do your best to take what they’re saying seriously. A true friend isn’t trying to ruin your chances with a guy, they just have your best interest at heart. At the end of the day, they’re not the ones being blinded by attention and good sex, you are, so they definitely have a more holistic view of the situation. Most importantly, friends don’t let friends fall for f*ckboys; remember that the next time you see one of your girls about to leave the party with the guy she swore off last weekend.
Images: sharonmccutcheon / Unsplash; offcampus (3) / Instagram