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You can stick with your high school bae, find a hookup buddy, plunge into a sexual-emotional gray area, or discover an on-campus soulmate.
You can also refuse to choose, and just rep the single life.
Your mom's minivan is all packed up and you're off to tackle your freshman year of college!
But you're still in love (or in contented lust that you think is love) with your prom queen -- so she's either heading to State with you, or going to film school in California and you're committing to an LDR.
Because even with 30,000 new people on campus to meet, you're happy with what you already know and like. Some people really do marry their high school sweetheart and the relationship is happy and healthy.
Unlike the shallow dating pool of high school, college is an ocean of options.
"A no-strings-attached relationship spotlights the difference between emotional commitment and no commitment," explains Weber. Such as: "We're talking." "We're hanging out." "We're texting." "We're exclusively hooking up, I think, but we never discussed it so we're like exclusively non-exclusive because I'd be SO pissed if he slept with someone else because he made me breakfast Sunday morning but I don't know maybe he is seeing Angela's roommate behind my back? But you do like this person, so twin-bed coitus, DFMOs (Dance Floor Make-Outs), and late-night convos in the common room with Solo cups of Georgi and her UGGs up on your lap satiate you.
"Thus, it can help you uncover what it is you want and don't want out of a future relationship." College is the perfect time to get this out of your system. That's why these "convenient" relationships can almost be more confusing than FWB -- there are some emotions involved, and the convenience factor makes it an easy pattern to fall into.
So when (or if) you eventually decide to take a more serious path of love, sensitivity, and co-dependency, you'll feel ready and more certain of what you want. Exclusivity is something both people have to agree to -- so attempting to add a non-exclusive component can complicate things for a person who wants to be emotionally available down the road; bringing about "feelings of envy, jealousy, and external judgment," says Weber. Thousands of humans between the ages of 18 and 22 who have similar backgrounds and commonalities all live, learn, and party on one campus together.
So when it comes to seeking companionship, the math works in your favor -- everyone you meet knows someone who knows the girl you like. And enjoy it while you can, because trust me: you're not set up for that kind of success in a New York City watering hole.