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Relationships in college can be a tricky thing. Long gone are the days where “Single” “Taken” or “It’s Complicated” can define the way two people interact. Due to the free-spirited sexual nature of college, the limits of what one can call a “relationship” have been spread to an extreme degree. I’ve taken the liberty to break down these 14 steps to show exactly how a relationship can evolve (and devolve) through the course of college. While some of these steps can be skipped, and not every relationship ends up completing all 14, the general rule still applies. From Strangers to Mortal Enemy Exes, most undergraduate connections will follow the exact same trend.
You’re in this stage if: You have no idea who the fuck each other are; you met blacked out and can’t remember their name.
Pros: They haven’t had a chance to piss you off yet.
Cons: Barely a 1% chance of genital contact (though it still can happen).
You’re in this stage if: You can actually remember the other’s name; you say “hi” to each other if you happen to be in the same room (but not much else).
Pros: You’ve started your way down the path to sloppy drunken blowjobs and several “I’ll regret this in the morning” moments.
Cons: Hookup potential is usually limited to late-night last resort scenarios; distinct possibility you’ll forget their name again.
You’re in this stage if: This should be fucking obvious.
Pros: Can now browse through 5+ years of documented photos to properly imagine what the other looks like naked; can see what they’re interested in, and if they have any more attractive friends.
Cons: You could accidentally “like” one of their “Spring Break 2009” photos and thus creep them out to the point that you have no chance to move to the next stage.
You’re in this stage if: You smile and hug upon seeing each other; you have each other’s name locked into memory; you can actually hang out sober and have a good time.
Pros: You have someone to hang out with of the opposite sex without having to worry about the sexual tension and awkwardness that usually comes with the territory.
Cons: There is a 99% chance one of you secretly wants to bang the other; eventually you will drunkenly hook up and the friendship will be ruined by an ungodly amount of awkward.
One Time Fling
You’re in this stage if: You’ve banged, but have little to no desire of ever seeing the other person again.
Pros: You got laid!
Cons: You don’t get the deep rooted compassion and satisfaction from sex within the bounds of a relationship…just kidding, they probably sucked at sex or were busted so no desire for repeat penetration exists.
You’re in this stage if: You can send a “what’s up” text, and have them naked beneath you less than 15-minutes later.
Pros: No emotional attachments; sex whenever and wherever you want it.
Cons: Someone (the girl) will eventually start to actually care about the other and complicate things.
You’re in this stage if: You’re trying to keep your options open, but always seem to end up shacked with the same person.
Pros: You always have a backup plan; you have sex with each other enough to make it more pleasurable than the typical 12-minute jackhammer session.
Cons: People start to think you’re a couple; hooking up with someone new while the other is present becomes increasingly difficult and awkward.
You’re in this stage if: You would be mad if the other person had sex with someone else, but you still don’t consider yourselves as boyfriend and girlfriend; you have a horrible fear of commitment.
Pros: You technically can still sleep with whoever you want (as long as they don’t find out); all the benefits of dating without worrying about the title.
Cons: You might as fucking well be dating; you can still “break up.”
You’re in this stage if: You hold hands in public; you refer to the other as “My Girlfriend/Boyfriend.”
Pros: Gradual perfection of your sexual skills and enjoyment; ability to actually enjoying the non-sexual time spent together.
Cons: You can’t (shouldn’t) fuck everything that moves anymore.
You’re in this stage if: You’ve deemed your relationship important enough that every random washed up loser you went to highschool with deserves to know about it.
Pros: You’re in love, you’re in love, and you don’t care who knows it!
Cons: If/When things eventually don’t work out, the entire world gets to know about that too.
You’re in this stage if: Ejaculation is the only part of your relationship you enjoy anymore; everything becomes so routine you literally might get bored to death.
Pros: You’re probably about to be single again soon.
Cons: Breaking up is hard to do.
You’re in this stage if: You’ve recently broken up, and decided that the two of you still care about each other enough to be friends.
Pros: You still get most of the joy you had in your relationship! Like talking, spending time together, texts, basically everything you were doing before…
Cons:…except fucking. Being a friendly ex is basically the same as having an Tebow-esque abstinent relationship.
Extremely Friendly Exes
You’re in this stage if: You’ve started banging your ex again.
Pros: You’re getting laid! And they know exactly what to do to drive you wild.
Cons: You start to forget all of the reasons your relationship failed miserably, and convince yourself that “maybe thing could be different now?”
Mortal Enemy Exes
You’re in this stage if: You tried to make it work, and failed miserably; seeing the other person gives your stomach the same feeling as a funnel of lukewarm Montezuma tequila.
Pros: You don’t have to pretend you like them anymore.
Cons: Hooking up with her sorority sisters becomes a lot harder (but definitely not impossible).