Unless you really are a social hermit who is disgusted by all members of the opposite (and/or same) sex or you didnt fancy spending £9000 a year to get a ‘piece of paper’, I guarantee you have experienced some form of relationship at uni. Now ‘Why is a ‘uni relationship’ any different from a normal one?’ I hear you ask.
Well, surely the close quarters of halls, the wide choice of possible partners (over 5000 in Exeter…) and the incestual nature of students (there’s always THAT guy that 3 of your friends have got with) makes relationships here that bit different.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m a relationship expert (far from actually…) but after plenty of observation and girly gossips, I’ve been able to compile this list…
The Long Distance Relationship
I’m going to start with the long distance relationship as this is the one that I actually have experience with (and I mean LONG distance! Try Australia?). We’re usually the ones who are well acquainted with Skype, moan loadly about how long its been since we last saw our other half and are excellent wingmen/women for our single friends.
There’s also not a great success rate in long distance couples. Your boy/girlfriend can feel left behind or jealous of your habits at uni which can spell disaster. One of my friends, lets call her Katie (because I’m nice like that!) struggled with her needy boyfriend for months of her first year and, when she finally split up with him, received an obscene amount of calls for weeks (try 18 in an hour…). Not cool.
However, we don’t have to worry about being rejected by a member of the rugby team or going home alone after a night out. Plus when our other half comes to visit we get spoilt rotten in all sorts of ways… As one of my friends said, ‘You get the best of both Worlds! You get the space of a singleton and the benefits of a relationship when you want.’ That’s fine with me!
The ‘Friend With Benefits’
Now going to the other end of the scale, we come to the infamous ‘no strings attached’, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis arrangement. This is probably the more typical ‘uni’ relationship as when else is it socially acceptable to be seduced by a 3am drunken booty text? It’s more or less a mutual agreement, you’re both single, you both want the same thing without the commitment so why not? Can’t really do this when you’re 40, right? (well, unless you’re into that kind of thing…)
And, half of the time, you don’t even know you’re in one of these relationships. There’s ‘that guy’ that you always end up getting with on a night out but you insist ‘you’re not exclusive’ and ‘you don’t really like him’ and ‘you’re DEFINITELY NOT going out!’ So surely you’re friends? And you both benefit from the casual nature of your relationship? See where I’m going with this…
However, there is the age old argument that it never works and there’s no such thing as ‘no strings’. One of you (apparently it’s always the girl BUT that is crap! You boys are just as bad!), gets emotionally attached and wants something more. More or less, these relationships never seem to end well. At least you will be able to easily avoid your ‘friend’! Except, wait a second. Aren’t they in your block/seminar/friendship group? Bit awkward…
The ‘Old Married Couple’
These ones are my favourite. Those couple who are ALWAYS together, finish each others sentences, and refer to themselves as ‘we’. Was there any point in you two paying for separate rooms? Some people I know REALLY shouldn’t have bothered…
Ok, ok, this might sound a bit mean and bitter of me. I mean, it is possible to meet the love of your life at University, Kate and Wills did it! And to be fair, it’s hard NOT to spend time together in the close quarters of campus, especially if your other half lives next door! You’re boy/girlfriend will also have seen you in all sorts of states; the ‘sweatpants and un-showered studying’ you, the ‘hungover and dry-heaving’ you, so they must (HAVE to) love you for who you are!
But the reason I’ve coined this type of relationship as the ‘old-married couple’ is that they seem to age a bit. They prefer to stay in and watch TV or play tennis doubles with another ‘old married couple’ than hit the town or pop out for a cheeky pint or 6. However, I am being a bit cynical. All my friends who are in relationships here have found LOVELY boys/girls who make them very happy and I am pleased for them. Plus, at least they’re all getting some 😉
The ‘Friend-Zoned’ Guy
So technically, this isn’t a relationship AND why have I said guy and not girl? Firstly, it still requires two people (even if the input on one side isn’t quite as eager as the other) and, come on, have you ever met a friend-zoned girl? Really?
For those of you who are un-familiar with the term ‘friend-zone’ – it basically means a situation where you really like someone, you’re really close, you talk all the time but they only see you as a friend. If in doubt, check out the film ‘Just Friends’ or just scroll 9gag.com and I’m sure that’ll clear things up! These guys are easy to spot. They’ll post hundreds of links of the girl’s Facebook and barely receive a measly ‘like’ back, they’ll be carrying her heavy books to the library, looking on angrily while she’s dancing with another guy, mentioning her name whenever they can in conversation. Get the picture?
And I’m not saying that the girl doesn’t LIKE him. He’s probably the one that she texts until 3am and has snuggly movie nights with but unlike him, she doesn’t see them as ‘dates’. This guy is like her BROTHER and she describes him as ‘sweet’ and ‘cuddly’ to her friends. And she probably knows the guy likes her but either politely ignores it or cruelly takes advantage of it. After all, who else will give her a piggy back when her heels are hurting?
The Haunting ‘One-Night-Stand’
You’d recognised him from your seminar and had always thought he was cute. You’d already had 5 double vodka and cokes and thought one more one couldn’t hurt. It was only polite to let him walk you home, right? Only now you’re waking up next to him, wondering where your bra is and how you’re going to get rid of him. And in the harsh light of your Friday 9am, it doesn’t look like it was such a great idea after all.
Welcome to the one-night-stand that you will never quite forget. If you’re lucky, you’ll only see them for one hour a week when you don’t even need to make eye-contact. If you’re not so lucky, it’ll turn out they’re best friends with one of your housemates, frequents the same local on the cheap pint Tuesday and picked the same modules as you next year. Great.
You could embrace it, make it into a personal joke and maybe even become friends. At least that would prevent the awkwardness. Or you could ignore him/her at all costs, find out their timetable to avoid impromptu meetings and run in the opposite direction if you see them in the library. Obviously the smoother choice…