Decoding the Bro Code: One Night Stand or Long-term Girlfriend?

I started college with big expectations of college guys. Most of those expectations were based on what I knew about high school boys; and college boys were supposed to be even better! I fully expected to find my college sweetheart, and live “happily ever after”.

Instead, what I found was that most college guys had one goal: to get you in bed. They would use every pick-up line, and give every compliment, just to trick you into  dropping by their dorm room to “watch a movie.” 

I found myself repeating this cycle until one day, I had to face the truth. I cried as I looked at myself in the mirror, and realized I was still single and lonely. I wanted a boyfriend, not casual sex.

Ladies, don’t be fooled, as I was. As freshman females, you are the fresh meat on a college campus.

College guys love to check out the new girls coming in, and it can be difficult to navigate between the upperclassmen who want a relationship and those who just want a “friend with benefits”.

Here are the warning signs to look out for, so you can decode the bro code, and find out if he’s up to no good.

Netflix and Chill

“Want to come over and watch a movie?” he asked. I never thought I could be so gullible. I remember laying in my dorm, staring at my phone, hoping he called. When he finally did, I was so excited.

I thought he had asked me out on a mini-date. I used to watch movies with guys I dated in high school all the time. The difference is, your mother or father are not on your campus with you…

When I got there, he actually put on a movie (sometimes, they don’t!). And like most girls, I jumped ahead of myself, thinking that he wanted to be my boyfriend; and how we would get married. I even wondered if our future kids would look like him, or me.

I never thought that I would give more than just my company, but I did! As the movie ended – that neither of us watched – he got up, turned the lights on, and told me that he had to get up really early and needed to get some sleep.,

“You want me to walk you back to your dorm?” he asked. I was so humiliated. After turning his offer down, I slowly gathered my things and left.  

The guy that wants a friend with benefits, knows just what to say to get you to “come over watch a movie”. But, if he asks you to come over after 10PM, believe me, he wants more than company. IT IS A TRICK!

If the Flirting Stops…

Guys that just want to get you in their beds will say or do anything to get your goodies – except give you a title of girlfriend.

My freshman year, I met a guy in the Student Union. He was an upperclassmen and a starter on the football team. This guy would see me from a distance and start shouting my name; screaming that he needed me and telling me to hit him up.

After weeks of chasing me down, flirting, and compliments, I gave in; and invited him to hang out in my dorm with me. I realized, immediately, that he had no desire to be anything more than a friend with benefits! He was just saying everything I wanted to hear so he could get me alone and hook up.

A guy that wants more than a friend with benefits, will do everything possible to make sure that you are his girl. Flirting, touching, and compliments are small steps toward a relationship, but you have to identify what kind of relationship he is looking for.  

If a guy wants a friend with benefits, he is more than likely saying and doing the same things to other females on campus. So, if you won’t sleep with him, he can easily find someone else who will.

He might stick around for the challenge, but see how long it takes for the flirting to stop. If a guy wants to be in a relationship with you, he’ll stick around for the process of dating, not just the end goal.

How does he communicate with you?

There are so many forms of communication. Texting and direct messaging (DM) are quick ways to reach out, or get to know new people. During your freshman year, you are constantly making new connections.

Most new friends give their number, saying “Text me!” or they ask if you are on Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. Many relationships start this way, especially on a college campus. There are so many people, and sometimes you don’t see someone again for weeks, depending on how big or small your campus is.

I once met a guy on campus who asked for my number, and all he would do was text me or ‘hit me up’ on Facebook. Of course, most of his conversations were about chilling at night.

If a guy is texting you at 10PM or later, it’s a booty call! However, the most important aspect of a conversation is the content. Guys are deliberate about what they want. He might sugarcoat it with compliments and kind words, but if he only wants what is in your pants, it won’t take long for him to mention it.

While, there is nothing wrong with texting and “DMing”, over time, a genuine guy will show a little more interest by calling you. He will ask you to go eat outside of the Student Union Café. He will take you out on dates, attend campus events with you, introduce you to his friends.

If he wants you to be more than a friend with benefits, he will do more than just text you and slide into your DMs!

Does he claim you?

When a guy makes his claim, this is when you know the relationship has been confirmed. This is not about ownership. It’s about not being afraid to own up to his connection with you, as his girlfriend.

On college campuses, it shows that he is not ashamed of you. But why would he be ashamed?

There was this guy, my freshman year, who would only hit me up at night. I never met any of his friends, unless they were at his apartment, when I arrived for a “booty call”. He asked me to keep our relationship quiet.

If you are told to keep your relationship on the down-low, he is likely sleeping with other girls and doesn’t want them to find out. Even the biggest campuses are small, especially with social media.

So, if he is claiming you on campus by walking around with you during the day, eating lunch together in the Student Union, or by attending campus events together, he more than likely wants more out of your relationship than just casual sex.

There are only 3 months between high school and college. This is not enough time to prepare for the relationship differences that college life brings. And the differences are drastic.

You go from puppy-love relationships with boys, to half-grown men who are more manipulative and probably just want one night stands. Before you know it, you’re waking up in a room you don’t even remember walking into.

The first step to being a healthy you is knowing what you want. If you want to take the risk of casual sex, keep in mind that having sex with him will not change his mind about the status of your relationship.

If you want a boyfriend, then beware of the signs of the guy that just wants a f**k buddy. With the tips I provided, hopefully more young girls can better determine a guy’s intentions, before it’s too late.


About the Author

Ta’lor Pinkston graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s in creative writing and a master’s in social work.

Although her passion is working with youth and families, she also enjoys using her writing to support childhood development, anti-bullying, positive relationships, equality, and the empowerment of all women.

You can find her at Ladyhood, where she writes as Pinkspen.

This post is the second March submission for the Monthly College Mate Writing Contest.

Published by College Mate

College Mate is a free online resource for college students and lifelong learners looking to improve their grades, while living a well-rounded life. We offer everything from study tips to dating advice. Come hang with us.

85 thoughts on “Decoding the Bro Code: One Night Stand or Long-term Girlfriend?

    1. Learning lessons is definitely a part of life. It is a journey; No one is perfect. But just like generations before us, we have to educate on what we have learned. That’s my goal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reading!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I would love to host classes on college campuses for girls…that would be a dream come true. Thank you for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts! It’s much appreciated! 😍

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Such a great post. Young women needs a heads up, for what may be awaiting them in the freshmen year. Keep posting good stuff. Much love to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great pointers especially for all of our high school students that are getting ready for college. We hope that more high school and early college students will find and take away a lot from this post. Thanks for sharing with us and looking forward to more of your writings 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really appreciate your kind words, for taking the time to read, and provide your thoughts. I really hope more high schoolers, college freshman and all women ubserstand that they deserve better than to allow “the attention” to over power their morals and values.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Your post is a hit! Look at all these Facebook shares. Congratulations!
    This post made me really happy I’m married. This is totally relatable. Girls dating will get their questions answered here. An engaging, relatable post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for reaching out! I really do!! Thank you sooo much Janice! You have been so supportive! I really hope so! The goal is not to win, but to reach the masses! Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was in a relationship all through college and am half glad I was, I didn’t need to put up with the arrogance of college guys. However, I am one to enjoy casual sex and don’t think that having sex with someone devalues their relationship potential. I also value clear, honest communication as to what expectations are before it even gets to a point where there could be confusion as to if one is looking for a relationship or a friend with benefits. And sometimes friends with benefits can turn into more, but don’t count on it. Further, I am more and more inclined to say I am a non-monogamist and any relationship I enter in the future will be polyamorous… but that is a whole other topic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The difference with you than most women, like myself, when I was younger, I could not truly define what I wanted in a relationship. I made myself believe that I could handle a FWB relationship, and had to the learn the hard way that I wanted more. In reality, the attention was what I wanted. I loved to cuddle, and watch movies with someone; this often times than none turned into a physical relationship… having the self control not to allow yourself to give your body, when ultimately all you wanted was company, is what I had to learn. It is so important to know what you want and to stand firm in that. If you want a boyfriend, you have steer clear of the FWB relationship because you will get hurt. Thank you so much for reading my article. I really appreciate you responding and sharing your thoughts on the topic.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think when I was younger I would have been looking for a monogamous relationship and would have been going through much of the same things you did had I not already been in a long term relationship all through college. It is more recently that I learned I’m more polyamorous and know that I enjoy casual sex with multiple partners. That isn’t to say I’m not open to getting into a relationship, I just think any relationship I’d get into would be either an open relationship or polyamorous. I personally think when people actively search for a relationship, they ultimately fail because many people try to force what isn’t there or settle because they aren’t looking at things clearly, they are trying to make a relationship out of something that’s not.

        But you are right to say if you know what you want, and you know you don’t want fwb, stay clear of it. Casual sex or fwb isn’t for everyone, and it’s highly unlikely fwb will turn to more (but it is possible). However, one positive thing you learn through casual sex is you learn more about your sexual likes and dislikes and gain a more sex positive point of view. Yes, you can do that with a partner too, but I was with someone for 6 years and I learned more about myself sexually in the past 2.5 years of being single and having fwb/casual sex than the 6 years of being with my ex boyfriend.

        You’re welcome, glad I could throw in my thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We all have our journeys! That’s what my blog LADYHOOD is all about! It’s my mission that women understand that they can really get hurt if they do not know what they want in relationships! Thank you again for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

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