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.

85 Comments Add yours

  1. Natasha 2017 says:

    I finally got around to reading this. Thank you for your feedback on my post. I can see why you recommended yours to me. I will keep your advice in mind for the future. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pinkspen says:

      Well I am truly glad that you took the time to read! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. mywords2228 says:

    This is a great piece for young girls that are soon going to college and may just think they know how to spot a player. Or may have not had serious relationships in high school and so this article will definitely prepare them for what to expect. You did a great job on writing this and I like how you broke it down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. College Mate says:

      Thank you! We think she did a great job as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Pinkspen says:

        Thank you so much! #allsmiles

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Pinkspen says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. That was my ultimate goal; to help young girls who may be inexperienced like I was when I went to college. Relationships are difficult to navigate through, and college relationships can be extremely difficult for anyone, because they bring on a completely different set of rules.

      I appreciate you!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mywords2228 says:

        You’re welcome!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Pinkspen says:


        Liked by 1 person

  3. Soooo true. I have a hard time trusting guy’s intentions, because as soon as we start talking and all they do is compliment me and flirt incessantly I know they’re only after one thing… The worst is when you’ve only started talking and they already want to know if you’re single! On the bright side, it’s easier to weeds them out once you know what they want (ha).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. College Mate says:

      Haha this is true. When they make themselves obvious it’s easier to spot the dishonest ones.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Pinkspen says:

      You speak truth. It is definitely easier to determine guys intentions when you know what they want, but more importantly, when we know what we want as girls and women, we can determine how to elimate the fools from our lives. I think most of us go into relationships dreamy eyed; just hoping for the happily-ever-after, when in reality, we need to consider what we really want in a relationship. Sometimes, girls just want to have fun, but sometimes we want something more, and we need to stop settling for the crap, just because we love the attention and the company. This was my biggest mistake in college and I want to help all girls prevent this from happening to them by knowing what they want!

      Thank you so much for your feedback!!!!! I appreciate your kind words and your support!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. A says:

    omg, this! This is true. It has been beautifully written.This is what should be part of the induction plan for any young female whose about to start college or university. It is so so important and I’m glad you shared this post with me. I love the description you used “fresh meat”.. it’s true, some males do not see females as humans with emotions rather, a piece of flesh that they can use and abuse. Sad to say. Us women need to be reminded and warned of what awaits when starting a new chapter…….Keep up the good work!!!!!!! Keep doing what you’re doing, much love…..Ax 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pinkspen says:

      I am so thankful to you for taking the time to read my article!!!! Such kind words! You are so right, we must support one another and tell our stories to help others not make the same errors. I would love to host a seminar for young women entering college …. dreams, dreams, dreams!!!! Thanks again!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kendrala (Rhonda ) Rochelle says:

    Hello Pinkspen,
    I just want to take this time out and compliment you on a job WELL DONE. This is an excellent article for the young women that will be soon graduating high school and then entering college as a freshman. My daughter is 17 in the 12th grade, graduating in June of this year. I am so afraid of her going to college cause I know what she will be up against being fresh-meat in the college guys eyes. She is constantly being drilled by her father, other family members and myself on how to be a smart young lady while entering college. I have so much to say but I’m going to end it here cause I know you know where I’m going with my comment. I too was in college. I simply told my daughter that college can make you or break you depending on the decisions that the students choose to make.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. College Mate says:

      Hi Rhonda,

      We’re sure Pinks will respond soon. In the meantime, we just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read the blog post and leave such a thoughtful comment.

      We wish you and your daughter all the best on her new upcoming chapter in life, and do hope you will recommend College Mate a source of good advice she can follow.

      Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Pinkspen says:

      Hey Rhonda! I have a toddler and I am worried about this too, so I cannot imagine how you feel. It is difficult and everyone has their own college story and your daughter will make her own story as well. College definitely can make you or break you. Let her read this article! It may help! College really does grow you up fast, but if she does not allow herself to be sucked into to guys BS, then she will be fine. Making mistakes is normal and they make you stronger. She will be amazing and so will you! Thank you for commenting and taking the time to read! I am always here for advice, support, mentoring; please check out my site

      Liked by 1 person

  6. pratseek says:

    Thank you for following my blog..I am new to it and hence it is quite encouraging

    Liked by 1 person

    1. College Mate says:

      You’re welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This article is unfortunate, but very truthful. I think many girls and boys are surprised at how hook-up oriented college campuses and students have become, it seems it is no longer the “cool” thing to treat people with respect and care. Thanks for your tips!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. College Mate says:

      Hello Rouse, you’re right. It’s no longer cool to value people as human beings, and treat them with respect. The more unfortunate truth is that guys tend to retain this mentality when they graduate. Why not? – when it has served them so well…


    2. Pinkspen says:

      It is a unfortunate truth, but I am glad you found the tips helpful. Dating is definitely different in college, and I learned that reality the hard way, which is why I see the importance of bringing this concern to the light. It is all about self-respect really. I did not respect myself, so I cannot be mad at thirsty dudes… they did not respect me because I did not respect myself, plain and simple.

      I want women to start respecting themselves.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article!

      Liked by 1 person

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