As students, the academic curriculum jam-packed into these four years seems to take over half of our lives. We figure out our majors and minors (some people switch more than once or twice) because we are securing what we’re here for: our future. For most, the other half of our life is devoted to our social life, which we develop by learning who really matters to us and vice versa. So besides this non-stop preparation to find good jobs, is college also a test run of what your perfect relationship should be? Is this the time to learn who fits your lifestyle best?
According to pointsincase.com, a website that calls itself “the fine print of college life,” there are nine types of college relationships: the fighting couple, the booty call buddies, the “just in it for the title” couple, the popular couple everyone envies, the already married couple, the indecisive couple, the cheating couple, the sickening in love couple and the sort of “together” couple.
At some point in time, we each find ourselves in one of these nine limbos, maybe even in more than one. Even by their titles, these categories don’t seem to be the most mature ways to approach a relationship. But is there any science behind these methods? Are these the definitions of a real relationship or do we just torture ourselves for the fun of it all?
Some studies show our brain manipulates us to become addicted to love or what we perceive as love. A biological anthropologist at Rutgers University ran a study that demonstrated recovering from a break-up is like kicking an addiction to a drug. The brain scans of the 15 students surveyed showed the parts of the brain that lit up on the scan were the same ones associated with cocaine and nicotine addiction, physical pain, distress and attachment. What was the solution offered by the study to cure an obsession with your ex? Go cold turkey and never respond again to that person who hurt you. Time heals all wounds (apparently).
Another study showed girls might cry to their boyfriend about where a relationship is not going, while the guy’s mind is racing to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Men use their analytical brain structures, not emotional ones to find a solution.
Let’s not blame everything on chemical reactions in the brain, though. Just like we take responsibility for how we study and how we prepare for a class, we have to take responsibility for our actions with other people. It’s not fair to say, “Well, my testosterone levels made me do it.” We have to rely on ourselves to make the right choices with the people we care about. Actions always speak louder than words, and finding that equal compromise is the best way to make progress in any relationship.
Many people have reasons why they act the way they do in relationships, but I don’t think even Sigmund Freud can fix your deep-rooted problems. It’s up to you to work up the courage to make it right.