"Exclusively non-exclusive" (and other gray areas)
College! No parents! No rules! And no guidelines... which leads to ambiguous relationships with confusing titles! Such as:
"We're hanging out."
"We're exclusively hooking up, I think, but we never discussed it so we're like exclusively non-exclusive because I'd be SO pissed if he slept with someone else because he made me breakfast Sunday morning but I don't know maybe he is seeing Angela's roommate behind my back? Because technically that wouldn't be cheating."
Basically, the mutual title of "boyfriend and girlfriend" just seems too… official right now. You're young, on your own for the first time, and seeking out exciting experiences. Oh, and then there's double majoring, chess club, and track practice. You don't have time to fully commit to someone emotionally. But you do like this person, so twin-bed coitus, DFMOs (Dance Floor Make-Outs), and late-night convos in the common room with Solo cups of Georgi and her UGGs up on your lap satiate you.
"College students are curious and somewhat narcissistic," says Weber. "They do not seek full-fledged exclusivity because it feels like too much on their plates."
That's why these "convenient" relationships can almost be more confusing than FWB -- there are some emotions involved, and the convenience factor makes it an easy pattern to fall into. Exclusivity is something both people have to agree to -- so attempting to add a non-exclusive component can complicate things for a person who wants to be emotionally available down the road; bringing about "feelings of envy, jealousy, and external judgment," says Weber.
"When the person feels ready for a monogamous relationship, the past could make her or him feel too opinionated or demanding to ask for more," she says.