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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Hump Day: “So … What are We?” dictionary for labeling relationships

Useful label maker when you face off with notorious Aunt Becky back home
Hump Day: So ... What are We? dictionary for labeling relationships
Comedy Central/GIPHY

As Badgers gear up for summer and likely visits back home, many await this dreaded question from family members almost instantly upon arrival — “so, did you meet anyone at college?”

Usually, it’s easier to just say “no” than explain to Aunt Becky the computer science major you’ve hooked up with three times or the girl you’ve been snapchatting for weeks but have yet to take out for so much as coffee. These relationships are far cries from what most aunts would define as normal, adult, healthy relationships and more volatile than the steady partners that constitute the majority of “stable” relationships.

Even so it’s unhealthy for us, the participants in these relationships, to neglect to define the terms of engagement even if we keep the relations confined to campus only. There are various levels of commitment to be had, so make sure to sit down with your romantic interests from time to time and figure out which of these easy-to-define categories your relationship falls under.


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“Just Friends”

If either side so desires to completely eliminate any romantic or sexual talk and action, please use this label as soon as possible to refrain from uncomfortable continuous flirting efforts and potential heartbreak.


This is the most tedious relationship stage to be in, so usually, it segways either into extinction or a new stage. I like to think of it as the “I’ve only talked to them on snap but I’d be open to actually speaking in person” phase in modern relationships. To end frustration for everyone, try not to stay in this stage for too long.

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“A One-Time (Or Two-Time) Thing”

College is stereotypically the time to experiment with your sexual preferences, so one may encounter a fling along the way that may be appealing for a night or two, but the attraction does not expand past this into an ongoing affair. This usually occurs when one steps away of their “type” or experiments with new fantasies or kinks with a partner. No harm done, so long as both sides agree that pining for longevity isn’t going to happen here.

“Badger Buddies”

This relationship exists solely for sexual purposes. For example, you do not talk to a Badger Buddy about your dogs back home and only bring up midterms when they prevent you from coming over to Netflix-and-chill. These pals are expected to be open for experiences long-term and it is common courtesy to notify the other buddy if one would like to cease the engagement.

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“Friends With Benefits”

Too many movies have been made about this stage, and the terms are self-explanatory. This relationship primarily extends from the friend vein. You’ll catch-up with these people when you come back from summer break, and you’ll mean it. At this stage, it’s important to note that the arrangement is typically open, although requests for monogamy can be made and respected even as friends. There is a high likelihood this person either becomes your “person” (defined below) or that the relationship goes up in flames, with potential for a cordial handshake when you guys meet up for the last time before they pursue a different relationship.


You know the drill. Exclusive (unless polyamorous). Fantastical thoughts of romance exist. The word “love” can be swirled. Presentable to Aunt Becky.

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