Stony Brook couples of all types walk together between classes, go on study dates, or in some cases, just meet when the mood strikes. Regardless of situation, pursuing a relationship on campus has both challenges and rewards.
Shehrose Raja, freshman computer science major, met his ‘boo’ over winter break through mutual friends. They went out to dinner for their first date, but things are much more casual without a car on campus.
“We mostly hang out, do homework together and walk to class,” Raja said. “We try to avoid sitting with each other when we have class together, though.” He explained that they would be too distracted otherwise.
Much of Raja’s relationship is a balancing act. According to Raja, there’s also much more freedom involved in dating on campus then there was for him in high school.
“It’s different because you see each other much more. In high school it was only class and lunch,” Raja said.
Some students find that relationships may need even less time than that. Friends with benefits–casual sex beyond hooking up–according to one student is everything you would expect.
The student, who asked not to be named, at one point maintained a relationship with six different women. “I couldn’t keep track of their names, so I always thought of them as one through six,” he said.
The student met the first girl at his high school job after breaking up with his girlfriend. They started hanging out and partying, and eventually found themselves alone together. He asked her if she wanted to ‘bang,’ and they did.
“She was cool with it,” he said. “There was no emotional attachment.”
They continued hooking up for several months until she started to develop feelings, at which point he cut it off.
“It never works out in the long term. She’ll always start to develop feelings. That’s just how women are,” he said.
The student is now engaged to number four and says he really does love. He has hooked up with other women a few times while dating her, but much like his relationships with his other friends, there’s no attachment. He said, “It’s only cheating if it’s on an emotional level. Otherwise, its just for experience.”
Other students are committed to maintaining a relationship–even over a distance.
Cathy Zhao, freshman respiratory care major, met her boyfriend during her senior year of high school, and they continue to date while he lives in Queens, N.Y. Zhao heads back to see him every weekend so they can shop, eat and hang around the city.
According to Zhao, the success of a long-distance relationship “depends on the distance.” Though she is able to see her boyfriend every weekend, she said she thinks living farther apart would make things more difficult. Even in her relationship, Zhao said there are problems that arise from not being around all the time. But Zhao says, “We talk things through and work it out.”
Zhao and her boyfriend have been dating for a year and two months.