An Eastbourne inquest head that Joss Turley, 20, of St Peters Road, was found dead at Birling Gap on January 16.
Coroner Alan Craze said Joss had become immersed in a love triangle with two good friends whilst studying in London.
Mr Craze said, "He had two good friends, Hannah and Alex, and there appears to have been a love triangle.
"Joss recently stated he was in love with Hannah but nothing was going to happen according to Hannah because Hannah loved Alex.
"Sadly that seems to have been the case.
"The missing persons report does make mention of some emails, messages and statements relating to that which may confirm that that was Joss''s frame of mind at the time."
Joss''s body was found by walker Michael
Brown, of Swyth Lane, and his wife.
In a statement read to the inquest Mr Brown said, "I saw something rolling in and out of the sea with the waves.
"I walked closer because I thought it might be a person.
"I told my wife to wait and could tell it was a male."
Mr Brown went to Birling Gap pub and called the police who arrived shortly afterwards.
Joss, who had been reported missing in London, was later identified by fingerprints.
Mr Craze said there was no way of telling how Joss travelled to Sussex or when and how he came by his death.
He said, "His parents had not seen him at all or heard from him.
"We do not know when and in what circumstances he went into the sea.
"It is a possible suicide but in no way is it a probable suicide and in the circumstances it is certainly not proven."
Mr Craze recorded an open verdict and extended his condolences to the family..