6 Relationship Resolutions Every Collegiette Could Stand to Make

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A year in review: your love life, circa 2011. Whether you experienced a dating dry spell, a string of casual dates that didn’t go anywhere or a continued less than ideal long-term relationship, you know there’s room for improvement. So whether you’re single, dating, or in a relationship, you can take something away from each of these resolutions to revive your love life in the New Year.
 
Love the new you (and the old you too)
 

As founder and president of a successful matchmaking service called Intersections Match, Jasbina Ahluwalia knows a thing or two about finding love. But as always, it starts with you. She said, “If you don’t love yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to either.” So how do you go about forming a fabulous life? Fortunately for you, Ahluwalia gave a few ideas for what you can do to love yourself and build self-esteem.
 
Eating healthy and finding a physical activity you enjoy were at the top of her list. Between cooking and exercise, you have quite the array of options and activities. If you’re looking to cook, Cheap Healthy Good is a delightful blog that features frugally nutritious recipes from all different kinds of cuisines including Thai, Indian and Italian. For exercise, think about taking yoga, Zumba or dance classes. Who said exercise can’t be fun?
 
Whether you’re single or dating, it’s always important to have your own hobbies and interests, essentially your own life. That way you won’t be desperately seeking someone to complete you; it’s easier to get out of a bad relationship because you won’t be left with nothing; and if you do find someone worthwhile, he will only enrich what you already have.  So resolve to focus on YOU!
 
Have fun with dating
 
Just because you go out for coffee with a guy that doesn’t mean you go scouring the area for a newsstand with the latest edition of Brides magazine afterwards. Even if you have a classic dinner-and-a-movie date, where the guy asks you out and pays, sorry, that still doesn’t mean much for the future of the relationship. But don’t let that stress you out.
 
Jeffrey Sumber, psychotherapist, author and teacher, gave the following advice: “Be willing to have fun without worrying about commitment for at least three months in to a relationship.” The point here is not to put too much pressure on yourself or your date. To do that, you can’t let your relationship baggage get in the way of new possibilities.
 
If you feel like you’re lugging around two fifty-pound suitcases of past relationship drama and pain, get it down to the size of a cute little handbag and then see if you can toss it out the window. Sumber said, “If you want to have fun in a relationship, be in the present moment because that’s where the fun is.” Leave your lousy dates and failed relationships where they belong: in the past. And then have some fun right now.  And just wait to see where it goes.
 
Go out with the girls
 
“Men will come and go, but the girls will remain a constant,” said Ramani Durvasula, professor of psychology at Cal State L.A. “Plus, there is nothing sexier than a group of women having a great time together.”
 
Girl Code strictly states not to ditch your girlfriends for a guy – no matter how good-looking he might be. Sure, your man needs attention, but he doesn’t need or want all your attention all the time every day. Having a girl’s night out is not only good for you, but it’s good for your guy and your relationship too.
 
Durvasula said to promise to go out with your girlfriends once a week. It sounds so easy, but it’s one of those promises we often break. So, here’s what you do. You make a weekly coffee date – do a Sex and the City-esque brunch with your girlfriends every Saturday or Sunday to recap what happened over the weekend and look ahead to the next week. Then you find a day during the upcoming week that you can have a girls’ night out, where you can go see the latest chick flick, find a bar that’s having karaoke night or go out dancing.
 
Set some standards
 
Please, please stop answering the late-night booty call. Any guy who texts you after 10 p.m., wanting to get together, is only interested in one thing. That’s cool if a random hookup is all you want, but if you’re looking for any kind of commitment from Mr. Late-Night Texter, stop and think before you hit “Reply” to his text. You won’t get his respect if you’re overly accommodating, but if the late-night texts are because of your busy schedule, then go for it. Just make sure you are being treated with consideration and respect.
 
Furthermore, finding a guy you can trust is a lot more important than finding a guy with six-pack abs. You don’t want to be dating any liars, cheaters or selfish jerks. In fact, just step away from all men who are unavailable – that means the emotionally unavailable ones and the ones that have girlfriends too. All of these things spell out one thing: he can’t make a commitment to you.
 
If you’ve ever experienced the commitment-phobic man, you’ll appreciate the candid remarks and numerous how-to guides made by Natalie Lue/NML on her website Baggage Reclaim. You can read about anything you’d ever need to know in dealing with “assclowns” and “Mr. Unavailables,” as she calls them, and learn all about having standards and setting boundaries.
 
Get rid of the checklist
 

Alright collegiettes™, let’s be honest – we’ve all had mental or physical checklists stashed away of certain qualities guys need to make the cut. But psychotherapist Mary Waldon says, “Dump your ‘Mr. Right’ list and be open to the guy who doesn’t quite meet every notion of your ideal guy.”
 
You still need to have standards of how you want and deserve to be treated in a relationship, but you don’t need an itemized checklist like the one on the paperback book cover of Unhooked Generation: The Truth About Why We’re Still Single by Jillian Straus. The cover shows the statement “My soul mate is . . .” followed by a long list of traits like good-looking, charming, laid back, settled down, and the list goes on and on before checking the box next to “A fantasy.” Read it and weep. My soul mate is a fantasy.
 
According to Straus, having realistic expectations for our relationships is a bit of a problem for our generation. Lori Gottlieb really drove this point home in her book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. Regardless of whether or not we’re as uncommitted and unsettled as these two books might suggest, for now, you don’t have to settle. Just get rid of the checklist.
 
Cut back on texting
 

Babe yatb 4me. (Translation: Darling, you are the best for me.) If this looks anything like the communication in your relationship, take this advice from psychotherapist Mary Waldon, “Text less, meet more . . . don’t give up texting. Just don’t let it replace or define a real-life relationship.”
 
Yes, for some of us, this one might be hard to do. But the more you meet and talk, the less you’ll sit around and overanalyze his (and your) every texted word.You can avoid having to ask questions like – Was he serious? Is he mad? Did I sound like a bitch? Why hasn’t he replied to me in two hours?!
 
Waldon added that texting can be great for relationships if you and your boyfriend use it to say a quick “Hello” or an “I was thinking about you,” and it’s an easy way to make plans to get together. But by no means should it be your primary source of communication in your relationship – there’s too much room for misinterpretation. You can’t hear him laugh. He can’t see you smile. Think of all the things you’re missing out on. Is that text smiley still doing it for you?
 
So, collegiettes™ let’s hear it – what are some of your brilliant resolutions for your love life that you hope to achieve in 2012?
 
Sources:
 
Jasbina Ahluwalia, founder and president of Intersections Match
 
http://www.intersectionsmatch.com/
 
Ramani Durvasula, professor of psychology at California State University in L.A.
 
http://www.doctor-ramani.com
 
Jeffrey Sumber, psychotherapist, author and teacher
 
http://www.jeffreysumber.com
 
Mary Waldon, LCSW, psychotherapist
 
http://marywaldon.com

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