New Year, A New You: 4 Love Resolutions for the New School Year

It’s a new school year, which means, in all its cheesy glory, a brand spanking new you! You may not realize it yet, but those summer months of internships, relaxation and sun have matured us all—it’s better to blame it on the tan than the actual fact that we’re growing up, we’re big girls now. That being said, we’re saying goodbye to the days of promising ourselves we’ll find a boyfriend or girlfriend while stuffing our faces with Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream on the couch. This year, collegiettes’ love resolutions will be about confidence, self-respect and everything else that will rock everyone’s world…starting with our own. We’ve compiled a list of four love resolutions (and tips for putting them into action) that will make this school year the best one yet.

1. I will confront my crush.

“I think my new semester's love resolution is to finally have a conversation with this guy I've been crushing on. We met at a party, he seemed super into me and even asked for my number, but I get very nervous whenever I see him!” Kelsey from Boston University says.

So you’ve been crushing on this guy or girl for, we don’t know, ever. Well, this year, it’s time to take some action. If he or she hasn’t made a move yet, then it’s your time to step up to the plate—the ball’s in your court.

We know, easier said than done. However, in the grand scheme of life, what do you have to lose? You’re not dating, so you can’t break up. If you’re friends, confronting him or her won’t completely and totally ruin your friendship, assuming you let yourself move on. If you’re acquaintances, then you could end up as friends—and almost every great relationship starts off with that as a solid foundation.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a Professor of Psychology at California State University and a relationship expert who’s been featured as one of Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers, adds that pining after someone for so long can get pretty tiring. This year, it’s time to rip the bandaid off with one quick pull. “As I see it, you may as well get in there, be yourself and see what happens,” Durvasula says. “Waiting is not likely to create change, and in the interim, someone else may snatch him or her up.”

The absolute worst thing that can happen is he or she says no. But if that’s the case, then he or she clearly wasn’t good enough for you. After a well-deserved trip to your fave froyo joint and a Sex and the City marathon, you’ll be as good as new—and you’ll eventually have a story to laugh about with your girlfriends (not to mention a completely valid reason to seek revenge…totally kidding. Maybe.).

“But keep in mind, even if he or she says no—you are still you," Durvasula says. "It isn’t an indictment of you. Think of the guys or girls you have said no to—it wasn’t personal, it just wasn’t a fit,”

How To Do It?

Like we said before, it’s a whole lot easier to imagine a perfect situation where you approach that campus cutie in your chemistry lab, ask him or her out and then ride off into the sunset together living happily ever after. But let’s get real—college isn’t exactly the set of a Disney movie (although I’m sure more than a few of us have lost a shoe after a night out…or before the clock struck midnight).

So just how exactly do you go about creating your 21st century, fairytale-esque, I-just-hope-I-don’t-have-anything-in-my-teeth dreams a reality? While there are no foolproof scenarios you can concoct, there are ways to talk to that special guy or girl without desperately wanting to crawl under your bed and hide forever.

Durvasula recommends approaching him or her wherever and whenever you feel most comfortable.

“If you are at the same party, wonderful, a perfect place to approach," he says. "Time it right, catch his or her smile across the room or comment on something he or she is looking at or wearing. At the end of the day, the more times you take the initiative, the bolder you will get, and the boldness will ultimately get you to the right match for you.”

Scenario: 

If you see him out, go up and talk to him! Parties are all about mixing and mingling, so it’s nothing out of the ordinary to start chatting him or her up. With a little liquid courage if you’re of age (and we mean a little—we’re not trying to channel Cady Heron by throwing up on Aaron Samuels), be that confident collegiette that you know you are deep down inside. If you’re nervous at first, ask your friends to come with you, letting them know that once conversation is flowing, they can subtly and slyly walk away. So, what are good conversation starters? Class, summer, Greek life, even the breed of his or her dog—anything you’re interested in! A pretty good go-to is, "Hey, how are you? I haven’t seen you around in a while, what’s new?" But what if you guys haven’t really formally met? Well, if you have mutual friends, ask them to casually introduce you two. We're also a supporter of not-so-accidentally bumping into him or her. From there, you can apologize for your clumsy (but not alcohol-induced) trip and strike up a conversation. But just remember, this is the 21st century; there’s no need to wait for him or her to ask you for your number. Be confident and cute, and ask him or for his or her digits! You’d be surprised how sexy confidence can be.

Just remember collegiettes, however you decide to approach him or her (aka lure him or her in), be direct! Psychotherapist Mary Waldon, LCSW says, “Ask for a date. Call it a date. No need to go on and on about your feelings and the history. Just say you like him or her and ask for a date.” Let’s be honest, you have about five minutes (read: seconds) before his or her mind wanders off. Catch his or her attention while you can!

2. I will say goodbye to hopeless hook-ups

“I won't go into random hook-ups with the hope that they will turn into relationships," Taylor* from University of Michigan says. "Instead, I'll indulge in a few spontaneous hook-ups, but the rest of the time take things slowly and give guys a chance to get to know me before I let them get to know me in an intimate way." 

Random hook-ups and DFMOs—dance floor make-outs—have seemingly become staples of the college experience. But why? Does anything beneficial really come out of shoving your tongue down a stranger’s throat? While we can all agree that random hook-ups are basically pointless, a lot of collegiettes still take part in those awkwardly public, very drunk make-out sessions… usually in hopes that it will turn into something more. Although we're taking a wild guess here, we're going to assume that about 99.99 percent of these one-time hook-ups stay as just that: one-time hook-ups. However, there’s no real mystery to this one.

“There is nothing wrong with a bit of rolling around together, unless there is a part of you in the back of your mind that hopes it will become something more,” Jeffrey Sumber, psychotherapist and adjunct professor at National-Louis University, says. “Let's be honest with ourselves first. People get turned off when they find someone who says he or she just wants to hook up but then [wants] more afterwards. Many people want the truth and get frustrated when the ‘truth’ isn't the message at the outset.”

When it comes down to it, a fun little romp between the sheets just doesn’t establish anything but a physical connection.

“Both sex and relationships thrive with honesty. Be honest about whichever it is you are after, relationship or sex. If it is both, then I'd recommend beginning with connection and taking it a few notches slower on the physical plane. If a guy or girl is too impatient after a few dates, then he or she is probably not the right guy or girl for you,” Sumber says.

So come fall semester, we’re making a change. Say goodbye to constant, hopeless and empty hook-ups, and say hello to finally making a legitimate connection with that hottie at the bar.

How To Do It?

Fight the urge! Instead of going straight to the hook-up, try making out what he or she’s all about and getting to know him or her — show off your self-respect and confidence. By the end of the night, after an awesome conversation, you decide if it’s the right time for that special first kiss. Keeping him or her guessing all night long will definitely hold his or her attention, and who doesn’t like a little chase?

Scenario:

You met a frat star last week and totally fell for him. But he only texts you when he’s drunk late at night. He’s only interested in hooking up, but you want more—you really like him. There are different ways to handle this: you can wait it out for a little and see where it goes, or play hard-to-get and say no when he calls you at 2 a.m. to come over and “hang.” In a situation like this, he’s usually only using you for a little you-know-what. If you’re looking for something more, you have to express that, otherwise things will stay just as they are, as pointless hook-ups. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) outright say, “I want a relationship. Right now. Or else,” but you can suggest going to dinner one night or seeing a movie (outside of his Netflix account and his bedroom).

3. I Won’t Jump Into A Relationship Too Quickly

"I'll take my relationships day by day," Alexa from JMU says.

This one goes hand-in-hand with number two. We all love meeting new guys or girls with the hopes of something bigger and better coming along with him or her. But at the same time, sometimes we tend to jump too soon. Here’s how it goes: you meet a nice guy or girl, you hit it off and you start picking out country clubs for the wedding reception. That is how it works, right? Surprisingly enough, not exactly (don’t worry, our minds were blown too). As it turns out, too much too soon can, and most likely will, scare any guy or girl off in a heartbeat.

“While I’m a fan of being honest about one’s excitement and interest, [you] need to remember that [your] enthusiasm might be a bit much for someone [you] are just getting to know,” Sumber says. While Sumber doesn’t believe in following a specific set of rules when it comes to the dating scene (waiting to for him or her to call you, no double-texting, etc.), he does add that it’s best to “give yourself some space to marinate in the experience! Allow yourself to truly feel the feelings without rushing to the next interaction.”

If you think about it from his or her perspective, wouldn’t an obsessive, stage-five clinger turn you off, especially after only meeting him or her a week ago? While this is obviously a more extreme case, it does get the point across: slow it down, and get to know him or her before you start picking out baby names.

But while you’re off trying to play it cool, even though you’re completely and utterly gushing on the inside, don’t forget to show some interest. “People like that you are interested. In fact, most people will not pursue you unless they know in no uncertain terms that you are interested,” Sumber says. So while you’re desperately attempting to ignore him or her at a party, just give up the act and shoot him or her a smile from across the room.

How To Do It?

While all the voices in your head are screaming, shouting, chanting, “Text him or her! Text him or her! Text him or her!” hold yourself back. Although it’s perfectly normal (and sane) to shoot him or her a text here and there when something reminds you of him or her (‘I saw the soccer team practicing today, you guys looked great out there’ or ‘I literally waited in line at Dunkin’ Donuts for two hours today, you’re right, I definitely should invest in my own Keurig’), don’t abuse the fact that you have his or her number, sending him or her text after text after text with no reply from his or her end. If you’re looking for something more, play it cool in the beginning to see just where this thing goes.

Waldon agrees, noting that collegiettes shouldn’t over-text or be too available. “If you have a tendency toward this type of behavior, enlist the help of a friend to help you rein it in,” she recommends. “A few basic rules of thumb: don’t text again until you receive a text back. If you tend to be an over-texter, make a pact with a friend. Either check in with the friend before you text or text your friend instead!”

Scenario:

You met a girl at a party and completely and utterly fell head-over-heels—she’s literally your dream come true. Problem is, she’s still suffering (seriously, suffering) over her recent break-up with her ex-girlfriend. You figure it’s fine; she has to get over it eventually. So you text her saying you had fun hanging out and all that jazz. She responds, but nothing much comes from the conversation. What do you do next? While you can always go for the classic "I will stalk you until you decide to marry me" move, you’re probably better off letting her come to you. She’s still heartbroken, so by throwing yourself at her, you’re only bound to become her rebound. She has to make the decision to move on on her own terms. Pushing or persuading will do nothing but hurt the situation. It’s a slow process, but if you suggest grabbing coffee together when she’s ready (something light and easy), something positive can surely arise.

4. I Will Make My Relationships Work

“I'm going to be a freshman and I'm going to school [five] hours away from home where my boyfriend of two years is staying! So my love resolution is to keep my relationship as strong as possible without being able to see him often," Laura from University of Wisconsin says.

Every year, collegiettes across the country vow to keep their boyfriend or girlfriend and to stay in a relationship during the school year. Whether you’re at the same school or 500+ miles apart, every relationship takes work. While it may seem easier just to call it quits, having a long-distance relationship in college is doable, especially with all the technology that surrounds us (shout-out to Facebook, Skype, texting and all that’s in between). But before deciding on anything this groundbreaking (I mean, choosing a new nail polish color takes tons of deliberation for us), make sure that this is not only something you want to do, but something that you should be doing.

“College is an extraordinary time—time for self-discovery and the discovery of others, and a long distance relationship can often distance a person from staying in the moment at her own college and in her own college experience,” Durvasula says. However, if you’re ready and willing to make the commitment, then you can make it work.

How To Do It?

Communication is key. You can’t be with someone if you never speak—that’s what marriage is for (totally kidding). We all have our ridiculously busy schedules (who knew college would be more taxing than anything else we’ve done thus far?), but we do have down time. While there’s the obvious phone call, Facebook message, Tweet and email, Durvasula also recommends adding something a little more romantic (and foreign to our generation) to your relationship: snail mail. Just picture it: how absolutely melt-worthy adorable would it be if your boyfriend or girlfriend wrote you a handwritten letter? Yeah, we thought you’d agree.

But don’t forget to make time for your college friends–they are the people you’ll be spending the next four years making fabulous mistakes with. So how do you go about this extreme balancing act (we'd like to see Gabby Douglas try this one out) and still come out with gold? It’s all about the scheduling.

“Schedule limited Skype, FaceTime or phone time, a beginning and an end time, so you know when you will connect with your boyfriend or girlfirend, and still be able to live your life at school,” Waldon says. “Schedule time to get together, plan trips to each other’s campus and incorporate friends into at least some of that time.”

Scenario:

Since he asked you to the prom your junior year, you’ve been basically glued to your boyfriend’s hip. You’ve stuck by each other through thick and thin, but now it’s time to go your separate ways—how heart-wrenching is that? But you’ve both thought long and hard, and decided that you can defy the statistics, you can overcome the stigma and you can have a long distance relationship. So you set off to your different schools to live different lives, while still holding on to what you have as a couple. You both want to have the full college experience (whatever that is) that everyone keeps talking about. So while you Skype every Monday, Facebook chat every Wednesday in class and text almost all day long, you also make sure you’re spending time with your new college friends. One weekend, you focus on your college world, only talking to your boyfriend here and there—you update him about everything on Monday. Another weekend, one of you visits the other at his or her school, absorbing each other’s own college life. You’ve figured out your own schedule and way to have a lasting relationship, and only you two can make it work after putting in what you think is the perfect amount of effort.

So collegiettes, did we miss your love resolution for the new school year? Let us know what you’re pledging to when it comes to love this year in the comment box below!

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About The Author

Jamie is a recent graduate of the George Washington University where she majored in Political Communication and Journalism.  While in school, she interned at several magazines and online publications, wrote for Her Campus, and contributed to her university's newspaper, The Hatchet. Her work has been syndicated in The Huffington Post, USA Today College, and Reader's Digest. Jamie loves boy bands, anything with a little wit and sarcasm, and of course, diet coke. She is currently pursuing a career in magazine journalism in NYC. You can follow her on Twitter, @jamieblynn