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Sex + Relationships

Spring Cleaning: How to Wipe Your Dating Slate Clean

We normally associate spring cleaning with removing the clutter from our lives – from old clothes to last semester’s notes, spring cleaning means starting fresh. But as some of you know, a rocky dating history can clutter our minds, too, and it’s time to wipe that slate clean. Whether you are still in communication with a toxic ex or you haven’t had the nerve to tell your hook-up buddy how you really feel, this guide is for you. We’ve narrowed down the top five relationship situations that clutter girls’ minds along with advice on how to move on. It’s time to wipe your dating history slate clean in order to make room for some spring fever!
Your Ex-BF Still Has a Hold On You

We’ve all been in relationships that completely consume our lives, even after they’re over. After a relationship ends, it’s only natural to want to stay in contact with your ex – after all, he probably played a starring role in your life for a long time. But when your ex continues to be your first priority even though you’re no longer his, that’s when it’s time to move on.  Maybe he still calls you every night, saying how much he misses you, but he’s hooking up with another girl. Maybe the two of you are still hooking up, but he has no interest in being your boyfriend again. Whatever the situation is, he’s using you, and you’re holding onto the possibility of reconciliation. You deserve better than being some guy’s back-up plan so cut off all ties and give yourself time to heal.

How to do it:

  • Let him know why – the relationship is over, so he can’t keep getting what he wants from you without giving you anything in return.
  • Ask him to stop communicating with you, and don’t communicate with him. Stick to it.
  • Defriend him on Facebook, unfollow him on Twitter, delete his number from your phone, etc. Do what you need to do to get him out of your life and out of your mind.
  • Rely on your friends to distract you and help you move on. Tell them that you’re serious about cutting him out of your life – they will support you.
  • Take some time to be single and heal. Don’t jump into another relationship – it’s too soon. Eat ice cream, watch movies, be sad. It’s okay to mourn for a little while.
  • Distract yourself – join a new club, focus on school, spend time with family and friends, etc. If you’re busy, you won’t have time to miss him.

You’re An Unsatisfied Friend With Benefits

Friends with benefits is a complex relationship status and sometimes what you want out of the arrangement changes. It’s possible that you realized you want to date him, but you aren’t sure he feels the same. Or maybe you realized you don’t want to be hooking up anymore, but you’re scared of losing him as a friend. Either way, it’s time to speak up for what you want. Life is too short to stay in a ‘relationship’ that you aren’t happy with anymore. It can be scary to make the decision to ask for what you want. What if he doesn’t want the same thing? What if it ruins everything? I’ll be honest with you; things will probably change, for better or for worse. No matter what, though, you’ll be happier in the long run because you made a decision for you.

How to do it:

  • Set aside a time to talk with no hooking up involved.
  • Make sure he knows that you’re serious – you want something to change and if it doesn’t, you won’t be hooking up anymore.
  • Be honest – let him know how you truly feel and what exactly you want. For example, “I’ve started to really like you, and I’d like us to talk about starting a relationship.” If you aren’t clear, it’s possible nothing will change.
  • Take his answer for what it is – if he’s not interested, then move on. Don’t think you can somehow change his mind eventually because most likely, you can’t.
  • If you’re ending things, give him time to heal. He’s probably hurt so he will need a little space, but make sure he knows you’ll still be there for him.

You’re Interested in a Guy with a Girlfriend

Guys have a tendency to string girls along, and it’s not always on purpose. There are plenty of guys who have conflicting feelings – sure, they really care about their girlfriend, but they also like the cute girl in their class (that’s you!). And maybe you really like him, too, so I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news: He’s not going to leave his girlfriend for you. Guys like attention just as much as we do, and he’s probably excited by the thrill of having a new girl interested in him. Your ‘affair,’ even if it’s just hanging out, sitting together in class everyday, texting every night, etc. is just that: an affair. Eventually, he’ll feel guilty and ditch you. You’re the one who is going to end up hurt, so end it before you get to that point. You should always be the first choice of the guy you’re seeing, not the secret other woman.

How to do it:

  • There’s really no other way to do this than to end all communication with him. The two of you were headed down a dangerous path, and while he’s in a relationship, you can’t be communicating.
  • Don’t ask him to leave his girlfriend for you – he won’t, and you’ll look bad. And even if he does, you don’t want to be with someone like that – what’s to stop him from doing that to you in a few weeks, a month, a year?
  • If you’re not sure he even realized he was doing something wrong, then just be honest. For example, “I feel really uncomfortable spending so much time with you when you have a girlfriend so I think we should stop talking for awhile,” or “I’ve started to like you and that’s not fair to me, you or your girlfriend so we need to stop talking.”
  • Hold your ground – he may try to convince you that it’s not a big deal, but it is. Remember you deserve better!

You’re Unhappy in Your Current Relationship

There are tons of reasons why relationships don’t work – someone cheated, long-distance was too hard, you don’t have enough time to see each other, or sometimes the feelings you once had for each other just fade. It could be complicated or simple, but if you’re unhappy in your current relationship, then you need to let it go. Breakups are never easy, and you’ll probably be hurting for awhile, but learning to let go of something that isn’t working is an important lesson to learn. It’s not fair to either of you to stay in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy.

How to do it:

  • Be honest. He might have seen it coming or maybe he didn’t, but either way he needs to hear your side of the story. Don’t leave him with unanswered questions – that’s not fair.
  • Don’t give him false hope. Maybe you really do think the two of you will get back together eventually, but you shouldn’t tell him that otherwise he won’t be able to move on. Let him go.
  • Let yourself grieve. It’ll be hard, and you have a right to be upset. Do what you need to do to be happy again.

You Want To Be Happy Being Alone
Wiping your dating slate clean means that you may end up single, and it’s important that you’re happy with that outcome. Learning to love yourself and to love being alone is a stepping stone toward being content in a relationship. If you aren’t happy with yourself, how can you expect someone else to be happy with you? This is one of the toughest lessons to learn, and it may take some time to accomplish. Give yourself that time! The only way to do this is to be single – try new things, meet new people, write in a journal, etc. Get to know yourself. Once you have a firm grasp on who you are as a single person (and who you are with a clean slate), you’ll start to attract guys who like the real you, and that’s what matters in the long run.

For more reasons why being single rocks, check out 5 Reasons to Love Being Single in College, and Why Being Single Is Awesome.

Allie Duncan is a senior, class of 2013, in the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She is specializing in Strategic Communication within the Journalism department, while also pursuing a Textile and Apparel Management minor. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Allie is a member of Kappa Delta sorority - Epsilon Iota chapter, the Publicity Director for Her Campus Mizzou, a Campus Representative/Intern for Akira Chicago, a Contributing Writer for Chicago-Scene magazine and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She spent the 2012 summer as an intern at Tory Burch, and the 2011 summer as an intern at Vogue magazine. A Chicago native, Allie enjoys shopping, watching reality television, cupcakes, expensive shoes and reading magazines. She hopes to eventually land a job in fashion public relations while living in New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago.
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