Campus Dating

Dear Sandy,
I met my girlfriend in my dorm during my freshman year and we really hit it off. The next year we ended up being in the same apartment complex (we don’t live in the same apartment, just the complex) and have been living there for the past quarter.

I love the girl and we have a lot of fun together. But recently, I’ve just become increasingly pissed off at her. I could tick off several features that drive me crazy just typing this right now, but I won’t. We literally spend every waking minute together and she gets mad when I end up doing something that doesn’t involve her. I’m on the edge here, but I can’t shake this enormous feeling of guilt that I’m annoyed at someone for wanting to spend time with me.

Sometimes I feel like it’s totally justified, and at other times I feel terrible and selfish. Am I wrong to feel this way? And what can I do about it?
-Two Crowded

Dear Two Crowded,
It’s totally normal to feel the way you do. It’s especially common in high school/ early college relationships, but can happen to anyone since this topic deals with boundaries and personal space. You should certainly not feel selfish at all. It’s important for every person to have some time to themselves outside of their relationships with friends and loved ones.

You need to be able to discuss this with your girlfriend one-on-one before the confrontation happens again (i.e. NOT the night she barges in on your all-guys poker party). Let her know that while you love her, you need to be able to develop yourself as a person outside of the relationship as well as within it. This includes being able to have nights with your friends as well as time by yourself.

Encourage her to do the same.

She may react negatively to these suggestions as it could be interpreted as an attempt to spend less time with her. Tell her that this is something that you need personally and does not have anything to do with your feelings for her. Currently, the time that you are spending together is cheapened by routine and how constantly you see one another. By allowing independent “nights off,” you will both be significantly more grateful for the time you spend together and will appreciate one another much more in the end.
-Sandy

Dear Sandy,
I am kind of a superficial guy–every chance I get, I check girls out. I love looking at girls. However, I recently started having feelings for one girl, let’s call her Mediocre Mary. As her name implies, she is not that cute, but her personality is bomb. I don’t know what to do, and while this may seem like an easy answer, looks are a huge deal to me. What can I do to maybe see her differently or get over her?
-Loves Hot Girls

Dear Loves Hot Girls,
Stop being a douchebag.
-Sandy

Dear Sandy,
I’ve been dating my girlfriend for a year now, but in the past few months she’s been getting a lot of text messages and sometimes phone calls from her ex-boyfriend. She says that they’re just good friends but I’m not so sure. I trust her, but it makes me incredibly uncomfortable that he’s contacting her so much and every time I bring it up she gets furious. That makes me wonder how much they talk when I’m not around. Am I just being crazy? Or is there something to this?
-Ex-man Troubles

Dear EMT,
There’s not entirely enough information here to spell out whether you’ve been taking crazy pills just yet. But there’s definitely something you can do.

While you might be pretty calm now, it sounds like you haven’t exactly been the coolest of cucumbers when addressing this issue with your girlfriend. The next time you want to bring it up, don’t make accusatory statements toward her or her ex and don’t raise your voice. Simply let her know that you understand that her ex is now her friend, and that you understand that your jealousy is potentially unreasonable so you’d like to talk about how you two can work together to resolve it.

If she reacts angrily, even after starting the conversation calmly, do your best to not feed into it. It takes two to keep an argument burning and it’ll cool quickly if you’re not adding to the fuel. The best thing to keep in mind in that situation is that, whether it’s sex or just flirting, you’re essentially hinting at infidelity and that’s an incredibly offensive accusation for someone who has been faithful.

One way to deal with this is laying out a policy of full disclosure. She has every right to hang out with her ex-boyfriend, but since she’s got a sexual history with this guy, you have every right to know when they’re spending time together. She’ll tell you every time they text, call or hang out and you won’t have to ponder jealously about what’s going on without your knowledge.

If you’re starting to find that your jealousy is spreading so far that she can’t send her male cousin a birthday card without you knowing about it – we’ve got a problem. And that problem is you, my friend, not her.
-Sandy

New Year’s Resolutions Part One of Three: Finding a New Relationship

Finding a new beau isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially for those who find themselves extremely busy. Whether you’re in school or working, it’s important to find time for yourself and there are always ways to meet new people – you just have to put in a little effort!

Join an interest group: Joining a club with a topic that interests you is a great way to make new friends and possibly find someone you might be interested in dating. You can easily search the topic and just add “Orange County” or your zip code in the search box to find it nearby.

Take a class: Taking a class is another way to discover more about something you’re interested in and to meet new people. Find your local community center from this list: http://www.orangecountyvenues.com/Community-Centers.html. Click the page and discover the classes and events offered in your community.
Coastline ROP also offers an expansive variety of courses for high school students and adults. Classes range from flower arranging and baking to first responder and animal care internships. http://www.coastlinerop.schoolloop.com/

Volunteer: You can commit to a one-time weekend deal like Habitat for Humanity, a few hours a week with an organization like Court Appointed Special Advocates or two years with the Peace Corps. Any way you spin it, you’ve got a variety of opportunities to help out your community and meet new people who want to do the same. http://www.volunteercenter.org/

These are just a few of the ways to  meet new people this year.

Don’t forget to follow the blog at life-love-and-lust.blogspot.com or the Facebook Networked Blogs page at http://tiny.cc/networkedblog and make sure you’re following Life Love and Lust on Twitter too! twitter.com/lifeloveandlust