Tuesday, 7 November 2017

4 Signs You Might Be Getting Back Together with Your Ex

4 Signs You Might Be Getting Back Together with Your Ex
We’ve all been there. You and your SO have split, but he or she is still in your life somehow. Whether you are in the same bio lecture or share mutual friends, you’re constantly running into them. It’s awkward at first, but then you get used to it. Soon enough, you’re getting meals together, and texting more frequently. All of a sudden, it feels like you’re veering back into relationship territory. But, you’re broken up…right? Well, maybe not for long. Here are four signs you might be getting back together with your ex without really realizing it. 

1. You talk to each other when you’re out with a group of friends

Sign number one that you and your ex are on the road to reconciliation is that you two are only paying attention to each other when you’re out with a large group of friends. According to Lesli Doares, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Balanced Family, it’s not only the conversation that matters—what you discuss matters too. “Talking about or reminiscing about specific times you were together that were positive, or talking about things on a more personal, deeper level” could indicate you are getting back together, Doares says.
So, when that friendly chat turns from your favorite new Snapchat filters and a funny thing your professor said, to deeper matters like that incredible anniversary dinner you had or how your ex’s dad is doing after his surgery, the two of you might be moving closer to making up. 

2. You start to spend more time together as a couple instead of a group

Sign number two, according to Doares, is that you and your ex are slowly starting to spend more one-on-one time together. Doares says that both men and women can initiate this one-on-one time through changing their plans to make themselves more available. “They invite their ex to events needing a ‘plus one.’ They go to the places their ex hangs out. They run errands for them.” According to Emily*, a junior at The College of William and Mary, she and her ex quickly initiated more time together. “Even though we had been broken up for months, my ex and I started texting again, and we went to a soccer game together, so I was pretty sure we'd end up dating for a third time,” she says. If your ex is inviting you to their fraternity’s date party “just as friends” or jumps at the chance to help you pick up groceries for the week, and you say yes, you all are looking more and more like couple material. 

3. The two of you have frequent “check-ins”

If you and your ex are still constantly keeping up with each other over text or any social media platform, that is a major sign that you all are potentially getting back together. If these check-ins are innocuous, for example your ex texts you regularly about assignments for a class you are both in, you are probably still friends. But if they become more frequent or veer into territory that is more serious or sensual, that could be a sign the two of you are heading from breakup to makeup. Doares also cautions that “making flirtatious or slightly sexual comments” can be a signal you might be getting back together. Emily says that she knew she and her ex might get back together when they were in constant contact. “When we kept texting each other every day, I knew it was inevitable that my ex and I would start dating again,” she says. Bottom line is, if your ex is the person you interact with most on text or social media, that is a big sign, that you all could be getting back together!  

4. You start to seriously discuss why you broke up

According to Doares, if you and your ex start to have the serious conversations about the cause of your breakup, this could be the biggest sign that you are headed for reconciliation. Actually sitting down and discussing the reasons you all went your separate ways is a mature (and sometimes uncomfortable) situation, so if you can handle this discussion with the necessary maturity, you could be ready to give it another shot. Doares says that discussing any concerns you have, whether about past behaviors or future commitment, are also indicators that you might get back together
Getting back together with you ex is all fine and good (especially if you all really were compatible) , but what if you don’t want this reconciliation to happen? Doares says that the best way to prevent this is to limit any interaction you have with your partner. “If the breakup was initiated by one person, it is cruel if that person keeps the other in their lives. If you work at the same place or still maintain mutual friends, it’s important to be clear about boundaries. It isn’t necessary to pretend you don’t know each other or that you were never a couple. It is necessary, however, to not give your ex false hope. Be polite, but not overly friendly,” she says. But what is the one thing you should never do if you don’t want to reconcile with your ex? “Do not have sex with them—ever” Doares says. In general, Doares says that it is best to exercise caution when it comes to remaining friends post break-up. “Be careful about remaining friends” she says. “This is often seen by the person who didn’t want the breakup as a way to try to get back together and keeps both of you from moving on.”
Overall, it’s up to you to use your discretion when determining if a reconciliation with your ex is the best choice. You are the one that knows yourself best, so listen to your heart and mind before you make the leap!
*Name has been changed. 

You’re Ruining Your Love Life by Doing These 5 Things

You’re Ruining Your Love Life by Doing These 5 Things
When you’re single AF or going through a rough patch in your relationship, it's easy to blame yourself for everything you think has sabotaged your love life. Although it's probably due to circumstances and not your fault at all (because you’re a super dope human being, obv), there are a few things you might be doing to hurt your relationships. HC is here to talk you through these rookie mistakes and help you avoid them.

1. You stalk your crush or your ex on social media

At this point, none of us is trying to deny that we stalk people on social media. In fact, many collegiettes’ ability to find out anything about anyone is more a source of pride than it is a shameful secret. So naturally, when you have a new crush, your first reflex is to search for him or her on Facebook (that “recent searches” function is killing us). What’s the harm in finding out cute people’s hobbies? Or your mutual friends? It’s not like you’re digging up their blood type and social security number. But your stalking patterns, besides potentially endangering your mental health, can have some unpleasant consequences for your love life.
“Instead of talking and communicating face to face or on the phone with this person to learn about them, you start getting all your knowledge about them via social media,” says Neely Steinberg, a dating coach and personal image consultant. “This can hurt the way you interact with them when you do speak.”
Stalking your ex is another easy trap to fall into. In this case, you already know the person and you’re likely looking for one of two things: either your ex’s new SO or something embarrassing to laugh about with your friends.
“I seriously stalked my ex for two months after our thing ended and would stalk all of the girls he was in pictures with just to see if they were dating,” says Noëmie Carrant, a senior at Boston University. Noëmie is all of us. Toning down the social media stalking can be difficult to do, but if you at least keep in mind how it could damage your relationships (or potential relationships), you might think twice before scrolling back to your crush circa 2012.

2. You don’t trust your SO

You’ve heard it before: relationships are built on trust. So what exactly happens when you decide you can’t trust your SO for no apparent reason? Well, a lot of misunderstandings.
“One time I scrolled down my boyfriend's Twitter for so long that I thought he was cheating on me,” says Kenya Hunter, a sophomore at Brenau University. “But I had just scrolled down to 2013 when he was in a relationship. I was so embarrassed at myself because I was ready to end it.” Obviously, there are sometimes legitimate reasons for not trusting someone, but you should always communicate with your SO before lashing out at him or her.
“You may read into something [on social media or IRL] and not have any context surrounding it, which then may lead you to accuse or lash out,” Steinberg says. “Psychologically, [it] can send your mind spinning, creating all sorts of scenarios in your head about what's happening. And then you start feeling the need to check up on [your SO] more and more, and it becomes an emotional roller coaster, an addiction of sorts.”
If you think you have reason to doubt your partner, be sure to talk it out with him or her before reaching any hasty conclusions that you might regret later.

3. You play games

We’ve all waited a little too long to answer a text or posted a Snap story to make someone jealous, but playing games can quickly get out of hand and hurt you and your love life more than you think. “I was in an open long-distance relationship with this guy for several months,” Noëmie says. “We were both clearly very much into each other but wouldn't admit it because of the distance, so we would mutually have flings with other people and tell each other about it in great detail just to get a reaction out of the other person.” Inevitably, both Noëmie and her guy ended up getting hurt.
For Steinberg, “Women engage in game-playing because of two reasons: 1) They are told they need to do this to get the guy; otherwise, they risk scaring him off. 2) Their own insecurities are at work. If they show their affection too soon, if they respond too quickly, etc., that will show they are too needy, for example. So they engage in the type of behavior that they think the man will want or what they think will get the guy to like them more.” The truth is, no good ever comes out of playing games—just be yourself.

4. You hold onto a relationship that’s not working

Whether you’ve been with your SO for a long time or you just like someone more than he or she likes you, sometimes you have to know when it’s time for you to part ways.
“When I was abroad, I was holding onto texts and calls from my (now) ex even though I realized we were drifting apart,” says Rachel Petty, a junior at James Madison University. “This ultimately made things worse when we broke up!”
It’s completely natural to want to make things work! Zoe*, a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, can relate in more ways than one. “I stayed trying to save a relationship that was long gone and it ate away at my heart and my self-esteem,” Zoe says. “I also stayed in [another] relationship for too long that I knew was negative and I was losing myself over in the hope that it would get better.”
Not wanting to let go of someone who is a big part of your life is one thing, but if the other person is actually not into you, this could be a bigger problem. “In general, holding onto someone who doesn't like you in that way stems from deep-seated insecurities,” Steinberg says. “It's almost like you begin to try to PROVE to the person that you are good enough, that if you finally do win the person over, well, then that will FINALLY validate you and prove you are good enough.” Spoiler alert: you are good enough.

5. You put your SO’s needs before your own

Under the guise of being a caring girlfriend, you might sometimes unintentionally undermine yourself. “I put my [significant] other first over myself and put his feelings on a higher pedestal than my own for fear of hurting him and wanting to take care of him, when you should always take care of yourself first,” Zoe says—and she’s so right.
To be happy in a relationship and with yourself, you have to be comfortable with who you are and in touch with your own needs. It’s not selfish to put yourself first sometimes (or most of the time)—it will benefit you and your SO in time.
Dating in college is difficult enough without making these seemingly innocuous mistakes, and being aware that some of your habits are hurting your love life is the first step to a healthy relationship. You’ve got this, collegiettes!
*Name has been changed.

What It’s Like to Date if You (or Your SO) Had Toxic Parents

What It’s Like to Date if You (or Your SO) Had Toxic Parents
Anyone with toxic parents or dating someone with toxic parents likely knows how difficult they can be when it comes to relationships. Your parents already want to control every aspect of your life — school, work, extracurriculars — and now they want to control who you date? If your SO is the one with toxic parents, that may be even worse — now you have someone else’s parents trying to control your life. Or maybe love wasn’t given freely when you were a child, which can undoubtedly take a toll on your love life. Don’t worry — Her Campus is here to help. We’ve talked to Carole Lieberman, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Bad Boys and Bad Girls, and collegiettes who’ve been there to let you know what it’s like to date with toxic parents in the picture and how you can make the most of a situation like this.

1. You’ll feel forbidden from certain events and experiences

When you or your SO has toxic parents, it may feel like you can’t do certain things, such as date freely. “It is likely that these toxic parents will continue to haunt your relationship in other ways, too, even now that you are grown up,” Lieberman says. “For example, if they are too critical, controlling or are absentee parents, they will affect how you see yourself and how you see your significant other.” Jasmine Yadeta, a junior at the University of Victoria, knows this firsthand. “They consistently undermine you regardless of age or experience and that becomes extremely evident in the dating scene,” she shares. “Their feelings tend to come before your own and no matter how badly you want to start dating and getting yourself out there, you are ridden with guilt because their emotions are a priority in comparison to yours (or at least that’s how it seems).”
Jasmine was able to get out of this once her parents got divorced. “I was lucky and was able to start fresh with my relationships as me, and I became really grounded in who I am,” she says. “My mother listened to reasoning with an open ear after the divorce and honestly it only went up from there.” Even if your parents aren’t getting a divorce, don’t feel like you’re stuck — you’re your own person and are entitled to having your own healthy relationships.

2. It may be harder to commit or say “I love you”

Lieberman mentions that growing up with toxic parents can make it difficult to experience intimacy. “Still feeling the sting of rejection or other [forms of] hurt, you are afraid to get closer to your partner for fear that they will similarly reject or hurt you,” she says. “This makes it harder to commit or to say, ‘I love you.’” If you’re wondering why you have a fear of commitment or are dreading those three little words, your upbringing might be the answer. If your parents didn’t show you love as a child, it will be hard for you to show love to someone else.

3. You’ll face judgment and drama

This goes without saying — toxic parents will judge your every move, which leads to inevitable drama. Jenna*, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, recently went through a breakup because of a toxic parent, specifically her ex-boyfriend’s mom. “She would be nice to my face and then he would tell me things that would take me aback,” she says. “It was a constant argument in our relationship that he wouldn't stick up for me enough when his family would say things that were absolutely crazy, so we got to a breaking point.” If your SO is blind to his family’s pettiness, it’s probably time to move on. You can’t let toxic parents drive you to a breaking point.

4. You may fear your SO is cheating on you

Growing up in an unsteady household may make you doubt your SO’s commitment. “If you were raised with a father who cheated, who left home or who otherwise did not make you feel worthy of a good man’s love, then you will be fearful that your partner will cheat on you, abandon you or disappoint you in some other way,” Lieberman says. It’s important to remember that your partner’s actions won’t automatically reflect your parents’. It may be hard to put those thoughts on the back burner, but it’s still important. If you’re in a healthy relationship, you should trust your SO.

5. Your SO will make you feel stronger

Although having toxic parents (or an SO with toxic parents) makes it difficult to date, it can make your relationship that much more important. “My mom is emotionally abusive and it definitely affects my dating dynamics,” says Emma*, a junior at the University of Alabama. “It makes it even more important for me to have a supportive SO because they kind of have to outweigh the negativity she creates in my life.” Finding someone who will be there for you, toxic parents or not, is extremely valuable and will put a true test to your relationship.

What can do you?

Although you’ll have difficulty in any relationship, it’s important to keep things between you and your SO. “I think while dating, especially in a long-term relationship where you think about wanting to be with someone forever, it's important to keep your relationship between just the two of you and not get toxic families and their opinions involved,” Jenna says. “But, if it's a constant argument and makes the relationship toxic too, you have to take a step back and see if this is really worth the fight.” If you’re able to put the issues aside and become closer, you know you and your SO are in it for the long haul.
Although toxic parents may put a burden on your dating life, it’s ultimately up to you how much it affects you. If you and your SO use each other to stay strong and keep the relationship between the two of you, you can get through it. Good luck, collegiettes!
*Name has been changed