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I am feeling young and committed

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Dear Scarlet Knights,

What an amazing and magical experience to be in love. What a wonderful time in your life with so many new things coming your way. Before I answer your question, I want you hear my answer with absolute kindness and compassion. You ask a very complicated question and I hope I can bring you some clarity and relief. I warn you it may not be the answer you want to hear.

Love is a very powerful emotion. Possibly the most powerful of all emotions. With that said, it is understandable why its hard to not cling on to someone you love. Especially,
if you feel they are drifting from you. This is a nightmare for the person who is not moving forward and is in a holding pattern. It can make anyone crazy. Read more…

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I am feeling young and committed

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Dear Scarlet Knights,

What an amazing and magical experience to be in love. What a wonderful time in your life with so many new things coming your way. Before I answer your question, I want you hear my answer with absolute kindness and compassion. You ask a very complicated question and I hope I can bring you some clarity and relief. I warn you it may not be the answer you want to hear.

Love is a very powerful emotion. Possibly the most powerful of all emotions. With that said, it is understandable why its hard to not cling on to someone you love. Especially,
if you feel they are drifting from you. This is a nightmare for the person who is not moving forward and is in a holding pattern. It can make anyone crazy. Read more…

Link

Talk with Carolyn podcast

Talk with Carolyn podcast

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Anonymous writes,

Carolyn I am headed off to Rutgers in August. I am so happy! I got the roommate I wanted, I got the dorm I wanted, my class schedule is exactly the way I want it. The only problem is my boyfriend. I want to share all these exciting things with him but every time I tell him, he is not happy for me. It is so obvious. We have been dating since 10th grade. He is not going to college just yet. He is not really sure what he wants. He says he is happy for me but he is just scared about what this will do to our relationship. We will be considered a long distance relationship since my college is in NJ and he lives in Upstate New York. I have stopped telling him things about Rutgers because it changes his whole mood and it just sucks to be around him. I do not want to break up with him but he is making it very easy. I love him too death though. He is my first everything. I just don’t know what to do. How can I make him feel happy for me?
 Sincerely,
Scarlet Knights (Rutgers Mascot).

Dear Scarlet Knights,
 
What an amazing and magical experience to be in love. What a wonderful time in your life with so many new things coming your way. Before I answer your question, I want you hear my answer with absolute kindness and compassion. You ask a very complicated question and I hope I can bring you some clarity and relief. I warn you it may not be the answer you want to hear.

Love is a very powerful emotion. Possibly the most powerful of all emotions. With that said, it is understandable why its hard to not cling on to someone you love. Especially,
if you feel they are drifting from you. This is a nightmare for the person who is not moving forward and is in a holding pattern. It can make anyone crazy.

You boyfriend may feel “left behind”. Which may be accurate at this time. I am not sure that this will get any better for either of you. At this time in your life this should happen.
I know that may be difficult to hear. Please know you cannot control what others feel. This will suck! The reality is your new independence will bring you so many life choices that you may never had had before. These magical experiences may be difficult to share with someone who is so frighten to lose you.

There are several suggestions I would love to share with  you.

  1. Please do not stop growing or moving forward for anyone. Ever! You are responsible for your own happiness and meeting your own needs. Expecting others to do this for you is dangerous and unrealistic. This takes courage and a lot of support.
  2. You may not be able to share these new experiences with your boyfriend right now. Try to spend time with him without dealing with college prerequisites. You will be going in a couple of weeks. Try to enjoy your time together. The reality of your relationship will become more clear as more of your new needs become more clear.
  3. Be fair and kind. This is not easy. Instead of expecting them to be absolutely riddled with joy for you. Understand that this is unsettling and many possible outcomes. This and can make anyone feel absolutely powerless for anyone in a committed relationship.
  4. Do not make promises you cannot keep no matter what. You will feel awful if you do.
  5. Keep your loving and caring friends close. It may seem selfish that you are moving forward without your love. Trust me, this is the most healthy thing you can do for yourself.

This will feel like a very bitter sweet action, Scarlet Knight. Just take it day by day. As time goes on the nature of your relationship will be clear. You will not be alone in dealing with the layers of committed relationships while in college. I am sure you will have a lot of support. Despite dealing with the unpredictability of this, allow yourself to have an amazing freshman year!

Be great,
Carolyn

Listen to me answer this letter on a podcast

 

Summer Fling or Kinda Steady Thing?

Summer Fling or real thingIf you are reading this article, you may be involved in a passionate wonderful summer romance or you may be  enjoying the freedom of love all and attachment to none. Both of these lead to very different stations on the LOVE train.

Let us distinguish each. We will start with our steady summer romance. If this is a new relationship you started this summer, how exciting! It is now the middle of summer as I write this post. Your relationship may be a little more firm than it was several weeks ago. You make have started making more time for you new love and maybe introducing them to the important people in your life.  Have you attended BBQ’s and pool parties with your young love? If the answers to these questions have been yes, it may seem that your young love feels as strongly about you as you do about them.

Now lets visit our distant cousin “summer fling”. This relationship may be more clandestine. In this relationship, it may be obvious that this person wants nothing more than great summer sex without any strings attached. This person may be YOU! In this relationship there is less introduction to friends and family, if any at all. There is really no real “dates”. You probably just “hit each other up”, when you are bored or lonely. There is no talk about plans for future dates or preset plans. This may be because in these types of relationships the “fling” is the last resort when it comes to plans. This relationship may involve a lot of spontaneous activity and very little commitment.
You may have convinced yourself that this is enough. That you may be okay with the little that you may request of your new love, for now.

I want to invite you to re-examine your thinking.

In relationships there are no absolutes or guarantees. I have learned through all my years of working as a psychotherapist, the most painful thing you can do to yourself is lie to yourself. Honesty in itself is not for the faint of heart. However, the more we create a world that only seems true to us, you are treading pretty murky waters.

Just to be clear, I can appreciate a great and interesting fling. These relationships are such full of excitement, passion, unpredictability and adrenaline. It is just completely seductive. Yum!

Here is the dark side of that. What I have found is that one person always cares more than the other. It seems in relationships like this, the one that cares the least, wins. At least, this is the perspective from the outside looking in.

Whether you are in a relationship that has potential or a relationship that no one admits to in the daytime hours, these recommendations may prove helpful.

*Do not let your life revolve around your new relationship: Try to still do things you loved doing before your new relationship. Hang out with your friends, watch your favorite movies and eat your favorite foods. Do not cancel on your friends when you have made plans long ago. Continue to try new things with or without your new love. In essence be who you are. If this relationship has legs, they will love you for who you are. Do not think being  ” easy to be with” is a good sell.

* Do not compromise on your beliefs or morals for a new relationship: If you have had strong opinions about smoking and now you are dating a smoker be realistic. This is something that bothers you and will continue to bother you. If you have a problem with your new lover always borrowing money or using up your gas, would you allow your friends and family to do this to you? No! So why a new love? We teach people how to treat us. If you do not teach them early, they will be under the impression that we accept anything no matter how inconsiderate. This is not worth good sex! The price is too steep.

* Be honest with yourself about the nature of your relationship : If your new love has told you that they have no interest in becoming serious. Listen to them. Do not convince yourself that, “you are going to change them”, “if they spend more time with you”or” they will love you” and change their minds or any other delusional things we tell ourselves when we want something to work out. Now, is there a possibility that a relationship that started out as a fling can turn out to be something serious? Yes. The movie, “NO STRINGS ATTACHED” may be loosely based on fact. However that is the exception.  Be honest with yourself. If you know that this is temporary and you are willing to take the risk then do so carefully. BUYER BEWARE.

Everyone deserves to feel loved and feel like they are important. If you are willing to be loved for fractions of time with no real investment,  what does that say about your self-worth? How you allow yourself to be treated is a mirror and others will do the same because they think that is the way things should be. You have the power to accept or change whatever you choose. Love is a very layered emotion with so many interpretations.

I would love to hear your thoughts on your summer loves and what you learned from those experiences. Leave your comments below. It may help a fellow romantic next summer…

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The Skinny Envelope

  The   Skinny Envelope

The smell of spring is in the air, day lights saving time has started and so has the thunder of March Madness. For High School seniors, March Madness has a very different connotation. March Madness for this graduating class, is the time when they eagerly stalk their mailboxes with bated breath. They reach in the cold metal box to feel with their hearts in their hands for the fat packet or the dreaded skinny envelope.

If you are the college applicant or the parent of the applicant, Spring has sprung with incredible string of hopes and dreams. This is the time when my practice begins a waiting list. The sting of rejection is not something that can be dusted off ever so lightly.
If you are a high school teacher or working anywhere near a high school, you may witness some students become withdrawn or even a touch blue. Depending on when they begin preparing for college, rebounding may take some time.

It is not just the students that suspend their hopes. Many parents, unintentionally set up unrealistic expectations. Whether it because the parents had incredible college experiences or because it is their alma mater. They may create the illusion of guaranteed acceptance. This is very rarely the case. Due to this false sense of security, the young adult may not even prepare for a safety school.

The message in this post may land softer and may be easier to digest in a couple of days. Especially after opening the proverbial, “skinny envelope”. There are several recommendations I give to my hopeful and dejected clients.

First- Take a very deep breath! Then let it out as slowly as you can.  Find someone you trust and slowly have them re-read the letter to themselves first. There are several reasons for this. Many times when we are so emotionally attached to something, the information or the things we see may not be accurate or we see what we want to see.

Second- DO NOT TWEET OR CHANGE YOUR STATUS TO “REJECTED”. This is such a painful thing to do to yourself. Before you expose yourself in such a painful way, develop a plan. Since many of your classmates are in the same boat, you will be asking each other endless updates on a daily basis. This may be annoying and you may begin to dread going to class. It may be easier to share with your friends, “I have not heard anything”. I will not forget to tell you when I do. This may buy you some time.

Third- Figure out what the message is and how are you reading this rejection letter. Do you think YOU are a reject?  Can you stand back and look at what the school really offers? Does the school provide what you really want? Why did you choose this school? Does it match your standards, values and things that interest you. Was this a “reach” school?

Four- Once you get an accurate read on what your objectives are for higher education, begin to set up a plan. Look over your safety schools and speak to your parents about financial viability. Also, good education is everywhere. It can be in your local community college or even online. You can always transfer later on if you are still interested in a certain school. Do not narrow your options because you need a particular name on a sweatshirt.

Lastly,  This is the best part of the blog. The reality check. Where you go to college will not predict or guarantee any degree of happiness or success post college. I promise you this is true. You have nothing to be ashamed of with this experience. Rejection will happen in different phases of your life. How you learn to deal with rejection, will have an immediate impact on the choices you make in the future.

College is an incredible investment. It is not something that can be taken lightly or done impulsively. My prior sentence bears repeating. Where you go to school will not determine your future degree of happiness.

I wish you the best in whatever you decide.  This is your life, your rules and your choice. Make sure YOU are always your first choice.

Several references:
greatcollegeadvice.com
collegeconfidential.com
Inside the college admission process
www.nytimesknownow.com/index.php/inside-college-admissions

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