Don’t follow your heart

Just follow your heart. We’ve all received this advice at least once in our lives. However, I’ve actually come to believe that this is some of the worst advice given. To me “follow your heart” could translate as, make decisions with your feelings not your mind. It’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea that our feelings lie to us a lot of the time. That’s why it’s important to use the reasoning abilities God has given us.

I was in an unhealthy relationship for several years because it made me sad to think about breaking up. I wasn’t happy in the relationship, but I thought because I got sad when I thought about breaking up with him I wasn’t supposed to. When I finally realized that my feelings were lying to me, and that the truth was I didn’t want to be in this relationship, I was able to breakup with him and happily move on.

So next time you have an important decision to make, don’t follow your heart; use your head. God gave you the ability to think for yourself.

Share your love

This holiday season celebrate your love with your significant other in a new way by lending a hand or an ear to somone who needs it.

It’s easy to get caught up in the presents around Christmastime, but there are so many lonely people who could use a visit. Find a nursing home or assisted living home near you and go talk to the people there. Not only will you brigthen their spirits, but helping others will bring you and your significant other closer together.

Another great thing to do is volunteer at a local soup kitchen together. This is also a great way to help people who really need it. Doing this also helps usher in a attitude of thankfulness. It will help you realize how much you have to be thankful for.

So spend some quality time with your significant other this Christmas season by sharing some love with someone who needs it.

Shopping and dating

One day I met one of my girlfriends for lunch and one of the first things she asked me was, “Katie, how do you shop?” I had to sit and think about it for a minute. After formulating what my shopping strategy was I told her that a lot of times I buy a really eccentric piece of clothing but never end up wearing it. I also told her that I know I really like something and should buy it if I think about that particular item for days after going to the mall.

Then my friend told me about a theory she had come up with: Girls approach guys and relationships like the approach shopping. I thought about what she said and realized that was definitely true in my case. In the past I have like guys with some very unique characteristics, but then after hanging out with them realized they’re not what I want. However, if I really truly like a guy, I think about him almost all the time. That’s always a huge indicator to me that I’m seriously interested in someone.

So how do you shop? Think about it. You might understand your approach to guys and relationships better.

Thoughtful gifts

Christmas presents are always a challenge when shopping for a significant other. All sorts of questions seem to pop up: How much should I spend? What will show him/her how much I care? What if someone else is buying him/her this present?

Many people struggle with these questions every year, and end up being dissatisfied with the gift they give. I propose a new approach to Christmas shopping for your significant other. Give a gift that shows you listen to them and that you care about the day-to-day things going on in their life. For example, if they complain about not having socks that match, buy them a bag of socks. Or if they’ve been saying how they’re sick of their CD’s, make them a new mix. This doesn’t have to be your only gift, but it will show you are attentive and know what matters to them.

Kristie Cain, a college sophomore says, “Because you know your significant other like no one else does, you should be able to give to them in a way no one else can.”

The Thanksgiving mentality

Thanksgiving is always a good time to let the important people in your life know how much you care about them. However, I think that having this thankful attitude throughout the year is a great way to improve all relationships. People appreciate knowing that they are cared for. I’ve realized that I often think something nice about someone, but I don’t tell them. Why not? What are the conseqences of me telling someone I appreciate them or that they mean a lot to me? Most likely I’m going to make them feel good about themself and strenghthen our realtionship together.

I understand that if you don’t share your feelings often, doing this can be awkward at first. You can work on fixing this problem by starting small. Start by saying “thank you” more often. After you become more comfortable with that start telling important people in your life specific things that you appreciate about them. If you try this Thanksgiving mentality all year round, your relationships will reap enormous benefits.

Nothing but the truth

While I wasn’t crazy about the movie, He’s Just Not That Into You, there was one principal in the movie I agreed with 100 percent. The movie said that girls make up excuses to their girlfriends as to why a certain guy isn’t pursing them, when in reality he just doesn’t want to date her. I couldn’t agree more.

When one of my close friends hung out with a guy who didn’t take much initiative, I found myself saying things like, “Oh he’s probably intimidated by how smart you are and that’s why he’s not making a move.” I was lying to my friend.

If a guy likes a girl enough, he will go after her. Girl’s need to step up to the plate and be more honest with their friends. If a guy isn’t asking a girl out or if he’s not committing to a relationship, tell your friend to move on! She values your opinion, so live up to her expectations.

Checklist mentality

I can understand being disappointment when someone you like doesn’t return the interest. However, I know many girls who get so caught up on the thought of them with a certain guy that they are distraught when things don’t workout. This type of mentality I have a problem with.

Girls and guys alike need to adapt a checklist mentality. This means when things don’t workout, instead of dwelling on how perfect things could have been, check the person off in your mind as one less person you know you’re not compatible with. You now have the freedom to move on to the next option. It’s okay to be disappointed for a little while, but after a few days, move on!

So next time your interest tells you it’s not going to work out or just isn’t interested at all, smile and put a checkmark next to their name. You now have one less person to wonder about.

Greenlife is a great date!

Surprise your date and take her out somewhere besides the usual Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, Abuelos and other ordinary restaurants. Take her to Greenlife Grocery. According to their Web site, Greenlife strives to, “Provide customers with a large variety of high quality organic foods and environmentally responsible products.” You may be thinking, take my date to a grocery store? I assure you, Greenlife is not your mill-of-the-run grocery store.

Not only does Greenlife have groceries, but it also has incredible eating options. You can build salads with a vast selection of toppings, you choose one of Greenlife’s specialty pizzas or create your own and they also have delicious Panini sandwiches to choose from.

While you’re waiting for your food to be prepared, strolli through the isles and and entertain yourself by looking at all the food. The rare brands and uncommon flavors give you good conversation topic and keep your mind occupied.

When your food is ready, if the weather is warm eat at a table for two in the outdoor seating area. If it’s cold, enjoy your food and the view from one of the indoor tables on the second floor of the store.

And don’t forget about dessert! Greenlife’s gelato is creamy and bursting with flavor. The bakery also has an assortment of pastries to select from

Show your date you can think out of the box. Greenlife is sure to score creative points with your date.

The Worst First Date

Taking a girl to a movie for a first date is lame, and it sends a couple of bad messages.

Bad message #1: You’re not creative enough to come up with something fun to take her to do. A movie appears like an easy way out. It says you don’t value her enough to take the time to plan something special.

“[Taking a girl to a movie on a first date] doesn’t accomplish anything,” says Phylicia Benabe, a college senior. All you doing is sitting next to each other. It says that the guy is uncreative.”

Bad message #2: You’re not good at conversation. Girls like guys who talk to them and show interest in getting to know them. Girls also want the opportunity to get to know you. A movie does not allow for this exchange.

Bad message #3: You just want to get physical. You didn’t ask her out because you like her personality, you just want to make-out with her. It’s not a very classy way to portray yourself.

Next time think twice about the message you’re sending before taking a girl to a movie on a first date.

Get to know yourself

Dating is a great way to discover things not only about the person you’re dating, but also about yourself. In every relationship people discover qualities in people that they either like or don’t like.

Kristie Cain, a sophomore nursing major, said, “[In a dating relationship] you learn what you need, what’s important to you in relationships and what you want in the person you’ll spend forever with.”

Every person has different needs and show they care in different ways. It’s important to identify what needs of yours are crucial that your significant other meet. After you identify this, it is easier to pick out people who are capable of meeting those needs and people who are not.

In past relationships that have failed, take a moment to look back and figure out something you can learn from them about yourself. What makes you angry? What makes you happy? When did you feel the most loved?

Learning about yourself from past relationships is one key to success in future ones.