How can you make this year your very best yet when it comes to electrifying, heart-pounding-in-your-ears romance? Resolve to nourish yourself in ways that invite love and excitement into your life—you have more control than you might think! Here are our six best ideas to make yourself ready for love in the new year.
1. Be interesting by being you.
It’s cliche but it’s true. Journalists know that everyone, from deli clerks to preschool teachers to CEOs, has a story—which means you’ve got one, too. What is it? Find it, and own it. Maybe you’re a Midwestern girl who’s passionate about photography, cherry pies, and wildlife conservation. Or a proud child of New York City with an implacable drive to advocate for kids in the foster care system and watch Star Trek. Whoever you are, trust that you’re already a fully formed individual who brings something to the table of any date. Developing your interests and passions further will deepen your natural, unfakeable allure. That’s why any New Year’s resolution you make for yourself also helps your love life!
2. Commit to being available.
No, you don’t have to go for coffee with any schmo that asks. But part of landing dates is putting yourself in situations where other single folks can get to know you. If your daily routine is going to work, coming home, and watching House of Cards until bedtime, your exposure to potential dates is pretty low. That’s why being part of open social groups, like clubs, dance classes, and sports leagues is so important. If you’ve already got a few hobbies cooking yet they offer few dating prospects on the horizon, you might want to try online dating. The beauty of a digital profile is that you’ll encounter people in your town who might not run in your circles. Whatever method works best for you, challenge yourself to be available for love to find you this year.
3. Ditch your checklist and get some deal breakers.
What’s the difference? A checklist is all about superficialities—must be this tall, red-haired, ferret-loving, etc. These qualifiers don’t just filter out non-contenders, but a lot of potentially great matches as well. And, a lot of people who do meet these super specific criteria might not be so compatible when it comes to the qualities that define a relationship, like communication, commitment, and personal values. Deal breakers, on the other hand, are your personal boundaries. For example: it might be a deal breaker if he doesn’t want kids, travels a lot, or isn’t okay with your aforementioned ferret. Deal breakers will help guide you to a truly satisfying relationship, so if you haven’t already, shred your checklist on January 1st.
4. Get serious about being playful.
Are you hopelessly attracted to Mr. Wrong? Or unexpectedly not so into your perfect-on-paper new date? These feelings aren’t an inconvenience—they’re incredibly valuable sources of information about your deepest desires. Pay attention to them. What is it that drives you wild? What are you craving? Even if you don’t choose to act on your urges, don’t try to squelch them completely. Give them some curious attention, perhaps by journaling, meditating, or exploring other spiritual practices. You might be surprised at the wisdom your subconscious offers.
5. Resolve to get rejected.
Being turned down hurts. But if you’ve ever learned how to bike, ski, ice skate, or rock climb, you know that something amazing happens after the first fall—you say, “Huh, that’s it? That’s what I was afraid of?” Once you’ve had that experience, you start relaxing, and your form starts evolving. The metaphor applies to dating, too. If you’re working the scene and have never been rejected, chances are you haven’t asked a lot of people out. So start putting yourself out there. You will be dismissed sometimes (maybe even a lot of times), and that’s okay. That’s better than okay. That’s progress.
6. Put your phone down.
If your first impulse on a free moment is to whip out your phone, resolve to fight the habit. You’re tuning out the world around you, which is probably brimming with interesting (and possibly single) people. Wherever it doesn’t go entirely against the grain of social decorum, try to strike up a conversation with your neighbors, even if they’re a crowd you’d never date. Being gregarious and open helps you make new connections (that can indirectly point you to romance by growing your social circle), practice your conversation skills, and broaden your worldview. It’s a win-win-win!
Each New Year invites us to take stock of our strengths and weaknesses and chart a course for the future. If you want to help put love on the roadmap, think critically about which of these New Year’s resolution ideas you need most. Maybe you’re already heavily invested in online dating and singles meetups, but you’re feeling miserable and stressed about each date—perhaps you need to inject some playfulness and self-acceptance. Or maybe you’re deeply involved in personal projects and private passions, but lack substantial opportunities to find that spark in another human. Whatever you’re craving, give yourself the time and space to reflect on your situation this last year. Congratulate yourself for everything you’ve done right. Then, empower yourself to create what you need for your best romance yet.
For insight on where and when to find love in the new year, advisors at KEEN.com can point you in the right direction.