So, we’re almost two weeks into the New Year. Things are starting to get back to normal following all the excitement and fanfare of the holidays. All the confetti is washed out of your hair. The leftover champagne is flat. You might have even broken a few of the resolutions you’ve made (go to the gym every day, no more fast food, read a book every week, etc.). But, wait… what about that other resolution? Didn’t you say you are ready to find love this year? Well, it’s time to get serious about making that happen! Here are 17 tips to help you get started:
- #RelationshipGoals: This is more than just a cute hashtag for silly memes. Now is the time to take a close look at what you really want out of your next relationship. Make a list of what you need, what you would be nice to have and what you simply won’t tolerate. Post it somewhere you can see it daily. Every time you meet someone new, consider if those criteria you set will be fulfilled. If not, seriously question what role that person would play in your future this year. Make a commitment to go after what you want in 2017.
- Assess your situation: Before you can make a connection with anyone new, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of where you stand. Are you truly ready for a relationship or are you just looking to date casually? Have you handled your past baggage? Are you clinging to your past relationships? Are you feeling confident and presenting your best self? Having clarity on your current circumstances will make it much easier to move forward in 2017.
- Make a Plan: Anything that you’ve decided to make a priority in your life has been well planned. Once you know the type of relationship you want to have, decide how you are going to make it happen. Your plan might include some major changes (move to a new neighborhood, go to therapy, find a new group of people to hang out with…) or some small tweaks (get a new haircut, update your wardrobe, start a new hobby). Determine some realistic tasks that will set you on your path and a timeline to achieve them. Be sure to include some supportive friends to help you along your way.
- Get out: It’s very unlikely that you’ll meet someone new just sitting in your living room. Don’t expect Amazon Prime to deliver your next relationship. Get out the house and interact with new people. At the very least you will be making new friends!
- Be opportunistic: Make 2017 the year that you say yes to invitations. If you find yourself even remotely interested in an opportunity you hear about, simply try it out. What’s the worst that can happen? If you enjoy it, you’ve created a lasting experience. If you don’t, chalk it up to a memory and a chance to fine-tune your interests.
- Explore: There are so many places and experiences that you probably have been meaning to visit, right? Why not begin the journey this year? If your resources don’t allow you to travel extensively, start locally. Try a new restaurant or bookstore. Shop at a new supermarket. Gradually broaden your horizons. Not only will you meet new people everywhere you go, but you will have new conversation starters when you chat with your new friends.
- Reconnect: When you’re busy, it’s easy to lose track of old friends. This is a great time of year to get back in touch with your old buddies, neighbors and colleagues. Call your friends to check in and to wish them a happy new year. The topic will inevitably turn towards your plans for 2017. Take this as your chance to share your openness for a new relationship. Your awesome, supportive friends will get on board and offer to help you meet new people. One of the best ways to meet new potential mates is through introductions from those friends that already know you well.
- Get active: Trying a new activity is a great way to meet new people. Not only will it allow you to learn a new skill, it might help to build up your confidence. And that new confidence is attractive. Getting active doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live at the gym (although that could also be a great thing!). Join a walking group, try a yoga class or meet up with friends for a quick swim at the local pool. Whatever you do, get your endorphins flowing and let your inner glow shine.
- Be inspired: Even if you don’t practice a specific religion, getting in touch with your spiritual side can do wonders for your social life in 2017. Your value system should be a factor as you consider if someone is right for you. By better understanding your own belief system and knowing what core principles are important in your life, you can more easily determine if someone will complement you in your next relationship.
- Celebrate: The holidays are over but that’s no reason to stop the celebrations. There’s always a reason to throw a party! Create your own opportunities to bring together old and new friends. Taco Tuesdays, National Karaoke Day, Groundhog’s Day or just a random Saturday night…. Whatever the occasion, make it a special time to enjoy the moment. Gather a few close friends and have them invite a few close friends. Before you know it, you’ve created a network of fun-loving people with a common goal– rejoicing in the pleasures of everyday life.
- Stay charged up: There’s no doubt that dating can be very challenging. It requires persistence and optimism. Realize that you will likely meet some less-than-ideal people in 2017 but don’t allow it to discourage you. When facing a negative situation, remember it is only temporary and try to think of it as a teachable moment. Above all, remain devoted to the idea that your romantic life will improve. Kissing a few frogs is part of the whole dating scene. Keeping a positive outlook will provide the energy you need to move forward despite whatever struggles you encounter.
- Communicate: It’s 2017 and your options for staying in contact are endless. There’s never been as many ways to connect. But… keep in mind that there will never be a replacement for genuine, real-life, one-on-one communication. When you have the opportunity to speak directly with someone, take the chance of talking. It will provide an authentic experience, and it will prevent misunderstandings. You will be more memorable because you took the time and had the confidence to express yourself without using the ever-present technology. That is a rarity in these modern times. So, as convenient as it might be to text someone, resist that urge and pick up the phone. Better yet, try having an in-person conversation. And give yourself bonus points for making and maintaining eye contact.
- Be Fearless: When it comes to dating, taking chances is the name of the game. If you are afraid to seek out new adventures and new people, it will be difficult to add love to your life. Taking a “No risk, no reward” outlook will open your life to prospects you never imagined. Starting new relationships (romantic or platonic) with a sense of curiosity and vulnerability almost always results in happiness. Keep in mind that love and fear are opposing forces and that the less fear you allow, the more space you have for love in your life.
- Diversify: Everyone has preferences and there is nothing wrong with that. We are all attracted to certain qualities. Keep in mind, however, that each time you exclude certain characteristics, the pool of available matches gets smaller. If you insist on only dating someone tall with dark hair and green eyes, you will face limited choices. Especially when you consider that you are looking for someone with specific personality traits (kindness, sense of humor, generosity) and values (honest, spiritual, family-oriented, hard-working). When you also factor in that this “perfect” person must find you attractive as well, it becomes clearer that this is a needle in a haystack situation. By keeping an open mind and heart, you will have a larger number of candidates and improve your chances. If you have always dated the same type, step out of your comfort zone in 2017. Try a new “type” this year and embrace the results.
- Be good: Getting involved with benevolent projects and focusing on being kind are excellent ways to become a better person. Most people find something very attractive about a person that wants to do good deeds for others. If you are not already participating in community service work or volunteering your talents in some capacity, please commit to doing something charitable in 2017. You will certainly find the experience rewarding and will likely make like-minded friends. Best of all, you will be showcasing the values that represent who you truly are at your core. You will be strengthening your character and your good works will impress potential mates.
- Get smart: Make 2017 the year that you finally decide to learn more about a topic that has always intrigued you. Plan to take a cooking class, attend a public speaking workshop or schedule the golf lessons that you’ve been interested in. If possible, avoid one-on-one lessons since part of your plan will include interacting with others that share the same interest. If you have the skill set, resources and time available to teach a course, you might consider sharing your knowledge with others. Often there are opportunities on a local level (community college or recreation center). If there’s not already a course being offered, take the lead and create it yourself.
- Get help: If you have been out of the dating scene for a while or just never felt comfortable with your social abilities, make 2017 the year that you sharpen those skills! There are lots of resources available to help —there are all self-help books to teach flirting and dating etiquette; a dating coach (or even a wingman) can help you fine-tune your body language and learn how to approach someone you find attractive; a matchmaker can identify suitable mates with common interests and complementary personality traits. There is no shame in asking for professional help if reigniting your social life is a priority in 2017. A+ Introductions offers matchmaking services and date coaching for singles as a safe, private and fun experience. Call 919-670-8259 today for more information!
Adding love to your life in 2017 will take some intentional planning and will require some commitment, but the results will be well worth your efforts. You are well prepared to face any obstacles you may face in your social life. And your new year will be full of excitement and fun!