Dating Resolutions for 2010 (and beyond!)

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A new year means a new lease on love, right? Whether you're headed into the new year single and searching or attached and optimistic, I sat down and did some thinking on a list of resolutions for everyone.

Resolutions don't just have to be the ones that get you into a gym for 2 weeks or get you to nix Twinkies from your diet. They can be emotional commitments we make to put our lives on-track and going in the right direction. They can be goal-oriented, making us better people when we wake up each day. With that in mind, here are the five top dating resolutions for 2010 - and any year you want to make a great year for love:

Resolution 1: Know Your Worth. You're a fantastic human being. You're a good friend. Understand exactly what it is that you bring to the table in any relationship situation and never let anyone make you feel like less than you're worth. People who need to knock you down have no place in your life. Set yourself free to be with someone who appreciates you, shares with you and says those two magical words that none of us say enough: thank you. You're worth it.

Resolution 2: Listen More Than You Talk. It doesn't matter if you're sitting down on a first date or the thirtieth: lend your date an ear. Good day or bad, happy or sad, they're relying on you to hear them. When you listen, you have the opportunity to explore someone else's life through their eyes (a rare gift, indeed). People will tell you lots of things, so when you think your date isn't talking enough for your tastes, maybe you can try listening more.

Resolution 3: Be Your Own Person. Yes, chivalry is nice. It's great when men open doors for you and delightful when they treat you to dinner. But you're not entitled to any of that. Pick up coffee every now and then. Grab your date a treat. Pay for lunch. Contribute what you can to the relationship financially. After all, it's not about money, it's about being active in the relationship. He'll appreciate the fact that you make the effort and aren't looking at the ceiling every time the check arrives.

Resolution 4: Break that Pattern. Do you find yourself dating the same type of person over and over again (and with the same dismal results)? This year, try something new. There's probably a reason those relationships still don't work: they're not supposed to. As you move into the next year, give someone a try that you usually wouldn't date. Try the nice guy/girl. The bad boy/girl. The geek, the plumber, the chef...there are no hard and fast rules as to what works and what doesn't. Break your own rules and try someone on for size!

Resolution 5: Laugh More. The hunt for love sucks, right? All those relationships that don't work, broken hearts, bad dates - a real mess, right? Stop crying and start laughing! Truth is always stranger than fiction. Have some fun: keep a dating journal, start a blog. If you go public, be sure to change names so as to not offend, but enjoy the journey down the path to lasting love and chuckle every now and again.

The moral of the story? There's always humor. You're the most important person in any relationship. Hold your own. Try something new. While pretty universal mantras, they could be your golden ticket to dating success in 2010. Don't give up, and remember: there's always tomorrow. Your best match could be just around the corner!