It’s the last week of the year, which means many of us are: frantically making NYE plans; frantically trying to find something to wear for said NYE plans; filling out our 2015 calendars with birthdays and doctors appointments because we’re 84, apparently; stocking up on bubbly; making resolutions. And while I can’t help you with your plans, I can give you some ideas for resolutions, especially if you’re single and want to mingle (and maybe even would love to find a relationship this coming year). (And if that doesn’t describe you because you love being single and never want to be tied down, that’s cool too. Some of these resolutions may still apply to you anyway.)
1. If you’re doing online dating, implement the two email max rule: If each of you has sent two emails, it’s time to set a date or move on. Dating is a numbers game, but the numbers only count if they include face-to-face interaction, so don’t waste time on someone you may never get around to actually meeting in person. Life’s too short and time’s a’tickin’. (Here are some other online dating tips to keep in mind).
2. Say yes more. Yes to blind dates, yes to evenings out with friends, yes to the random invite to go ice skating in the park next Saturday, yes to showing your friend’s brother around when he’s in town next month on business. It’s easier to meet people when you actually leave the house and, even if you don’t meet “the one,” you may meet potential friends or someone who will eventually introduce you to “the one.”
3. Make more single friends (here’s how), because hanging out with all couples all the time when you’re single kind of sucks. I mean, when I was single, I loved my friends who were in relationships and everything, but I remember how, when I spent too much time with them as the lone single person, it made me feel depressed. And depression isn’t exactly a date magnet. I was better when I balanced time with couples and time with other singles (or with my coupled friends just one-on-one).
4. Kiss more! Sometimes, all it takes is a good kiss to turn a so-so date into a fantastic date. And sometimes you don’t really know you like someone until you share a great kiss. So, if you’re having trouble deciding what you think of a person you’re out with, kiss him or her and then see what you think. Chances are, you’ll have a lot more clarity.
5. Take more trips. You’re single! You’re free! (Well, if you don’t have kids, that is). Take advantage of this time and travel! Get some other single or child-free friends together and go somewhere. Take a long road trip. Go on a cross-country train ride. Or, just travel across your state. Go on a weekend getaway. Go to the beach for a couple days. Just, get a change of scenery. Do it now while you’re in total charge of calling the shots. Not only will it break you out of potential pity-parties you might throw for yourself if you were sitting home alone, but also you’ll have fun, you’ll learn more about yourself and what you’re looking for, and you just might meet someone while you’re on the go (I did! I met Drew on a weekend getaway, so there you go).
6. Go out alone. Sit in bars alone. Sit in coffee shops by yourself. Go for walks alone, or just you and your dog go. Eat lunch alone. Eat dinner out by yourself. Travel alone. Go to shows by yourself. Go to movie festivals alone. Linger in waiting rooms and lounges and at concession stands and in the aisles of bookstores (remember those?) and on park benches all by yourself. Why? Because people — potential dates — are less intimidated to approach you when you are alone. And you are more likely to notice people — potential dates, maybe — when you’re alone.
7. If the first date was at least so-so, give it a second go. Sometimes it just takes two dates for the sparks to ignite. And what do you have to lose? Two hours of your time? Eh. You’ve had naps that are longer.
8. But MOA when it’s time to MOA. If things are still only so-so after the second date … or they become only so-so by month three or four or whatever, MOA. Sticking out a dead-end relationship because you think you haven’t given it enough time yet is a waste.
9. Quit using loneliness as a reason to be/stay with someone. Just quit. Because while you’re tied up with someone you aren’t deeply happy with, you remain unavailable to someone you could be deeply happy with.
10. Smile more. A smile is like an invitation to people to talk to you, so, if you see someone you’d like to talk to, for God’s sake, smile.