Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Singles (Who want to Mingle)

A version of this post was originally published December 31, 2013.

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.

15 comments… add one
  • veritek33 December 31, 2013, 2:26 pm

    I love this list. Thanks for the reminders, Wendy.

    Reply Link
  • Addie Pray December 31, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Another post that may as well began with a “dear addie pray:” haha.

    Happy new year, my friends! I’m eating meat-filled pastels and drinking beer at a pool in Rio. I know, I know. I’m also longing for a Brazilian butt.

    I love everyone but I love you and you and you the most!

    Reply Link
    • trixy minx January 1, 2014, 1:10 pm

      Thanks for this list wendy!

      Reply Link
  • Lyra December 31, 2013, 2:36 pm

    I think I need to show this to my friend who is dating a guy who she’s not really into just so she can say she has a boyfriend…

    Reply Link
  • Annie December 31, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Thirteen years ago, I happened to be at my folks for New Years. Both my Dad and my significant other were asleep in couches and Mom and I were sitting drinking and gossiping. The subject of resolutions came up and somehow we decided we were going to do a good deed at least once every day for a year.
    It seemed so much better than depriving ourselves of something or quitting something or losing weight or whatever. It could be as simple as letting someone ahead of us in traffic, helping a person find the right aisle in the grocery or even being nice to a telemarketer.
    My Mom passed away that year. I have done a good deed every day since, for the last thirteen years. And every time I do, I think of her.

    Reply Link
  • Elle Marie December 31, 2013, 4:50 pm

    The best resolution I ever made was a few years ago when my resolution was to not date and just enjoy my life as a single person.

    I broke it horribly when, while going out and enjoying my life as a single person, I met my husband. I am so glad that I broke my resolution, but I’m even more glad that I made it in the first place – I pushed myself to socialize more with new people and try new things, which wound up in me meeting my favorite person in the world.

    I keep trying to focus on pushing beyond the edges of my comfort zone, because they are usually awesome and lead to all sorts of great experiences. It’s easy for me to just sit at home and knit with Netflix on in the background, but I can do that any old time – the friends and life I have now might not always be around.

    Reply Link
  • CatsMeow January 1, 2014, 2:41 am

    My Facebook friends know: I went to a bar tonight called Cats Meow!

    Reply Link
    • trixy minx January 1, 2014, 1:04 pm

      Plus you had your last poop!

      Reply Link
  • ktfran December 29, 2014, 2:26 pm

    For the past three years, a couple girlfriends (one is married, the other engaged) and I have taken a February/March vacation together. Next year, we’re renting a house in Santa Barbara and a couple other friends are joining. They are also coupled up. We always have a blast! So, even if your single friends aren’t into going on a trip…. some of your coupled up friends might want to get a way for a long weekend.

    Since I turn 36 in 16 days, I’m combining my New Year resolution with my 35th year resolution, which is to try new things. It begins with ice skating for my 35th. A few other things I want to add to that list include go on a trip alone (Wendy’s #6), eat dim sum, learn to paddle board, pay for on-line dating instead of using OkCupid, which I hate, etc. Anyway, I’m super excited for the new year.

    Reply Link
    • ktfran December 28, 2015, 2:39 pm

      Oh my god. This is hilarious! And I did try new things!!!! I DID go ice skating for my 35th. However, I didn’t do the other things I mentioned.

      One new thing I did was put myself out there in a way I never had before. And now I’m dating someone great. So… two brand new things isn’t horrible, but I can do better in 2016.

      Reply Link
  • bittergaymark December 29, 2014, 2:54 pm

    One great thing about NOT being in your twenties if you look around at your married friends and realize rather quickly that their lives? Eh, often NOT so great. 😉

    Reply Link
    • Moneypenny December 29, 2014, 10:09 pm

      Definitely- the grass is not always greener!

      Reply Link
  • Moneypenny December 29, 2014, 10:11 pm

    This list is a great reminder! Aaaand it looks like I am doing a few of these things already! For instance! Saying yes more; taking more trips; doing things alone. I am feeling more optimistic about next year- onwards and upwards!

    Reply Link
  • Lyra December 29, 2014, 11:15 pm

    Even as a non single person, I will definitely use some of these in the new year! I’m really glad that Navy Guy understands that I need both alone time and friend time. I don’t think I could be with someone who didn’t understand that about me.

    Reply Link
  • findingtheearth December 29, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Now I need tips for how to find dates as a single mom in a super small town.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment