A New Year, A New Love?
A Guide to Dating in the New Year
By Lisa Steadman, AKA The Relationship Journalist™
Welcome to your New Year. And your new approach to dating. If last year taught us anything, it's that millions of professional singles are looking for love - both online and in person. (Which means that many more opportunities to meet someone extraordinary this year!) But before you begin, here's a crash course in how to date smarter - not harder - in the coming year.
First, be clear about what's important to you and what you're really looking for in the relationship department this year. Wanna date lots of interesting people? Looking for the love of your life? Not quite ready to put yourself out there? It will be much easier to accomplish your relationship goals if you're honest about where you're at and what you're looking for.
Burned by dating men who claim they're looking for the real deal but their longest relationship is six months (or three weeks)? What about the girl who claims to be goal-oriented but spends most of her time on the phone with friends or IMing when she should be working? This year, actions really do speak louder than words. Pay attention not only to what your potential dates are saying, but HOW they say it, and then how their actions back up - or don't - those words.
Learn your lessons
Does dating ever evoke a "Been there, done that" feeling? Instead of ignoring that sinking sensation, LEARN from it. Chances are if you're experiencing a dating déjà vu, there's probably a very good reason for it. And if that experience is telling you to run for the hills, we suggest that in the new year you trust your instincts and make that hasty retreat. It'll save you both a lot of time and energy (and even possibly heartache).
The best way to know who might be right for you? Find out more about YOU! It might seem like a no-brainer, but knowing who you are and what YOU have to offer will help shape who and what you're looking for. And I'm not talking about whether you have an impressive financial portfolio or have reached your goal weight. No, dating yourself will help you determine whether you'd be best suited for someone social or a homebody. Someone who enjoys the outdoors or tends toward being a couch potato. So take that French cooking class. Or sign up for SCUBA diving lessons. Or finally take that trip abroad - with or without that someone special. Dating yourself can also be much more satisfying than dating a string of strangers. You get to go where YOU want to go. Do what YOU want to do. (And you just might meet someone with similar interests while you're at it!)
Retrain your brain
We can all blame our relationship woes on our parents, lack of opportunity, geographical undesirability, societal pressures, etc. But that's SO 2005. This year, instead of defaulting to tired old clichés about why it's tough to meet someone worthwhile, why not retrain your brain instead? How? By first being clear about what you want. And then, every time you have a self-defeating thought about your relationship goals, stop. Reframe that negative thought into a positive one. Repeat it. And move on.
Get out there
Yes, the internet is a helpful tool. But this year, it's time to get out from behind that computer screen and make connections in the real world! Need some helpful hints? Go to Starbucks looking like a million bucks instead of in sweats and 3-day stubble. Compliment that cute stranger standing nearby. On their watch. Their shoes. The book they're reading. The art of conversation is not dead - so strike up some rich ones in the coming year. You never know who you'll meet. And if nothing else, your time in the latte line will go that much faster.
About The Relationship Journalist™
Lisa Steadman, AKA The Relationship Journalist™, is the site creator and editor of www.BreakupChronicles.com featuring true life tales of how breaking up with the Wrong person was the Right thing to do. She considers herself a dating guinea pig and accidentally met someone fabulous - Mr. XY - while on assignment last year and has been happily hooked up ever since. (This stuff really works!!!)