This year, I'm determined to keep at least five of my New Year's resolutions. Instead of going with the usual — join a gym, read more, or pilot a commercial airplane (oh wait, that last one was Phoebe Buffay's on Friends) — I've decided to categorize my resolutions. I figure, this way, I'd have an easier time remembering them as long as I remember which areas of my life are complete disasters. It's a foolproof method, I know. To kick things off, I thought specifically about what New Year's dating resolutions to make since January will officially mark my one-year anniversary of being single.
Before now, I'd been in two consecutive long-term relationships — both very serious and both very fulfilling — but I've always enjoyed being single, too. I like having more time to myself, being able to jet across the country at a moment's notice without having to consider someone else's schedule, and making New Year's resolutions like, "Remember to close the blinds before you walk around the apartment naked." My single-girl resolutions are a far cry from any that I made while in a relationship. I distinctly remember resolving to adopt a dog with a former partner one year and being totally disappointed when we decided that our long-distance relationship was just a poor fit for a rescue dog that craved stability.
The point is, though, that your New Year's resolutions depend largely on your relationship status. What you hope to accomplish when you're casually dating versus when you're going into your fourth year with your partner will likely be two very different lists. If, like me, you've decided to make resolutions specific to your dating life this year, here are 30 ideas to consider based on your relationship status.
To Go On Better Dates
1. Challenge yourself to go on one date every week.
You can't have better dates if you don't go on any to begin with.
2. Go out with someone you wouldn't usually go out with at least once a month.
They might surprise you and you might surprise yourself.
3. Try speed-dating for the first time.
You've probably only ever seen this happen on TV so why not give it a go in real life?
4. Tell all of your dates you're allergic to bars and watch them come up with alternative date ideas.
This is an excellent test of character and creativity.
5. Finally ask out that cute barista at your local Starbucks.
They've been drawing hearts on your white chocolate mocha for months. It's time to stop playing hard to get.
6. Wear lingerie on all of your first dates to help you feel sexy and empowered.
Your date doesn't need to know that you usually buy most of your undergarments at Target.
7. Be brutally honest in your dating app profile.
Let your matches know exactly what you're hoping to get out of the experience, whether it's someone to try cool, new restaurants with or a date to an upcoming wedding.
8. Confront the people who ghosted you so you can finally get closure.
You might even get an apology and a second date out of it.
9. Ask each of your dates to help you check one thing off your bucket list.
That way you can be productive and creative with your date ideas.
10. Conduct an exit interview at the end of your dates.
Okay, don't do this officially, but try to get a sense of how your date felt about meeting you and why before the date's over. This is valuable insight to have going forward.
To Have Better Sex
11. Tell your partner explicitly what you like in bed.
Think of it as a teaching moment.
12. Ask your partner what they like in bed.
Don't be afraid to ask for a demonstration.
13. Try one new sex position every time you have sex.
Have you ever heard of the Nirvana position? You're welcome.
14. Get your first Brazilian bikini wax.
Trust me, it's life-changing.
15. Invest in a vibrator.
There's a vibrator to meet your every need.
16. Commit to a regular yoga practice.
Apparently, yoga can work wonders for your sex life.
17. Introduce toys in bed with your partner.
That's right. Sex toys are for couples, too.
18. Sext your partner when they least expect it.
Like Fifth Harmony says, "I'm sending pic after picture, I'mma get you fired." But, you know, don't actually get them fired.
19. Create your own sex playlist.
Everyone has at least one dirty song that gets them in the mood. What's yours?
20. See a sex therapist about any sex-related questions you've always wanted to ask but never had the nerve to.
Because why the heck not?
To Fall In Love
21. Practice self-love.
It's true what they say: How can you expect someone else to love you if you don't love yourself?
22. Adopt a pet on your own.
Taking care of a pet teaches you a lot about unconditional love — what it means to be solely responsible for someone else's well-being and having to make sacrifices to put them first.
23. Stop quoting your favorite romantic movie on dates.
Your own love story will be even more memorable because it'll be authentic and personal.
24. Spend less time alone in your dorm or apartment.
Alone time is crucial to figure out what you really want out of life but too much alone time is actually a bad thing. If you're looking for love, you'll need to socialize with other people on campus, at coffee shops, or even on the subway. You never know when you're going to look up from your phone and meet the person who sweeps you off your feet.
25. Don't be afraid to admit that you're looking for love.
You know what you want so own it. Being upfront about this in your personal life especially will weed out anyone who's just going to waste your time.
26. Let your mom set you up.
You've been shooting this idea down for years but sometimes, Mom really does know best.
27. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
Just because you're the only one in your friend group who isn't in a serious relationship doesn't mean you're destined to be single forever. You're putting way too much pressure on yourself.
28. Believe that you'll find love.
Remember the girl who tweeted her boyfriend into existence? Be more like her. A positive outlook on life will brighten your mood and improve your relationships.
29. Tell your partner you're ready to be exclusive and ask if they feel the same way.
If you're at this stage in your relationship, it's important to know that the feeling is mutual.
30. Say the "L" word.
If you've been avoiding telling your partner how you really feel about them for a while, challenge yourself to open up to them in 2018. They probably feel the same way but, like you, have been too afraid to say it.
Every year, we say the same thing: "This is my year!" Make sure it's true in 2018.
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