New Year's resolutions are a lot like gym memberships. You spend a ton of time debating whether or not you should commit to them and then you forget all about them in a few weeks. I can recall the New Year's resolutions of every single Friends character from the 1999 episode "The One With All The Resolutions" faster than I can recall my own from last year. If like Ross — who resolved not to get divorced again and to try one new thing every day — you're planning on making New Year's resolutions for your love life, just be sure you stick to them this year.
Unfortunately for Ross, his new year of love got off to a rough start. He wore leather pants on his date with a woman named Elizabeth Hornswoggle —asking her out was his new thing of that day — and couldn't get them back on after going to the bathroom. The whole thing was a disaster, which made Chandler's resolution — not to make fun of his friends — exceedingly difficult.
Although things didn't work out for Ross, he had the right idea. It's important to set goals for your love life if you feel like you need a new perspective on things or just want to be happier with where you're at. Here are eight New Year's resolutions you could make for your love life if you're stuck in a rut.
If You're Bored In Your Current Relationship
1. Find fulfillment outside of your relationship.
Sometimes, it's easy to blame your unhappiness on your partner. If you find yourself getting by unenthusiastically from day to day and are craving some excitement in your life, try looking outside of your relationship for other sources of joy and fulfillment. No, that doesn't mean you should cheat on your partner but that you should be able to enjoy life without them by your side at all times.
Spend some time alone or with platonic friends to remind yourself of who you are when you're not with your partner. A few ways you can do this are by limiting how many nights you spend at your partner's place each week, setting aside one night a week for self-care (think face masks and bubble baths), or reinstating a regular girls' night with your friends. Remember, it's impossible to be happy if your happiness depends on someone else.
2. Be more candid with your partner about your sexual preferences.
Couples who have been together for a long time often find that their sex lives become dull or repetitive. It is possible to communicate your sexual needs and preferences with your partner without offending them. A good way to bring up something you'd like to try in bed is by mentioning that you recently read about how much other people enjoyed it. That way, it seems less like a complaint and more like a fun and spontaneous suggestion.
3. Challenge yourself and your partner to plan one surprise for each other every month.
You and your partner should already be in the habit of doing nice things for each other but sometimes, life gets in the way. To remind each other of how you really feel, agree to plan one monthly surprise — like bringing home flowers or taking them to see their favorite local band — to keep the romance alive.
If You're Looking For Love
4. Try a new dating app.
If you're stuck swiping through the same people you've already swiped left on countless times, maybe it's time to try a new dating app or service. It's no longer taboo to say you met your partner on a dating app. In fact, most couples I know today met this way. You see, dating apps let you hand-pick the person you think is most compatible with you. A well-crafted Tinder profile might reveal that you and a potential match share the same love of The Beatles and puns — that's not something you'd know upfront if you just locked eyes at the bar. This year, give dating apps a fair chance in your search for The One.
5. Join a social club.
You're probably thinking this was lame when Blair Waldorf tried to do it in Season 3 of Gossip Girl and it's lame now. But there are lots of different clubs you could join for very specific interests. No matter how you spend your time — running, hiking, painting (while leisurely sipping on red wine), volunteering, discussing contemporary literature — there are people out there who'd love to do it with you. Try websites like Meetup.com or Volunteermatch.org to get you started. Who knows? You'll have fun anyway, and you might even meet your future partner there or through another member of the club. Don't be shy about putting yourself out there.
If You're Sick Of Being Single
6. Set a monthly date quota.
If you're newly single or if it's been a long time since you've been a first date, challenge yourself to go on at least four dates every month — that's one a week. Before you brush me off, consider this: every date you go on is an opportunity to meet someone new, get a few laughs in, maybe get laid, and hopefully have a good story to tell. Dating more regularly will help you learn a lot about who you are and what you look for in a partner.
7. Go on a travel date.
On the other hand, if you're not shy about dating at all and are just looking for new ways to do the same thing, why not go on a travel date? You and your date would meet in a new city or even country and agree to spend a few days together. Even if you don't wind up falling in love, you'll get to cross another place off your bucket list.
If You're Not Sure What You're Looking For
8. Talk about love.
This might seem odd but hearing other people's thoughts on their love lives or on love in general can be eye-opening. Ask your friends to share their best and worst dating experiences with you and any lessons they may have learned from them. You should be willing to share yours as well. Talking more openly about love, relationships, dating, and sex will expose you to new perspectives and ways of life you hadn't considered in the past. Eventually, what you want out of your love life will become clearer and easier to express.
The resolutions that you make for the upcoming year should be ones that best reflect your needs. Before you commit to one, take some time to reflect on your love life this past year and identify any changes you'd like to make. You'll be ready for 2018 in no time.
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