New Year’s Resolutions You Need In Your Dating Life

As with every turn from December to January, people set their sights on the new year as an opportunity to turn a new leaf and make some positive changes. While we all know the classics—getting to the gym more often, procrastinating a little less, and eating more salads—there are also resolutions that can be applied to your romantic life as well.

Here are 20 resolutions for your dating life that you should make this year.

Stop Playing Mind Games

woman texting on cellphone
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tim Mossholder

Mind games are so built into our dating culture that it’s easy to catch yourself falling into patterns like strategically waiting to text back or weaponizing physical intimacy to force commitment. These games benefit no one and it’s time to let them go.

Don’t Pretend To Be Okay With Things You’re Not

woman sitting alone on mountain overlooking valley
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Yaro Felix Mayans Verfurth
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Yaro Felix Mayans Verfurth

From the beginning, if the person you’re seeing does something that bothers you, be vocal about it. Letting things slide at the beginning sets a precedent for how they perceive your personal boundaries, so assert yourself from the start.

Stop Going On Second Dates If The First One Wasn’t Great

man and woman at restaurant on date
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Matt W. Newman
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Matt W. Newman

You went on a first date with someone and things were just “okay”—not bad, but nothing special—and going on a second date feels more like a chore than something you’re excited for. Stop putting time and effort into second dates unless you’re really interested in that person.

Stop Romanticizing Your Crushes

woman peering through heart-shaped hole in paper
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Siora Photography
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Siora Photography

When you romanticize a new romantic interest early on, you set yourself up for disappointment when they’re different from the picture you built up in your head. Focus on really getting to know them rather than what your relationship might look like down the road.

Stop Trying To Date Before You’re Ready

woman lying on floor looking despondent
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Action Vance
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Action Vance

You went through a breakup recently, your mental health isn’t in a good place, or you’re emotionally unavailable for other reasons—if you’re not ready to date, forcing yourself to get out there will only waste your time and the other person’s. Work on yourself first.

No More Playing “Cool Girl”

still of Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / A24
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / A24

Most women have played this role in dating once or twice where we pretend to be really into the things a guy likes or act like we’re really easygoing with everything—it does nothing for you in the long run. Just be yourself.

Be Solid In Your Dealbreakers

person writing in journal
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Fotographie Rende
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Fotographie Rende

Obviously, there are some preferences that you can live without when you meet someone new, but there are some dealbreakers that are non-negotiable. Know what you won’t waver on and make yourself stick to them so you don’t end up in dead-end relationships.

Start Being Upfront About Your Disinterest

Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jon Tyson
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jon Tyson

If you’re not interested in someone who is into you, you have no obligation to “give them a chance.” Stop trying to date people who you know you’re not interested and be firm in your rejections off the bat. It’s hard to do, but much kinder for everyone involved in the long run.

Stop Social Media Stalking People Before The First Date

desktop background shows man using binoculars with facebook logo in the lens
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Glen Carrie
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Glen Carrie

I mean, it’s okay to look up their profile to make sure they’re a nice normal human, but otherwise, leave their social media alone. It, often unconsciously, causes you to form an opinion on who they are before you even meet them and that perception is often inaccurate.

Stop Ghosting

person wearing sheet like ghost in city street
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tandem X Visuals
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tandem X Visuals

If you’ve gone on a few dates or seeing someone only to realize you’re not really interested, have the decency to let them know rather than leaving them to wonder where they stand with you.

Don’t Let Loneliness Cloud Your Judgement

woman sitting curled up on little chair looking away
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Anthony Tran
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Anthony Tran

Loneliness is a dangerous thing—it can lead you to make bad choices, especially when it comes to relationships. Before jumping into something new, critically think about whether you’re actually into that person or if you’re just feeling lonely and want to have someone.

Trust Your Gut More Often

woman in thought
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tachina Lee
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tachina Lee

Our society tends to prioritize “logic” over everything, and sometimes we argue ourselves out of our own instincts. Start trusting your gut more often—if things feel wrong, there’s a strong chance that you’re right.

Stop Forcing Things Onto A Timeline

person's empty week schedule
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Emma Matthew Digital Content Production
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Emma Matthew Digital Content Production

Perhaps you have a timeline of how you want your life to play out, but life is never that simple. Expecting your relationship to progress on a timeline, such as expecting an “I love you” or proposal by a certain point, can stifle a real, organic love connection.

Set Communication Boundaries/Expectations Early On

retro telephone and wire
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Quino Al
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Quino Al

One of the most common reasons that relationships fall apart is because of communication problems. When you start something new, set out expectations, boundaries, and needs around communication (e.g.how often you tend to text) so that you’re both on the same page from the start.

Stop Prioritizing Your Partner Over Yourself In Relationships

Man and woman walking near water together at sunset
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jonas Weckschmied
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jonas Weckschmied

If you’re the type of person to give a lot of yourself to relationships, make sure that you take time to reflect on how much effort you’re putting in vs. your partner and make sure there is a good balance for how both of your needs are being met.

Start Taking Accountability For Your Actions In Relationships

woman looking lost in thought
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Brooke Cagle
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Brooke Cagle

No one likes to admit that they were wrong, but it’s important to think about how your actions were detrimental to past relationships so you can learn how to be a better partner in the future.

Stop Rushing Into Things

man and woman in passionate embrace
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Cristian Newman
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Cristian Newman

If you’re the type of person to start seeing someone and immediately start planning the wedding, you should resolve to take your time getting to know a new partner so that you don’t end up over-invested in someone who’s no good for you.

Start Being Genuinely Vulnerable

man and woman sitting together on bridge over rough water
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Justin Groep
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Justin Groep

It’s hard to put yourself out there and truly be emotionally vulnerable knowing that you might get hurt, but withholding vulnerability will never land you in a healthy, lasting relationship. Stop trying to maintain a sense of control and open up.

Stop Avoiding Conflict

couple looking away from each other while sitting on a couch
Photo Credit: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto
Photo Credit: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto

Conflict, despite what some might think, is not an inherently bad thing. In fact, without it, it’s really hard to make progress or change in a relationship. It is uncomfortable to confront a partner, but putting it off does nothing for the relationship.

Promise Yourself That You Won’t Settle

woman in confident pose
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Dave Goudreau
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Dave Goudreau

No matter how tired you get of the dating scene or how much you want to find a long-term partner, you deserve so much more than to just settle and you’re better off waiting for the right person.