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
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
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
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
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
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”
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.