10 Dating Resolutions For The New Year

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Most people make some resolutions at the beginning of a new year — go to the gym! finish that novel! travel! — but what about resolutions for your personal life? Here are ten suggestions for a better dating life this year.

1. Date
This one may seem obvious, but the most important resolution you can make is to, you know, actually date. In the active sense. It’s so easy to not date, especially when you have a career and friends, and, uhm, episodes of 30 Rock to keep you busy (it’s important.) Personally, I’m often guilty of dating in the “I’ll go to a bar and maybe I’ll meet someone and we’ll go out a few times and if not there’s always more 30 Rock to watch” sense of the term. But maybe 2011 is the year to make dating a priority, which is not to say it should supersede career, or come at the cost of friendships. It’s just that a good dating resolution is to just actually do it.

2. Go on dates that don’t immediately involve alcohol
Going on a date without alcohol is like the equivalent of getting a tooth pulled out with no anesthesia, or undergoing natural childbirth (weird comparison? Ok). Sometimes I don’t understand how the human race procreated before the invention of alcohol. This year, I intend to find out.

3. Enjoy a torrential downpour.
The old saying “When it rains, it pours” is wonderfully, frustratingly true about dating. You can experience a seemingly unending dating drought, then the second you start dating one person, suddenly ten other people follow suit. (I’ll always love you, April of 2009!) This year, go on lots of dates, and watch the interest of others increase exponentially.

4. Set a secret target
EVERYONE has a secret type of person they’ve always wanted to hook up with, whether they admit to it or not. Fireman? Gymnast? Model? Professor? (Mine: someone GERMAN, a residual resentment of an especially unfruitful semester abroad.) Know your target, and spend the next 12 months trying to reach it. Doesn’t accomplishing your goals feel great?

5. End Bad Habits!
Everyone has dating bad habits. And by “bad habits,” I mean, a person, that person you know you really shouldn’t talk to/spend time with/hook up with. You know exactly who I’m talking about. Be done with it!

6. Have the Best Valentine’s Day Ever
The only thing more annoying than couples who plan extravagant multi-step Valentine’s Days for each other–and talk to you about every detail–are the singletons who find it necessary to vociferously mope and complain. This year, you should fall into neither of those two camps. Yes, Valentine’s Day was made up by Hallmark, but it’s happening anyway so you might as well enjoy it. Eat a damned red velvet cupcake, buy your most miserable friend flowers, make goofy cards for your co-workers, and — if you can handle it — celebrate the possibility of love, rather than bemoan its lack of existence in your own life.

7. Switch things up a bit
Are you one of those serial daters who breaks things off when they get too serious? Or are you desperately (emphasis on desperate) trying to find the love of your life? Whichever camp you fall into, try to switch it up this year. Serial daters: maybe let your guard down and be open to the possibility of a relationship? And for those searching for the love of their lives, maybe just concentrate on meeting a lot of people and having a good year?

8. Take More Risks
For some reason, it’s so much easier to take risks in your career than it is in dating. But whatever it is you’ve been afraid of doing (approaching someone at a bar! making the first move! signing up for a dating site!) take a shot of courage and get on with it.

9. Go on good dates
This is our whole credo at HowAboutWe. Dating is supposed to be fun. Go on awesome dates, and make it fun. (Check out our Date Ideas and the latest HowAboutWe user-suggested dates for some inspiration.)

10. Aim to have better brunch stories
The purpose of brunch is to one-up your friends with the craziest story from the week before. Extremes make great stories,whether you’re regaling your friends with the best date of your life, or the worst. Even if brunch isn’t a part of your social calendar, try to aim for some fantastic, fantastic dating stories this year (the good and the bad!).