How to Improve Your Dating Strategy in 2018
My beef about New Year’s resolutions is that they are too often based on the assumption that we are not good enough as we are. And, that we should start the year with grand ambitions to change. For example, ‘lose weight’ is one of the most popular promises we make to ourselves on January 1st. Are we really so overweight that we have to swear off carbohydrates for the next 12 months?
There are much better ways to get the new year off on the right foot! What about taking stock of all the great things you did in 2017 and do more of that? Rather than making overblown resolutions that set you up to fail (really, how many people who resolved to lose weight last year actually subsisted on carrot sticks after the calendar flipped to February?) why not make more realistic incremental changes?
If you are single, what about a resolution to improve your dating strategy in 2018 by capitalizing on all the things you did well this past year?
So, go make yourself a mug of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream (calories be damned) and take the next 15 minutes to reflect on all the positives of your dating life in 2017 – and how you can get even better in the year ahead.
Here are five questions to spark some critical thinking!
On a scale from 1-5 (1 being “absolutely horrible” and 5 being “awesome”), how would you rate your dating life in 2017?
Take a few minutes to reflect on the positives. Even if you rated your dating life low (let’s say a “2”), there were presumably many glimmers of hope. After all, you didn’t rate your dating life “zero”. What were three positive outcomes of your dating life last year that you can build on in 2018? Maybe it was something simple like discovering a new coffee shop with the perfect atmosphere for meeting someone new—and maybe you can make a point of discovering more coffee shops that are perfect for first dates in 2018.
If you were to improve your score by one point (i.e., a “3”) in 2018, what would that look like—and how can you make it happen?
Which date in 2017 was better than the rest?
Even if you didn’t find “the one” in 2017, there was likely one date that was relatively better than the others. Think about all the things that differentiated this date—the qualities of your date, the type of conversation, the venue, etc. What are the things about this best date that are within your control?
How can you make more best dates happen in 2018?
What dating risks did you take in 2017?
It takes courage to be on the dating scene. High hopes and dashed expectations are not uncommon. Dating can stretch us beyond our comfort zone by testing our resilience, vulnerability and optimism. But it’s far better to accept these risks than not to date at all (thereby greatly diminishing your chances of ever meeting someone wonderful). What risks did you take in 2017—maybe it was being bolder about your expectations or initiating snowboarding as a first date (enough caffeine, already!)
What dating risks will you take this year?
What were your dating “strengths” in 2017?
Dating also takes skill, just like many other things in life. Competencies such as communication, listening and diplomacy are good qualities to have. And no doubt you have discovered other competencies that matter too. Take stock of your strengths and how you demonstrated these on your dates this past year. Challenge yourself to think about how you can be even a little bit better next year. Even if you are already a great listener, for example, is there one thing you can do to become an even better one?
How can you make the best use of your dating strengths in 2018?
How did you grow in 2017?
Our most important relationship is with ourselves. When we find ourselves interesting, the right partner will too. How did you make yourself a little bit more interesting in 2017? Perhaps you travelled to a new place, took up a new sport, or discovered a new author? How did these new experiences help you grow?
What little thing can you do more of in 2018 to keep growing?
New Year’s resolutions should set us up for success, not failure. Rather than beat yourself up for exercising too little or eating too much, why not give yourself credit for what you did well in 2017—and how you can build on that this coming year? And, when it comes to your dating life, this kind of strategic planning now can make the next 12 months even more productive and more fun.