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Love in the New Year: Actionable Dating Resolutions That Work

7 minute read

How many of your resolutions have you kept...so far? For many, the list of resolutions has an air of familiar longing: to find love, lose weight, be better, to build a connection that ignites the soul. But amidst the gym memberships and healthy-eating aspirations, dating resolutions often remain frustratingly vague – "meet someone special," "be more open," "fall in love."

A Strava survey of over 80 million activity users noted that less than 8% of resolution setters achieve their goals and nearly 80% abandon them within 6 weeks of New Year's Eve. So how do we set love resolutions and avoid becoming a statistic? Ditch the vague generalities and dive into tangible, actionable steps that can transform your dating life from wishful thinking to measurable goals and deliberate change. Originally coined in a 1981 article, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals are more effective and the strategy offers a clear and simple framework for success. When applied to our 2024 love resolutions, actionable goal setting can help us dig deeper not only into how to achieve our goals but find the root of what we are truly after.

Set the following 2024 New Year's resolutions with actionable steps to develop more self-awareness, make actual plans, foster genuine connections, and create a life that attracts love naturally in this new year.

Resolution #1: Become a Social Butterfly

Friends' gatherings can feel like singles mixers in disguise, but sometimes, just showing up isn't enough. Upgrade your "put myself out there" game by actively engaging with new people. In an interview, relationship author Terry Real, explains that “we live in very divisive, disconnected times, the state of disconnection is the main thing that ails us as a society, as well as in our relationships and with ourselves.” In following his observation, we should strive to connect and engage more so than ever and with more intensity. Strike up conversations, ask thoughtful questions, and offer genuine compliments. Attend events focused on your passions – book clubs, group dinners, cooking classes, outdoor adventures – and let your enthusiasm and interests ignite authentic connections. 

Actionable Steps:

  • Set a monthly goal for attending a specific number of social events and stick to it. Choose gatherings related to your hobbies or interests to increase the chance of meeting compatible people.
  • Challenge yourself to introduce yourself to one new person at each event.
  • Participate in group activities within the event. Volunteering at a charity dinner, joining a game night, or taking a group hike can lead to new friendships or perhaps love.

Resolution #2: Enlist a Professional

Let's face it, past relationships and self-doubt can be baggage we unwittingly bring to every date. This year, invest in building a healthier relationship with yourself. In a previous blog, we touched on the inner work needed with dating in the new year. We must first be more self-aware and authentic before we’re able to form these meaningful connections. Ken Page, author of Deeper Dating, explains that “the real search for love is about embracing our most authentic self, sharing that true self with the precious people who know how to honor it, and learning to offer others the same in return.” Consider therapy as a tool for understanding your patterns, addressing insecurities, and building strong communication skills. A confident, self-aware individual is not just more attractive; they're also better equipped to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of dating.

Actionable Steps:

  • Seek out a therapist who specializes in relationships or personal growth.
  • Commit to a set number of sessions and actively participate in the process.
  • Identify past patterns that might be hindering your dating life and work with your therapist to develop coping mechanisms and healing practices.

Resolution #3: Embrace Face-to-Face Dates

Sure, dating apps offer a seemingly endless pool of potential partners and validation, but sometimes, quality trumps quantity. This year, prioritize meaningful connections over casual swipes. Set a goal to ask out a specific number of people, in person, whether it's a friend-of-a-friend, someone you simply find intriguing at the local coffee shop, or a match provided by Ambiance. The thrill of a face-to-face interaction can spark something far more powerful than a curated online profile.

Actionable Steps:

  • Set a specific goal of the number of first dates you would like to go on each month and make it happen.
  • Focus on initiating conversations in real life to meet this date quota (see Resolution #1). Strike up a conversation at the bookstore, compliment someone's artwork at a gallery, or simply say hello to a friendly stranger.
  • Don't be afraid of rejection. A polite "no" doesn't define you, and it teaches you valuable lessons about communication and resilience.
  • Sign up for a professional matchmaking service, like Ambiance. Let professionals curate compatible matches and arrange face-to-face introductions, ensuring you meet your goal of connecting offline and expanding your dating horizons.

Resolution #4: Master the Art of the Authentic Date

Forget the formulaic dinners and movie nights. This year, design dates that reflect your personality and interests. Cook a meal together, explore a hidden art gallery, take a spontaneous hike, or volunteer at a cause you both care about. Let your passion and curiosity guide you, and create experiences that foster a more genuine connection through shared passions and core values.

Studies have found that intrinsic goals, goals stemming from your passion and core values,  are important for well-being because they contribute to developing a sense of ownership over our lives. Intrinsic goals help us connect with others and feel more capable and confident about achieving our goals. By focusing authentic dates on our passions and core values, we align our dates with these intrinsic goals and we are able to build more authentic and fulfilling connections.

Actionable Steps:

  • Brainstorm a list of unique date ideas based on your hobbies and interests and set the intention to make these dates happen.
  • Focus on active listening and open communication during your dates. Learn about your date’s interests as well for more date ideas. Ask questions, share your thoughts, and be present in the moment. 

Resolution #5: Reflect on and Celebrate the Journey

Remember, finding love isn't always a linear path. There will be stumbles, awkward silences, and maybe even a few heartbreaks. But this year, choose to embrace the journey of growth. Every interaction, every date, every conversation teaches you something about yourself and what you desire. Celebrate the small victories – a comfortable conversation, a shared laugh, a spark. Focus on building a life that brings you fulfillment and peace, regardless of relationship status. Take pleasure in your passions, nurture your friendships, and embrace the adventures that life throws your way. When you radiate happiness and self-confidence, love becomes a magnetic force, drawn to the energy you create.

Love in the New Year isn't about finding the perfect person; it's about creating a life that attracts love naturally. Embrace the journey of self-discovery, work towards achieving these specific goals, and celebrate the small victories along the way.

Actionable Steps:

  • Start journaling. Set a specific goal to journal on a regular basis, whether it be every morning, every evening, or once a week. Journal daily gratitude to document the positives in your life, big and small. Take note of rejections, turning them into reflections. Every "no" or awkward date holds a lesson. Ask yourself what you learned from the experience, and use it to refine your approach or identify your boundaries. Also make notes of successes and celebrate them. Did you have a great conversation with someone new? Aced a date night you planned? Take a moment to celebrate your victories. Recognizing your own progress fuels positive energy and propels you forward.

This year, love isn't just something you find; it's something you build, step by deliberate step of developed self-awareness, genuine connections, and a life lived with intention and purpose. Our 2024 resolutions aren't vague generalities; they're blueprints for constructing the relationships and life we want. 

Embrace the thrill of initiating conversations, the vulnerability of therapy, the spontaneity of face-to-face dates, the joy of crafting experiences that reflect your true colors and the personal reflections of these actions and experiences. Don't let setbacks deter you; they're simply course corrections, nudging you towards a stronger, more fulfilling path. Celebrate every step, every milestone, and every flicker of connection. As you walk with confidence and authenticity, armed with an action plan, your journey itself becomes a magnet, drawing others closer to you.

Remember, these dating resolutions are not about finding someone to complete you; they're about becoming the most authentic version of yourself through measurable and achievable action. So, grab your calendar, write down these steps, make a plan, set specifics, and embark on a year of personal discovery, meaningful connections, and tangible action that will lead to the love life of your intention.

Heather Butler

Heather is a multimedia writer with a keen cultural curiosity, passionate about cultivating insightful discussions at the forefront of love and relationship exploration.

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