I remember in the months leading up to the year 2000, I made love resolutions for the new millennium. I joked with friends that I wouldn't date anyone who was not Y2K compatible, but I was serious. I wanted to be thoughtful about my love life in the 2000s. I've always believed that consciousness and commitment are key ingredients to change.
As you step into this new decade, I would encourage you to be thoughtful about your dating life and your relationships. To help you get started, here are my top 10 love resolutions for singles for 2010.
Date the Person—Not the Potential It's wonderful to believe that the object of your desire will come around and treat you the way you want to be treated but remember—you are most likely to find success in love if you are realistic about who is in front of you today.
Pretend Your Dating Life Is a Silent Movie A man may tell you he really likes you and wants to be with you, but if he is not following up and making you a priority, take the cue that he may not be relationship ready. Listen to a man's words, but put more credence in his actions.
Make Love a Priority We're all overprogrammed, and finding love or dedicating time to those we love can often fall to the bottom of the to-do list. I've learned that my in-box is always full, so that cannot be my excuse to put love and relationships aside. For many of you, finding love is one of your biggest priorities—so treat it as such.
Consider: What do you have to say no to in order to clear time in your schedule to make dating and connecting with people you love more of a priority?
Take Risks If you keep doing the same thing in your love life and want to find new results, you have to do—and date—differently. Sometimes this means stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new activities to meet new people or stretching yourself emotionally.
You cannot have true intimacy without vulnerability. If you keep protecting yourself from getting hurt, you are shutting yourself off from real connection.
Be Resilient Consider that most dating scenarios are designed to fail. If everyone hit it off with every date, there would be no such thing as dating! Sound depressing? It's actually good news. There is no need to put pressure on yourself that each date has to be a home run.
And remember my tagline—even a bad date is a good story!
Be your best selfBe Present Sometimes we are so concerned and analytical about whether someone is a good match that we ignore how we actually feel about the people we spend time with. Are you annoyed? Intrigued? Bored? Inspired? Be present on your next date and see how you feel. Now.
Be Positive There is nothing sexier than a woman who loves life and knows what she is passionate about! When you start dating new people, resist the urge to complain about how your ex hurt you or how much you hate your job. Plain and simple—positivity attracts and will also make dating more enjoyable.
Get Over an Ex Who Is Haunting You Find yourself comparing every date to the guy who broke your heart? Write an uninhibited angry letter (just make sure not to send the draft!), process your feelings with a friend or a therapist and do what you must do to find closure so you're not bringing all the baggage from your previous relationship into a potentially great new relationship. As much as you can, turn any regrets and hurt feelings into lessons so you can become clearer on what you want, need and deserve in a partnership.
Be Your Best Self How many times have you cried over the person you're dating? How often do you find yourself frustrated? How many hours do you spend hours analyzing him and your relationship? In a relationship that is not healthy, you may not even recognize yourself. I promise that your best self is not someone who feels unstable, confused or insecure in a relationship. Finding a good match is not just about who the guy is, but who you are with him.
Have Fun Think about what you are like on vacation. One of my clients says that she prefers the "Costa Rica Rebecca" version of herself. When you're on vacation, you're generally open to meeting people, having fun and experiencing new things without worry or anxiety about where it will lead or how you will feel tomorrow. This is the spirit I encourage you to embrace when you meet someone new.
In 2010, make a resolution to have fun in your dating pursuits! Dating is a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, try new things and meet new people, and it has a potentially wonderful payoff.
Why stop at 10 resolutions? What are some other love resolutions that you will carry into the new year?
Andrea Syrtash is a dating and relationship expert, advice columnist and author. Her new book,He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing), will be published in April 2010. For more information, visit www.andreasyrtash.com.