Okay, here’s my take on new year’s resolutions: I recommend them as long as they are realistic and sensible. I also find that coming up with two or three resolutions makes a lot more sense than, say, five or ten. When it comes to dating, you can never be too good at it because it takes a lot of time, effort, and discipline to date like a sane person. If you make at least one of the resolutions outlined below, I’m confident that you’ll be more successful on your dates!
Read e-v-e-r-y single word of that person’s dating profile.
If you’re all about attention to detail, this one won’t be a stretch for you. But I am here to tell you how common it is that someone goes out on an actual date without even reading much of their date’s profile in advance. Too many people get hooked by an attractive picture or a particular detail, and they end up glossing over other sections or details of the rest of the profile. Trust me when I say this: Every word in a profile speaks volumes.
In the new year, make a point to read someone’s profile in its absolute entirety before deciding to send an initial message. If your alarm goes off due to weird, negative or narcissistic statements, click out of that profile and head for the hills. Most importantly, make sure to reread – that’s right – your new date’s profile before you get together in person. You need to walk into that new situation with a sense that you will be safe and that you will be in the company of someone whom you’ll actually like and respect.
Go out on more dates with people who aren’t your usual, expected “type.”
If you poll a host of couples who are managing happy, long-term relationships, you’ll discover a theme. Specifically, many men and women will often say that the one they ended up with fell outside the confines of their usual or expected type. I find that some of the best relationships are born when each member of a couple eschews their usual restrictions about their “type” and gives someone different a try.
As the new year begins, make a concerted effort to broaden your type. Perhaps you say you don’t like blondes, or maybe short or nerdy-looking guys or gals aren’t your cup of tea. Instead of kicking those types to the curb, give a few new types a try – and at least one dinner date each! I constantly preach the same advice to my male and female clients: Don’t look for someone who looks or acts just like you, but look for someone who complements you. For example, my friend and I were discussing the non-stop charades of the cast of television’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” clan this week. When we discussed the unforgettable “NeNe” Leakes, I shared that I liked her husband and found him to be one of the few not-so-crazy people on the show. “He’s good for her,” my psychologist friend shared, underscoring the idea that we must all find someone to help round out our edges. (And NeNe has some edges!) Remember, your complement will often come in the form of a different type, so date more of these fine folks in the new year!
Call more dates back – even if you plan on never dating them again.
Karma is for reals, yo! The more respectful and kind you become to your dates – regardless of whether you want to be with them in the future or not, the sooner you will find a good and lasting relationship. In the new year, make a resolution to call others back when they call you, even if your only purpose is to say that you feel you’re not a good fit but that you’re nonetheless glad that you had a chance to meet them. If you learn to practice this very grown-up habit, you will also find an indirect benefit the next time someone rejects you. Simply put, you won’t take it so personally and feel so rejected. You’ll start to tell yourself that you aren’t what that one, specific person happened to be looking for at that one, specific point in time.
Now that you have a few good suggestions, try to incorporate them all but also pick the one that you’re set on building into your dating life for good. If you only choose one, let it be the first one, because an online profile can tell you 90 percent of what you need to know from the get-go.
About the Author:
Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.