Congratulations, you made it to 2016 still standing! As of right now, most of your resolutions are still intact. (Put the bagel down.) But what about your dating ones? Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right isn’t as easy as just saying you’ll do it. (Trust us on that one.)
Which is why we asked relationship expert Catherine Townsend, author of international best-seller Sleeping Around and private investigator (you read that correctly), to give us her 10 resolutions for finding a soulmate. With these rules to follow, you’ll be kissing the single life goodbye.
- Drop the emotional baggage. Let’s face it: After the champagne toasts and singing at midnight, some old acquaintances really should be forgotten. Consider deleting anyone you’ve dated who makes you want to hit “ignore” from your phone — and your life — permanently.
- Do go on a dating detox. You’re hitting the gym, cutting carbs and doing extreme juice cleanses. If you want a healthy relationship, treat the toxic ex’s midnight booty call like a sugar addict would a family-size bag of M&Ms and just say no.
- Make a “shopping list.” A friend of mine who has been happily married for two decades swears that writing down all of his must-have qualities and dating deal breakers — and refusing a second date with anyone who didn’t fit — was the key to finding his soulmate.
- But don’t focus on the wrong things. Instead of material things like “must have own hair” or “drives a Bentley,” write down the behavior traits and values that are most important to you. In the heat of passion, it’s easy to let something like “financially responsible” slip off the list, only to find that you can’t live with debt drama later.
- Seek out new adventures. If you have always wanted to jump out of a plane, climb Mount Kilimanjaro or learn Mandarin, now is the time to seize the day. You will have fun and get a ton of killer stories to tell on your upcoming dates. Plus, research shows that an adrenaline rush is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
- But don’t overdo it. Don’t eat shellfish if you are allergic or ski a black diamond because you want to impress an Olympic athlete. Body casts are not sexy.
- Learn to forgive. Whether it’s anger at your ex for screwing up your marriage or yourself for saying something stupid on a date, make this the year to forgive. As long as you stay angry, the person who pissed you off continues to have power.
- But don’t forget. If you find yourself in a constant state of dating déjà vu with Mr. Wrongs, remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over. Those who don’t learn from the past are often doomed to relive past relationships.
- Appreciate alternative soulmates. With all our focus on romantic love, we often overlook our friends and family. Take the time to appreciate the other people in your life who have been there for better or worse, through sickness and in health, etc.
- Be authentic. Be mindful that you are making changes for your own happiness and not just in a quest to be perfect. Remember that the right person will love the real you, not just the “new and improved” version.