5 New Approaches to Dating for the New Year

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Although it may feel like you were the only person this holiday season without a significant other to curl up with next to the fire and kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve, you are in good company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 50% (124 million) of Americans 16 years and older are single. The dating pool is overwhelmingly large, but many widely used dating techniques may need to be left in 2015 so everyone can find the love they want and deserve in 2016. As you reflect on the past year and set goals for the next, consider the 5 dating approaches below:

Set Clear Personal Goals
At the beginning of each year, most people come up with vague resolutions like “get fit, “eat healthier” and “drink less” that are impossible to track and are quickly forgotten. To attract your ideal mate in the new year, set clear goals that will enable you to become the best version of yourself and meet more people who enjoy activities you love. Examples include “go for a hike/yoga class/run/bike ride/volunteering activity/fill-in-the-blank twice a week,” “finish my passion project by the end of June,” “cook at least 3 healthy meals per week” and “have no more than 3 alcoholic drinks a week.”

Put Your Ideal Match on Paper
You have probably envisioned your ideal partner, but have you ever written down the physical, personality and lifestyle traits you value most? Jot down your non-negotiables and areas where you are more flexible. Examine your past relationships, and rank the traits you have appreciated most in the past and those you want to find in the future. Be clear on your goals and also open to meeting someone who doesn’t check every box. So many people who are hellbent on finding their soulmate and won’t settle for anything less end up alone, so don’t dismiss Mr. or Mrs. Almost Right before giving them a fair chance.

Leave Your Ex in the Past
Perhaps you are hung up on an past relationship or are currently dating someone you know is not right for you. You know you don’t want to be with that person, so stop letting their space on your back burner mess with your chances of heating something up on your front burner. Many people keep past relationships in the present as an emotional crutch, but it’s important to let go of emotional baggage before you can start fresh with someone new. To get closure on a past relationship, consider writing him or her a letter or an email explaining that you need to let go of them and wish them the best in the future.

Delete Your Dating Apps
Put down your phone! Make eye contact with and smile at people you encounter each day. Remember the “come hither” look you used to give or receive to a sexy stranger in a bar before everyone’s eyes were glued to their phone screens? Those sexy strangers, all 124 million of them, are still out there, but you can’t meet them when you’re busy scrolling through an endless stream of profiles in an endless number of dating sites. Active Tinder users spend over 6 hours a day using the app. Take that 6 hours back, notice people around you, smile, and say hello. Who knows, you may actually meet your someone special in real life!

Ask For Setups
I really admire people who ask for setups, and I am surprised more people don’t do it. Much like the professional world, where over 80% of people get jobs through people they know, using your network to find your next date is key. People who ask for setups frequently go on incredible dates with high-quality, respectful men and women. Share your ideal match with friends and family so they can let you know if and when they meet a man or woman who checks your boxes. Ask your single friends what they’re looking for as well so you can return the favor!

Best wishes for romance, love and laughter in 2016!

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