Did you ever notice how the gym is packed in the first week of January, and your favorite stationary bike that overlooks the fire station on U St… ahem… your favorite piece of equipment is never available? And that Zumba class that used to have six people every week now has 38?
People make all kinds of New Year’s resolutions – to work out more, to quit smoking, to eat more vegetables, to learn a new language, to find love. Do you notice anything different between the first four items on that list and the last one? The first four are easily measured in small stages: You can increase your workouts from two to four times per week; you can switch to nicotine gum until the addiction has subsided; you can buy broccoli at the supermarket instead of tortilla chips; and you can take a community college Spanish class at night. But when it comes to finding love, it can seem hard to judge your results with anything short of “I met someone.” Just putting that as the arbitrary goal isn’t the way to go.
The better way to make a resolution to find “the one” this year is to break it down into smaller, measurable pieces. If you’re anything like me, you like to accomplish your goals and be able to measure the results. Below is a list of measurable (and fun) resolutions for the year ahead that should give your love life a kick-start in 2012.
- Join an online dating site, and if you’re already on one, become more active. As I’ve said before, just putting a profile up does not necessarily help with finding love. E-mailing people and being proactive about the process is what really matters.
- Go to one extra social event per month. The more events you go to, the more people you’ll meet, and the more likely you are to strike up a conversation with a potential mate.
- Talk to at least one new person at every event. It’s nice to have a crutch (aka your friend), but try to break out of your comfort zone this year and meet someone new. Plus, it might even make for a good “meet-cute” later. (I once dated someone I met in the hallway at jury duty because we both dared to meet someone new that day.)
- Give one person you normally wouldn’t consider going out with a chance. You never know if you’ll have chemistry until you meet in person.
In the end, if you use these resolutions rather than simply stating “I am going to find love this year,” you will have full confidence in the fact that you put the effort in and worked toward your goal. Don’t be too hard on yourself, either. Meeting someone takes time, but the reward for working hard now may be a lifetime of happiness.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.