Another year, another massive batch of failed dating stories. It seems that, in your 20s, these anecdotes are never-ending.
Or are they?
Going into 2014, you can either play the same sad song you’ve memorized so well or you can make some solid dating resolutions and up your game when it comes to the opposite sex.
The choice is yours and yours alone, of course. But, seeing as you could probably use some help, here are some resolution ideas to get you jump-started on your journey to dating success this year.
1. Date up. You know the phrase “marry up,” as in marrying above you? Why not start this line of thinking start with casual dating? No need to save it for marriage only. So many of us – especially those of us in our 20s – settle when it comes to dating. Oh you’re moderately attracted to me? you think. Sweet, let’s date. I don’t even mind that you may or may not be a serial killer! We’re all victims of this. It’s an easy way out of being single, dating the first person who shows even the slight bit of interest in what you’re bringing to the table. Don’t fall for this crap. Up those standards and date out of your league. Go for the gold — for the guys and girls you never thought you’d be able to land. Quit wasting your precious time and energy on just anybody. You deserve the best because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough and, gosh darn it, some 27-year-old retiree out there is going to like you.
2. Quit it with all these college-like relationships. When you’re young or freshly graduated, it’s excusable. You don’t know any different. But once you’ve hit your mid-20s and are working your way up to ambling about with a walker, it’s not really a good look to be sitting on a dirty, old couch with your boyfriend, drinking cheap beer and waiting for him to make a move. I mean, you guys can still go out and get trashed and have really confusing drunk sex or whatever. That’s still kinda fun, I guess. But if you want something real – something lasting – you have to set the bar way higher than letting sloppy pizza at 2 a.m. be the key to getting into your pants. Try a real date for once. Court and be courted. Brag to your friends that your significant other surprised you with a steakhouse dinner, that you were then in bed by 10 p.m. and having super-duper-fancy wine-drunk sex, and that you woke up, walked the dog and then got brunch-drunk the next day – and not because you’re living in some fantasy world but because that shit actually happened.
3. Stay away from the weirdos with either too many or too few friends. Both extremes are trouble. If they have too many friends, you’ll face a bloody, brutal crawl to the top of their priority list. This is especially true if your crush’s group of friends has been hanging together since all the way back in high school. Although it’s lovely that these groups have remained so close for so long, these types of friendships are so chock-full of history that you’ll be vying for your loved one’s attention and facing endless gatherings for someone you don’t know’s birthday. On the flip side, if they have no friends, that’s even worse. Try to figure out early on why there’s such a lack of a social life happening with this person, and if their answer is anything except “Oh, I just moved here,” perhaps you should think of running away super fast. When it comes to your significant other and his//her friends, a handful of close buddies is the best route to seek. A collection of few very close friends means they can commit to another person — but not so many or so few that it’s a bad sign of what they might be like in a relationship.
4. Make two lists – a non-negotiable one and a negotiable one. Knowing what you will compromise for and what you absolutely will not budge on will really up your dating game. Don’t make excuses or sell yourself short while doing this, either. If you want to go on regular dates, make that a non-negotiable thing. If you prefer full beards but will settle with a clean shave and the ability to grow a full beard, make that negotiable. Take the time to sit down with yourself, analyze what has gone wrong in your past dating attempts (this could take weeks, honestly), and hone in on what you can live with and what you can live without. Be as shallow as you want.. No one has to see or even know about these lists aside from you. And, let’s face it, life’s too short to not try to get (almost) exactly what you want. Make an oath on these lists. Do not break the rules you set with them. Consider it practice for marriage.
5. Stop looking so hard. A cliche? Absolutely. Annoying, too. But it is true: When you stop looking, everything happens. More than that, though, this is just solid advice about life. If you base your entire existence on having a boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re pretty lame. Don’t get dressed in the morning or night with meeting that special someone in mind. Chances are, it’s gonna happen on that day when you throw on your sweats to run to the grocery store. But at least you’ll have a great story to tell from it! For now, just be OK with being single – not alone, mind you. Single. We singletons tend to get super dramatic with the word “alone.” “Ugh, I’m so alone! No one loves me! I have nothing!” cried the girl surrounded by her 17 cats and doting parents. C’mon. You’re better than that.