The new year is coming and there’s no time like the present to reflect on how you can make this year better for dating. Hopefully, this will be the last year of your dating career.
As I always say, “Last year’s strategy, last year’s results.” So, how can you put a fresh face on your old dating outlook?
1. Shed Bad Dating Habits. Do you have bad habits that you need to change? Maybe you repeatedly use the same conversation topics and could use a new communication method and new topics. Maybe you need to improve your attitude. Maybe you need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Whatever it is, the start of a new year is a good time to explore and choose a single area for dedicated improvement. Write down the habit you’ll be working on. Come up with approaches for addressing that habit. Most importantly, chart your progress! Any goal without accountability is a wish.
2. Second Chances. Yes, it’s true: We’ve all dated people we deemed “not for us.” The question is, are those reasons as valid now as you thought they were? Did you make an impulsive decision based on a trait that would really affect a marriage or just a superficial hang-up you couldn’t seem to get past? Now would be a good time to explore past dating experiences to see if there is a relationship you’d revisit.
3. Calibrate. As greater maturity sets in, some of what you may have considered must-haves can pale in comparison to what you may now consider important. Thoughtful and emotionally developed divorced, older, or widowed singles tend to have quite a different list of what they’re seeking in a relationship than the list they used when they first started dating. It’s best to continually revise your list through internal growth rather than have life experiences rewrite that list for you.
4. Reflect Through Others. It may be helpful to reflect with a shadchan (matchmaker), friend, dating coach, or even past dates on what may be poorly affecting your dating prospects and outcomes. This can be extremely useful when trying to figure out:
Why potential matches turn you down.
Why your dating isn’t reaching advanced stages.
Why serious and long-term relationships haven’t worked out in the past.
Dating is, or should be, a process of both self-discovery and self-actualization. You should be able to grow and evolve through the dating process.
This does not happen on its own. Mindful dating allows for conscious change and qualitatively better outcomes. Non-reflective dating and a lack of willingness to engage in growth leaves you exactly as you were or, likely, worse off as frustration, anxiety, and time take their toll.
Our tradition teaches that, “A person is blind to their faults.” That’s why it’s always helpful to have an outside perspective.
If a shift is required for you to become the greatest version of yourself and attract your highest-level love — the person with whom you can complete your life — make this the year of that shift. May that path lead you on the shortest distance to your longest relationship.
By Rachel Burnham