It’s another new year, which means a new you, right? You’re going to pay off that debt, lose the extra weight and finally finish watching Lost on Netflix.
And, then, of course there’s your love life.
Whether you are attached or single, I’m sure there are things you’d like to improve upon this year. No more time wasting. No more petty fights with the GF. Less game playing, more sex. Sounds good, but how are you going to make it happen? ‘Cause change doesn’t happen overnight and with unrealistic targets, you might very well short of your goals by Valentine’s Day.
So let’s make all of your dating dreams come true this year. For the single person or those in a relationship, I’ve come up with a list of dating resolutions you should be making for 2016 (because everyone wants to be kissing someone when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31).
To Have More Clear, Effective Communication
Communication is the must-have, must-do for any successful partnership (yes, even more than mind-blowing sex). But do you know what actual, real communication is? Most people think it’s just talking to—or texting—someone about the everyday things (“How’s your mom?” “Do you want Chinese tonight or sushi?” “You wanna Netflix and chill?”). But it actually involves so much more. For those in relationships, open communication requires listening and hearing your partner out—which means not tuning her out or talking over her. Being present is another biggie. When arguing, stay in the moment and try not to veer off into “remember when you did this” territory. If you’re single, being clear with your intentions as soon as possible is super vital so no one’s confused about your Facebook status. And, of course, whether you’re attached or not, honesty is always the best policy.
Go Out More
When you’re coupled out, it’s so easy to get into your Sunday Sweats routine and not want to actually date each other anymore. Likewise, when you’ve been flying solo for a while, it’s way easy to stay in on a Friday night and catch up on your Netflix queue or meet up with buddies at the local pub than it is to venture out and meet new people. The horror. But this is exactly why you’re in a romantic rut! So, plan date nights with your girlfriend to reignite the spark. Alternatively, join a new class or sport if you want to find a spark with a potential girlfriend. Just leave your damn couch, and you’ll be glad that you did.
Maintain Realistic Expectations
It’s very easy to get swept away with the romanticism of resolutions. “This year, my girlfriend and I will finally stop arguing over who washes the dishes, and we will have lots and lots of sex each week.” Or, “This year I will meet the woman of my dreams and we will have lots and lots of sex each week!” But dreaming of happy endings—of any variety—will probably lead to disappointment. Instead, remember that shit happens. People aren’t perfect, and that includes you. Be gentle with yourself and of others, and try your best to live in the moment. Don’t focus on failure, and instead keep track of what works. You’ll end up being way more satisfied—hopefully in more ways than one.
Call More, Text Less
Nothing beats face-to face contact—and no, I’m not just referring to FaceTime However, if you need to connect with your love then that’s a way better option than texting. Texting is lazy, and don’t even get me started on emoticons. If you want to ask how your lady is doing, call her. If you want to let your GF know you’re LOLing, then, you know, you should actually laugh out loud with her. Don’t attempt to have a real convo by texting. Not only does it leave it open to being misconstrued by your partner (“Are you being serious or sarcastic? I can’t tell!”) but there is something very sexy and romantic about taking the time to call the one you love, or, at least, like.
Make Love (Not War)
No more quickies, no more Wednesday Night Whoopie, no more “I Could Be Screwing Anyone Right now” kind-of-sex. I mean, those are all darn good options sometimes, but how about you focus on being really there for your partner in the bedroom this year? Try new things. Be romantic. Put her needs (meaning orgasm) first. Make her feel sexy and special. Because a woman who feels appreciated and worshipped in the bedroom is bound to be more open to having sex with you on a regular basis. It’s a win-win situation.
Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine. You can follow her on Twitter @briannehogan.