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7 New Year's resolutions for frustrated singles

I started my foray into relationship expertise by making every mistake imaginable. I started blogging about it in 2008.

​Despite my annual failure to live up to New Year's Resolutions, I'm serving up a few to help the frustrated singles of 2015. While these are easier said than done, they might help change your dating fortunes.

1. Don't blame others for your singleness

Stop assuming the dating world is against you and that you're woefully incompatible with others. That relinquishes control of your dating life to outside forces. I have fallen into the trap of blaming women for not understanding me or not recognizing a good thing. Do people, though, really understand one another? Most successful couples are perplexed by several traits in their significant other, and not understanding one another sometimes ends up being intriguing.

2. Make good on other resolutions

The more comfortable you are on your own, the more ready you are to date. Self-improvement resolutions can help you get there: getting into better shape, tweaking your fashion/style, doing more of what you love to do outside of work, traveling, etc. It will not only take your mind off being single, but it might make you more attractive and happy.

3. Get out and meet tons of people

Try taking a cooking class or art class. Put yourself out there in a productive way and, from time to time, force yourself out when you don't want to go out. In my experience, planned outings (such as my prom, another blog post for another day) end up sucking, but unplanned outings often exceed expectations. Make sure you do whatever you're doing for you, don't do it just to find a significant other. It will keep your social energy flowing, so you can stay out of the rut.

4. Get practical

Looking for the perfect love story will make it even tougher to find someone. I'm guilty of waiting for that special someone to emerge from a crowd in a bar/party, bathed in light with orchestral reveal music... a scene not unlike The Birth of Venus. Or, I hitch my star to a romantic comedy premise: bumped from first class just to meet the girl of my dreams in coach (to be honest, I don't think getting bumped from first class is worth even that). Magic may figure into meeting Mr. or Ms. Right, but the core of a successful relationship is a friendship. Either way, eventually, the magic waxes and wanes in long-term relationships.

5. Revisit your standards (open your mind)

It might be as simple as breaking patterns. Don't sacrifice attraction, but maybe try dating people that aren't the type you've habitually gone for. In fact, my mom says: "I never went for anyone like your father before I met him... " The same rings true for most married couples I know: The new type is the one they end up with.

6. Check your expectations at the door

Enjoy the experience rather than looking at it along a timeline: date one, date two, date three, meet parents, move in together, etc. Your goal for dating should be to have fun, not to get to "point B" (married, continue the progeny, whatever). That will come in time, but if you hyper-focus on a specific future goal you might miss how great it is in the present, or ruin the future.

7. Embrace failure (laugh, don't cry)

Dating is scary because it's a failure-driven endeavor, much like baseball; batting .300 is actually great. Don't be afraid to mess up, and/or fail. There are silver linings in failure: You learned something, you're getting more immune to being let down or he sucked anyway. In fact, once I learned to embrace rejection and laugh at the stupidity of dating instead of over-analyzing and lamenting, I found comfort in that failure. I got so comfortable with failure that, when things worked out, I felt like the Colonists must have after the American Revolution victory: "So, we succeeded, the Brits are gone and we're our own country... now what?"

Do any singles out there have any thoughts on these, or resolutions to add to the list?

Image: Nana B. Agyie via Flickr
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