Esther Kane, a registered clinical counsellor and author of Dump That Chump: A Ten-Step Plan for Ending Bad Relationships and Attracting the Fabulous Partner You Deserve, shares five dating resolutions you should put into practice in order to change your dating track record.
Dating resolution No. 1: Know yourself
In her book, Kane emphasizes the importance of being clear about the kind of partner you're looking for. In order to do that, you need to know yourself. "To succeed in finding a suitable mate, you have to know who you are first and foremost," Kane explains. There's a good chance your best match will be more similar to you than you might think.
"All the latest research in successful matchmaking points to the fact that couples have the greatest chance of success in building and maintaining satisfying, long-term relationships when they are more alike, rather than different," she says. Even though we've always been told that opposites attract (and they often do), they may not be right for each other in the long run.
Dating resolution No. 2: Trust your gut
If you've been jumping into relationships without thinking them through first, it's time to resolve to date with more caution. "I find that many women are far too quick to leap into relationships with both feet, and that they don't listen to the internal messages they've gotten about a person that told them to run the other way," says Kane.
The idea is that you don't want to waste time going on dates with someone who isn't right for you. "Watch, notice and listen to what your gut tells you right from the start, and weed out people who show very little potential from the get-go so you can make room for the ones who have a lot more to offer," Kane advises.
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Dating resolution No. 3: Don't settle
Once you know what you do (and don't) want when it comes to an ideal partner, don't sell yourself short. Many people end up getting frustrated with the search and settling for someone who is merely "OK" rather than a person who they really enjoy being with.
"This is very sad to hear because I believe that we can -- and must -- go for what we want in life and not sell ourselves short," says Kane. "Personally, I'd rather be single than in a so-so relationship." While finding someone "perfect" might not be realistic, finding a special person who you really connect with and who makes you happy is doable and worth holding out for.
Dating resolution No. 4: Be yourself
One of the most important dating resolutions you can make this year is to be yourself when you meet someone new. "As a therapist, I can't tell you how many women tell me that they become someone different when they're on a date," Kane says. But this behaviour doesn't do you any favours because if the person you're with doesn't appreciate the real you, he's not the right match, she explains. You're much better off being who you really are from the beginning so you can bypass the people who don't like you for you.
"This will save enormous amounts of time and energy in the long run," says Kane. "And you'll feel a whole lot better about yourself if you hold yourself in high esteem, rather than trying to contort yourself into someone you think is acceptable in someone else's eyes."
Dating resolution No. 5: Be patient
It's not likely that the perfect partner will appear in your life instantly, so it's important to be patient with your search. "In our world of instant gratification, it's often near-impossible to go with the flow, stop to smell the roses and wait for good things. We're used to getting what we want right when we want it," says Kane. "But healthy and fulfilling relationships don't work at high speed. They take time to nurture, grow and blossom." Would you rather take the first guy who shows up or wait for the right one? "It's a tall order to find someone who fits the bill enough to satisfy, but it's not impossible," says Kane.
By making a few key resolutions you can improve your dating life, stop wasting your time with the wrong men and make it much easier to find the right match for you.
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