The start of a new year is traditionally time to reflect back over how things are going in life and to reflect on our goals and hopes for the future. What if you’re single? I’m highly suspicious of resolutions like “find a partner;” entering into a relationship isn’t the sort of thing you can do simply because you want it hard enough. But if you want a boyfriend or partner, there are things you can do that will make that more likely. Here are some suggestions:
- Pay attention to what you are telling the world about yourself. If you’re consciously or unconsciously sending out a vibe that says “I’m disappointed by life,” or “poor me,” don’t be surprised if people react by avoiding you. People – including potential partners – generally want to be around those who are appealing and positive.
- Be the first one to say hello. Cultivate friendliness and openness. Introduce yourself to others. Be the first one to say hi to the guy you see regularly at the gym, for instance, instead of wondering why the other guy won’t take the initiative. What have you got to lose?
- Try something new. If you stay stuck in your comfort zone, the view is not likely to change. If you want something different in 2012, commit yourself to trying new things and going new places. Maybe the changes you want are big – going back to school, finding a more satisfying job – but even small changes like joining a new group or changing where you work out or shop for groceries can help propel you out of a routine that has become a rut.
- Don’t postpone joy. Waiting to take a vacation or do something really fun until you’ve got a permanent partner to share it with? Why? Invite a friend or do something on your own.
- Take excellent care of yourself. Watch what you eat and how much you drink. Get enough rest. Don’t spend too much time alone (particularly if you spend it in front of the TV or the computer). If you find yourself troubled by stress, anxiety, depression or exhaustion, commit yourself to making changes or finding help so you can have the life you want.
- Don’t overvalue boyfriends or undervalue friends. Some single men find themselves on such a quest to find a partner that they end up giving short shrift to friends. That can lead to feeling isolated, lonely and depressed. Nourish all your social connections, not just the romantic ones.
- Try not to spend too much time online. Whether pouring over online dating sites or getting lost in porn or hookup sites, it is easy to fill countless hours sitting in front of the computer screen. When minutes become hours and time that could be spent with others ends up being spent pointlessly alone, you are not building the life you want. Life online easily provides pseudo-intimacy – it looks like the real thing, but it’s not. It is often simply a distraction or a time filler.
Finally, if you’re not making the progress you want in building a life that is satisfying, it may be time to look at counseling or therapy to get support for making changes and having a truly happy new year.