Recently Divorced? 10 Promises To Make Yourself In The New Year
by Nina Malkin
- “I Will Rethink My Relationship Criteria.” Most people seek specific qualities in a mate and that’s fine, but it’s also important to heed how you want to feel when you’re involved with someone. Turn the focus inward and explore how you want to feel as opposed to what you want. Happiness is too broad a statement—refine it. Do you want to feel safe? Respected? Excited? Challenged? Devote adequate time and energy to your search—it’s too important a process to do while multitasking. Go through magazines and cut out images that evoke the emotional state you’re going for.
- “I Will Enhance My Appearance.” It needn’t be a major transformation. Even a subtle tweak renews your commitment to yourself—that in itself makes you attractive to others. Get a new haircut, update your wardrobe, drop a few pounds or amp up your level of fitness. It’s not just about looking more attractive to potential dates: you’ll feel like a million and project a more confident attitude. While you’re at it, go beyond the physical—develop your mind and soul with classes, more reading, workshops, etc.
- “I Will Date Different Types.” Keep an open mind, and don’t rule out certain demographic criteria, such as age and occupation. When I met my boyfriend four years ago, I mentally rejected him at first because he doesn’t have a college degree, and I have a Master’s degree. I decided to give him a chance, and I’ve learned an enormous amount from him. Some other ways to date different types: Open up your age range to date at least seven years younger and older than you’d originally think. Go out with someone of another race or religion or of a physical type, unlike your ex.
- “I Will Explore Various Dating Venues.”
Everyone romanticizes the concept of “meeting cute” over a toppling pyramid of apples in the grocery store, but be sure to open your options. Maybe it’s online dating, singles’ cruises, or good old blind dates. You’ll meet people who would never have crossed your path otherwise.
5. “I Will Not Trash My Ex.” There’s a natural impulse to do so. “It’s an unconscious way of trying to attain release and resolution — plus, you’re probably nervous about the new date — so you pour out your history. But you’re programming this person with negativity about yourself. Rather than TMI him/her to death, exorcise your ex before the date, in your journal, or have a head-clearing conversation with a trusted friend. Then you can go out and concentrate on what you really want to talk about.
6. “I Will Date Emotionally Healthy People.” Nobody’s perfect and everyone has baggage, but choose to welcome the responsible, self-sufficient, and emotionally healthy into your life. Creating a new relationship will take your energy, so don’t let it be drained by taking on anyone who may present huge challenges.
7. “I Will Be Solid In My New Relationship Before I Involve My Children.” Kids, as you know, go through relationships with us too. It’s great for your children to know you have a personal life and that they are not responsible for your happiness, but you don’t want them to meet your dates (and get attached to anyone you’re seeing) until you know you’re in a relationship that is established and committed.
- “I Will Create An Amazing Online Profile.” Create a profile that’s appealing, readable, and upbeat with a current, flattering, smiling photo. Invent a memorable user name, write an attention-grabbing headline, and tell an amusing story. Remember to update your profile and pictures from time to time.
- “I Will Adopt A ‘No Bad Dates!’ Policy.” Does the woman you invited out find it necessary to check email and answer phone calls throughout your date? Is the guy you’re just not clicking with trying to convince you to see him again because he makes a lot of money and can take you to incredible places? Make an inner commitment to not tolerate anything but excellence. Promise yourself that you’ll meet fun people and have great dates. If someone is (for whatever reason) not up to snuff, be gently frank, as in: “I really enjoyed meeting you, but I just don’t think we’re a match.”
- “I Will Make At Least One New Platonic Friend This Year.” It may not seem like a direct route to romance, but odds are your new friend will enrich your life… and will have fascinating, attractive single friends, too. As you get your dating “sea legs” back, it may be just what you need.