How to Get Out There and Find the One for You in the New Year
There’s this common belief that falling in love is something that just happens to us. Despite all our efforts, there’s nothing we can truly do except hope that the next person we meet is “the one.”
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Sure, it might just be a type of right place, right time situation when it comes to meeting the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stack the deck in your favor. There are plenty of ways to cast yourself in the best light, increasing your chances for meeting the person who completes you.
If your 2020 resolution is to finally find the right person, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 20 expert tips for finding love this year.
20 Different Ways to Successfully Find Love in 2020
1. Put Yourself Out There
This might be the most common advice people doled out when it comes to finding love. In fact, you may be reading this thinking, “How much more could I possibly be out there?” Well, putting yourself out there goes beyond just simple things like visibility on dating apps or frequenting your corner bar.
“Create more opportunities for you to meet other people, learn new things, and generally improve and expand your life,” says relationship expert Amy Hartle. “These should be things you actually WANT to do; activities you actually have an interest in. When you focus on doing the things you love, the right person will come into your life – not only because you’re putting yourself out there and taking chances, but because when you’re focused on the things you love, you become the best version of yourself. A potential partner gets to see you in your element.”
2. Take a Class
“Education improves who you are and exposes you to not only potential partners who may be in the class, but many others who are around the educational facility,” says relationship therapist Andrew Aaron. “Those who value education also share many other good values and thereby increasing the chance to meet someone special of high quality.”
3. Perform Volunteer Work
What’s a cause you truly care about? Volunteering helps to improve your overall mood and self-esteem, and connects you with others who share the same values.
“Unlike on a dating website or Tinder where deception and distortion are easy, participating in a group effort actually takes a commitment – something that separates those who are low in motivation from those who are vital, ambitious and determined,” says Aaron.
4. Be Open to Finding Love in All Different Places
Opportunity waits for no man, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a potential match at the grocery store, on an airplane or anywhere you meet someone who catches your eye.
“Being open can mean something as simple as making eye contact with others,” says therapist Lauren Cook. “As you enter 2020, commit to actually ‘seeing’ other people in the new year by looking at those around you.”
5. Network With Dates Who Didn’t Work Out
This may seem like strange advice, but according to marriage and family therapist Dana McNeil, the more you expand your social circle, the more likely it is you’ll meet someone.
“If you and a date don’t work out having a love match, but you really like the person and their character, there is no reason you can’t help each other to network your perspective groups of friends or family members,” she says. “If you are both able to be mature and acknowledge that a love connection isn’t happening for the two of you, why not put your collective network to good use and consider if there is someone that either of you knows who might be a good match?”
6. Ask People in Your Life to Set You Up
“It is very likely the people you admire and genuinely care for in your world hang out with and have a close relationship with other admirable and quality people who may also be looking for a new love,” says McNeil. “Letting your network (co-workers, neighbors, colleagues, etc.) know you are open to and interested in meeting some new people this year is just reinforcing your efforts with help from a community who probably has your back, and wants to help you find the best match.”
7. Leave Selfies and Filters in 2019
Speaking of online dating profiles, start putting your true self out there in 2020.
“Dating profiles that are filled with selfies make that person look like they have no social life, or like they love themselves more than anyone else ever could,” says dating profile writer Eric Resnick. “You don’t need a ton of group shots in your profile, but have your friend’s take some pics for you. You are going to have a much more natural smile when you are relaxing with your friends than when you are trying to look at the screen with one eye and at the lens with the other.”
8. Don’t Just “Spray and Pray” Online Dating Messages
Sending out the same message to hundreds of potential matches online may make your inbox more full, but if you’re serious about finding love this year, Resnick says to go for quality over quantity.
“Don’t message a woman unless there’s some evidence in her profile that she’s looking for someone like you,” he says.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Off the Wheel
Dating apps can be great tools to help you find love, but they can also burn you out. If it’s too much to handle, it’s alright if you want to take a breather.
“Online dating should not be a part-time job,” says Resnick. “If you’re spending more than 20 minutes of your day on it in 2019, it’s time to limit yourself in 2020. FOMO isn’t real here, but burnout is. The people you don’t see today will still be there tomorrow, but your will to find them might not be.”
10. Know What You Value
What actually matters to you in a relationship? Getting clear on what you value most in a potential partner will help make it clear when you’ve found the right one for you.
“When you are unsure what matters to you in a relationship, it can be easy to be swayed purely by chemistry rather than an actual character traits connection,” says Cook. “Does your ideal life include adventure, safety, achievement, connection, creativity? From this, you can begin identifying what matters most to you.”
11. Be Vulnerable Where It Matters
“Many of us either operate in a space where we are totally closed off or share too much,” says Cook. “Find a happy medium where you are willing to connect in a safe and open way that allows you to get to know someone. You can still protect your heart without appearing guarded and defensive. If you notice that your partner has a wall up as well, carefully consider if they are at a place in their lives where they are willing to be thoughtfully vulnerable as well. In other words: Don’t date someone who is not open to love at this time.”
12. Own Who You Are and What You Want in a Relationship
If you really want to be in a serious relationship, why pretend you don’t to appease someone else? It’s okay to make that known.
“Pretending to be interested in only casually dating or portraying yourself as someone who is willing to hook up without a commitment when that isn’t who you are is not going to serve you in relationships,” says McNeil. “You send mixed messages to both the new partner and yourself by accepting less than you want. The right person for you will find it refreshing and attractive that you are willing to own who you are, and state your expectations about what you are looking for regardless of whether or not the other person agrees or validates you.”
13. Stop Being So Rigid in Your Expectations
You may have a prepared plan as to what you want out of the person you date, but make sure you’re focused on the right things.
“So many of my clients shoot people down before they ever have a chance to meet because of their ‘requirements’ for a new partner,” says McNeil. “Not every woman has to be a perfect size two in order to be a fit.” Instead, make a list of must-haves based on what a potential new person values – “their character, their ability to take personal responsibility for their behaviors, and sense of genuine concern for their needs,” continues McNeil. “Then you are more likely to find someone who is actually a good long-term fit.”
14. Consider Therapy to Learn How to Set Healthy Boundaries
“The common denominator in all your relationships is you,” says McNeil. “If you feel you give more than you receive in relationships and they often leave you feeling disappointed, frustrated, victimized or resentful, you may have difficulties setting healthy boundaries in relationships.”
If you find yourself feeling that no matter how hard you try, nothing you ever do is good enough, or you catch yourself walking on eggshells out of fear about how your partner will respond to you, it’s time to do some work on yourself.
15. Evaluate Your Beliefs About Dating
Your beliefs about the dating landscape you’re in can impact whether or not you’ll be successful. Meaning, if your internal monologue consists of feeling like women never notice you, that you have to be a bodybuilder in order to get any attention or that all the good ones are taken, it’s time to challenge that thought process.
“Our beliefs create our reality, so really examine what thoughts you think on a regular basis about dating,” says relationship expert Kat Trimarco. “What if these beliefs weren’t true? As you choose different thoughts that are more in alignment with what you want to experience, these new thoughts over time become your beliefs and shape the new experiences you’ll have. Your willingness to see things differently will open up doors to meeting new people.”
16. Have a First Date Plan
When you’re going on a first date with someone you barely know, it can be tempting to leave the date up to chance. As Aaron explains, taking initiative to thoughtfully plan out a first date can really work to your advantage.
“Having planned for the date shows forethought; it signals to your date that she or he is important and worthy of your time,” he says. “Pre-planning also shows leadership, a fine strength to demonstrate. Share the plan as a way of keeping your date informed of what will happen, but also to get agreement that the plan will be pleasing to them.”
17. Incorporate an Activity Into Your Next Date
If firing questions back and forth at a bar on first dates isn’t getting you anywhere, Aaron suggests planning a date that focuses on an activity both of you enjoy.
“A date that incorporates a physical element adds a source of conversation,” says Aaron. “Taking a walk, riding bikes, going bowling, exploring a location, dancing, and climbing stairs to see a beautiful view are all examples.”
18. Listen More Than Talk on Your First Few Dates
“I often tell my clients that the people you date will generally tell you who they are within the first few dates,” says McNeil. “Allow yourself to have potentially uncomfortable silences without rushing to fill the void. Let the other person share the responsibility of creating a space that feels mutually acceptable, and see if the other person is aware of your needs during conversations.”
19. Believe There Will Be a Second Date
The goal of any first date is to get to date number two, but going into a first date with that pressure hanging over your head can actually work against you.
“The best way to get a second date after a first date? Decide that there’s going to be a second date before that first date even starts,” says relationship expert Jenny Block. “Instead, enjoy the date. Look for the positive. Remember that love at first sight is mostly in the movies, and love that grows is the kind of love that lasts. You just might be surprised by what you discover about a person when you’re looking for their best instead of their worst.”
20. Go On a Second Date Even If the First One Wasn’t “Perfect”
“Many of my clients tell me they give someone just one date to get it right, and if they don’t feel a spark, then they move on,” says McNeil. “Have you ever considered that maybe you should give someone a few dates to get comfortable, and allow some of the nerves to die down so they can show you who they really are? Give this person a few dates to get comfortable with you and you with them. There is no rush to get to the finish line, and sometimes a person grows on you once you get to see them in a relaxed space.”
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