New approach to dating resolutions

I know it’s clichéd. Talking about New Year’s resolutions on New Year’s Eve. Ho hum. How original — not!

But I heard a BBC World Service report that made me think differently about resolutions — especially dating resolutions.

Richard WisemanProfessor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire (UK) led a year-long study of 3,000 men and women about how well they did accomplishing their resolutions a year after setting them. Not well, it seems. Just 12% had been successful. (He doesn’t say if only 12% achieved any of their goals, or if some of these 12% accomplished multiple goals.) By this data it seems we shouldn’t even bother.

Dr. Wiseman’s team interviewed the 12% to find out why they were successful, and these 360 people’s tips and I’ve added how they can be applied to your dating New Year’s resolutions. Not all of this is new, but some is.

  • Make only one resolution. By focusing on only one goal, it’s easier to accomplish. Try something like “post my dating profile on one dating site” or “ask that nice guy in Accounting out for coffee by next Friday.”
  • Make it something that inspires you, not just another task or chore. So “enroll in a salsa dance class” will be more motivating than “get fit.”
  • Be specific. “Each month I will contact 5 men who sound interesting from the dating site.” Some people set a goal of having a certain number of dates each month or meeting a certain number of men for initial coffee dates. Those goals set you up for failure, or encourage you to meet people who don’t interest you.
  • Choose a new approach, rather than repeating past resolution specifics. So instead of “find my soul mate” try “I will go to one singles event per quarter to meet interesting, single, age-appropriate, sane, emotionally and financially mature men.”
  • Go public with your goal. Tell friends and family, and they’ll help you stay focused.

No matter what your dating goal, let me know if there’s something we can do to support you in accomplishing it. I haven’t decided mine yet, but will post about it when I do.

Got a topic on dating after 40 you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to