It's that time of year again: the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, and your timeline is flooded with engagement photos, baby bumps, and live streams of couples making out at 12:00 on the dot. Although your instinct may have been to gag and continue scrolling, deep down, we all know you probably wouldn't mind being one of them come next year. For those of us ready to make 2018 our year for healthy, positive, and passionate love, here are a few resolutions that'll help you hit a high note by next December 31.
1. Date out of your comfort zone
In other words: keep your options open. Examine your past preferences. Do you have a type? Physically, your exes may be different, but think about the issues you had and why things ended. Maybe you tend to gravitate towards needy people, and you end up being financially supportive and taken advantage of. Perhaps you've dated individuals who don't like to commit, and you've found yourself forcing a relationship onto them. Whatever the case, try someone out of your ordinary. What do you have to lose?
2. Stop looking
Sure, this may sound like a contradiction, but the best relationships often came about unexpectedly. Love can't be forced, so the more you focus on yourself and work up positive vibes, the more likely you are to attract someone to you. Delete the dating apps, go out with your friends, take a class, or bake a cake. Take your mind off dating.
3. Let go
Trust me, this is absolutely easier said than done, but when all of your friends have told you to let someone go, do it. Your friends will always hold a grudge against that person and your mom won't like them after the first time they left you in tears. Subconsciously, you know what you have to do. If you still find yourself responding to that 3am "You up?" texts from your ex, 2018 is your year to block them and sleep soundly through the night. Don't stick out a painful situation by wasting years of your life hoping your ex will change.
4. Trust your gut
You know when someone is not good for you. I repeat: you know it. That little voice in your head that second-guesses the ignored texts or that weird feeling in your stomach you get when your partner is eyeing the waiter at the restaurant should speak volumes. On the other hand, if you've found someone who gives you the good type of butterflies, yet you find yourself conducting investigations to discover their flaws, stop.
1. Try something new or take on a hobby together:
What better way to bond than over something you both enjoy? Try a cycling class, and knock out two New Year’s birds with one stone by exercising as well. If you're not into working out, perhaps you can try volunteering at an animal shelter or working with kids. It will give you both the warm fuzzies and will promote positivity in your relationship.
2. Build wealth together
Saving money and growing your wallet is a great way to build a future with someone. By becoming financially responsible with your partner, both of you will be able to plan those vacations you've been daydreaming about and even start saving for a wedding. The His & Her Money Show podcast is a great place to start. Most episodes run around 30 minutes, and it's hosted by a couple who has successfully built their wealth by saving.
There's nothing like a good book to get some mental stimulation going. Unless you're still in the honeymoon phase, chances are there are some things in your relationship that can be improved. Maybe you're not a fan of how your boyfriend handles arguments or that your girlfriend has trust issues. If you haven't figured out your love language yet, what better time than now? The 5 Love Languages is a relationship staple when it comes to navigating a healthy love life. However, if you and your beau simply want to enjoy some good literature to get the conversation going, check out this list of books to read together.
4. Turn off the tv and leave your phones alone during dinner
We've all heard older generations scorn us young folk for always being on our phones. But 2018 may we the year to listen to the old and wise and enjoy quality time with our partners.
This article was originally published on January 10, 2017. It has since been updated.