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Six Dating Resolutions For Summer


Is your resolve to find The One melting fast as the dog days of summer set in? Follow these six stay-sane dating resolutions.

By Bob Strauss

s we all remember from science class in high school, the average summer day is blessed by 27 or 28 hours of sunlight — but it feels like twice that if you’re stuck in your walk-up apartment without a ride to the beach. That’s a lot of time to spend awake, and it’s also a lot of time to obsess over
Yes, you could have made some mistakes in your last relationship.
your nonexistent love life, which is why the lamest, most overcooked pick-up lines tend to be delivered in steaming communal laundry rooms during the second or third weeks of August. It’s enough to make you nostalgic for the less-exposed days of winter when the sun sets half an hour after it rises and everyone is too layered up in L.L. Bean sweaters to picture each other in the buff!

How’s a person supposed to cope? Well, one way is by making a list of summer dating resolutions. Here are some ideas:

1. Stay focused.
During the endless, dehydrating dog days of summer it can be hard to tell if you’re longing for a meaningful, long-term relationship or simply an icy Starbucks Frappuccino. Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Add More ~ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, says that “unfocused desires bring unfocused results. Without clarifying what you want out of a date, you will continue to attract random people who have nothing in common with you.” So follow this simple rule of thumb: If you can’t think clearly about what you want (either in a beverage or a boyfriend), call it a day and go see a movie in an air-conditioned theater.

2. Let go of the past.
Marlise Karlin, creator of “The Simplicity of Stillness” (a spiritual teaching program that allows its disciples to achieve inner peace and spiritual awareness on a daily basis), advocates the occasional dating reboot: “Yes, you could have made some mistakes in your last relationship — look at them honestly, write down what you learned and then forgive yourself.” In other words, if you trudge down the street toward your latest blind date muttering, “What’s the use? This person’s just as likely to pretend to go to the bathroom and run screaming out of the door into traffic like the last date did” — your odds of having a successful date are not exactly tremendous.

3. Change your narrative.
Somewhat related to the point above, constantly toting around a negative self image makes about as much sense as wearing a goose-down parka when it’s 90 degrees outside. Warns Bernstein: “If you’re telling yourself things, like ‘There are no good guys’ or ‘I’m not thin enough,’ change your mantra to ‘This area is filled with great people to date!’ or ‘I’m a great catch!’ instead.” Granted, this sounds a bit like Stuart Smalley’s “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” mantra from Saturday Night Live, but as long as you don’t say these words out loud your date is unlikely to mind.

4. Take care of yourself.
Summer should be the most carefree time of the year, but it’s actually one of the
It’s not an audition and it’s not a job interview.
most perilous with its constant sun exposure, accumulating smog and threat of daily dehydration (disclaimer: I live in the middle of New York City, so your summer experience may differ). Changing your clothes, drinking lots of water and applying the occasional dab of sunscreen are the minimum requirements for maintaining a healthy outlook on life — and not showing up at your next date looking like you just got rescued from a faraway disaster.

5. Be proactive.
“To be loved, be lovable,” as Ovid famously said. As tragically romantic as it may seem to mope around your local park with that “Everyone else is in a relationship, why not me?” attitude written all over your face, it’s not a constructive way to find dates this August. “When you feel unloved or rejected in any way, it’s good to turn your focus around and give others what you’re looking for,” says Karlin. “Buy a gift for a lonely child, help out at a local charity, or send a kind letter to your ex to release any leftover pain from the failed relationship.”

6. Cede control.
You can’t, by sheer force of will, make a relationship happen any more than you can do a rain dance and summon a much-needed thunderstorm (or, as Bernstein puts it, “Just because you can make things happen in the office doesn’t mean you can control your dating life, too”). I won’t insult you with the old chestnut that the best relationships happen when you’re not looking for them — that’s a bit like telling a person not to think about pink elephants — but I can state from experience that if you’re over-thinking, over-planning and overdoing your attempts to find The One, you’ll only project an air of desperation that will repel any available singles within a 30-mile radius. It’s not an audition and it’s not a job interview; it should feel more natural than that. If all else fails, do as the rest of the world does during the summertime: stay cool, mellow out and resume your quest in the more hospitable climes of autumn.


Bob Strauss is a freelance writer and children’s book author who lives in New York City. He’s also written the Dinosaur guide on About.com, the online information network owned by the New York Times.
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