10 Love Resolutions for 2012

Date more, date better with these vows for a most romantic New Year, courtesy of our gentleman love gurus.

By Phineas Mollod and Jason Tesauro

or some, self-improvement happens but once per year: beginning around January 1st, there’s a glorious resolution to do push-ups every morning, moisturize, and watch more PBS. But, for most, it all ends two weeks later in an unceremonious heap on the La-Z-Boy with a return to sluggish status-quo. Forget your Inspiration-a-Day desk calendar—to jump-start motivation, we hereby present our top 10 resolutions for single folk who want to ring in an amorous 2012 that’s less frustrating and more dynamic.

Resolution #1
“On occasion, I will skip a date with a second-rate suitor and instead earmark that drinks-and-appetizers money for a new leather belt, two Italian language lessons, or a down payment on updated eyeglass frames.”

Was there an object of your affection that never quite got your full attention? Send an out-of-the-blue fax.
There are those long dry spells when a date, any date, is necessary to get you back in the game. Yet, a litter of middling first dates is no grand feat; instead, save the scratch you’d spend on dim sum with some dim prospect and invest in yourself inside and out.

Resolution #2
“I promise to attend two events per month that may at first appear to be snooze-fests but will ultimately shake my brain.”

To most, tickets to a poetry reading or a road trip with a friend to suss out the best biscuits and BBQ this side of the state line aren’t as exciting as backstage passes to the show or seats on the 50-yard line. However, it’s at these eclectic outings that you may serendipitously stumble across soul mates and fresh faces apart from the usual bar scene.

Resolution #3
“I promise, within the next ninety days, to take advantage of a winter Web fare and go on a solo excursion for a couple hundred dollars.”

Trekking Nepal with a sweetheart sounds romantic, but until then, revel in the “unattached prerogative”—your unencumbered right to leave for anywhere, anytime, with no more notice than a word to the paperboy. Drop a few hundred for a solo adventure, and you’ll return with plenty of first-date conversation fodder, plus maybe a pen pal and curious souvenirs.

Resolution #4
“I promise to casually attempt to re-ignite a fizzled flame with an acquaintance from the near past.”

E-mail and portable cell phone numbers keep everyone within reach. Was there an object of your affection that never quite got your full attention? Send an out-of-the-blue fax or text message to see if there’s a pulse. Unless your flirty check-in looks an awful lot like an 11 P.M. booty call, this bold act will either coax the embers back to life or perhaps land you a “There’s-this-new-girl-at-work-you-should-meet” referral.

Resolution #5
“I promise to take out a friend for a dating rehearsal in exchange for honest director's notes.”

Striking out early and often? Hone your skills with a sort of dating focus group. Invite a fun friend on a mock date and go through all the motions. Like a hotel that hires a mystery shopper, in return for a free meal or drinks, expect a critique of your dating attributes and liabilities. Akin to appraising a used car, make sure to ask for the complete WooFax Dating Report: an evaluation of conversation skills, attire, venue choices, eye contact, and body language to see whether you’re a lemon or just a fine machine in need of a tune-up.

Resolution #6
“I promise not to promise I'll call when I know darn well that I'm not interested.”

As a suitor, your word and acute sense of romantic potential are top traits—along with straight, white teeth and sleek, black shoes. False promises waste valuable bachelor time
Make the next five dates movie-less and devoid of overpriced air-popped corn.
that could be spent with an actual soul mate—and are unfair to the woman in question. Nix the fibbing and you’ll hone a decisiveness for those times when passion dictates a gutsy move that must sound 100 percent sincere.

Resolution #7
“I promise that in the interest of widening my wooing horizons, I declare a 60-day moratorium on blockbuster movies at first-run theatres.”

Indie films and discount "movie palaces" make for nice matinees, but break the cycle of dinner-movie, movie-dinner when it comes to dating. Make the next five dates movie-less and devoid of overpriced air-popped corn. In lieu of a sneak preview of Gigli 2, sniff out original activities that flex your creative muscles and leave a unique impression.

Resolution #8
“I promise to curb my lusty blood and wait one more date than usual before making serious after-hours advances.”

Given the popularity of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, there's something to be said about a little old-fashioned patience and anticipation. If the chemistry is undeniable, a smidge of fortitude will be rewarded with delicious coquetry and blush-worthy innuendo. For those who major in rash judgments, enjoy the extra benefits of spared morning-after headaches and motel bill–laden credit-card debt.

Resolution #9
“I promise to elevate lip locks to something more than a goodnight formality or gateway to going all the way.”

Did the wonder of kissing end with your last Spin the Bottle game? Re-embrace smooching as a masterful art, especially when framing the all-important first kiss. If affections had their own Food Guide Pyramid, kissing would be the 6-11 daily recommended servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta that make up the base. And intercourse, like butter and sweets, would be at the top, fueled by the desire for more than the FDA deems good for you.

Resolution #10
“I promise to banish ‘So whaddya do?’ from my getting-to-know-you rap.”

Not that your date’s vocation isn’t relevant, but try squeezing out deeper conversation by treating work as a taboo subject equivalent to foot fungus. Inquiring of her workplace coffee-club policy won’t win you a midnight invitation for coffee at her place. Ask questions that gauge sensibilities (“What’s your stance on the changes to the Supreme Court?”), slightly challenge the listener (“What’s your stance on irony in Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence?”), or foster intimacy (“What’s your stance on satin sheets?”).

Phineas Mollod traded his J.D. for the editorial life and is often found riding the congested E train with his wife and daughter in New York. Jason Tesauro pushes pen and ink by day and leads the lifestyle seminar series by night, ne'er far from his sweetheart and a Brady Bunch houseful 'o tots in Virginia. Together they are the authors of The Modern Gentleman: A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy and Vice and The Modern Lover: A Playbook for Suitors, Spouses, and Ringless Carousers.
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