Another year, another long list of New Year’s resolutions waiting to be broken or fizzle out. I am not much of a New Year’s resolution person, but many are. God bless them! The spirit of wanting to make a change for the better is alive and well, especially in January.
Most people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps it’s because they pledge the improbable (like never eating another cookie), or they aim too high too fast and then get discouraged (like quitting smoking cold turkey). Perhaps it is because, as so many of us do at Lent, they only focus on giving up something negative instead of doing something positive (like being nicer to someone).
Let’s take a look at some of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and see how we can make them apply to dating and the vocation to marriage.
Resolution #1 - Lose weight
This resolution usually has to do with exercising and better eating habits in order to lose excess pounds. How about losing the weight of guilt and self-pity?
Too many singles allow themselves to dwell on and wallow in the hurts of past relationships. They beat themselves up and feel guilty about what they have done. They absorb anger for the hurt the people they have dated in the past have inflicted on them. Thus, they create a tremendous weight of guilt and self-pity, which affects their ability to be attractive.
Make a firm resolution to stop feeling guilty about what was done in your past relationships. Take a positive attitude about who you are, what you need to learn to be a better person, and have confidence in moving forward. Stop the self-pity. Please realize that this form of being over-weight affects your outward appearance too–so lose it.
Resolution #2 -Live healthier
This resolution usually has to do with approaching life with a better attitude. How about an attitude change when it comes to relationships?
Unhealthy relationships are at an all time high. People are dating the wrong people for the wrong reasons. The result is unhealthy relationships that can turn into unhealthy marriages. People get addicted to toxic relationships too readily.
Make a firm resolution to end the cycle of dating the wrong person. Break free from your addiction to drama. Become drama-free in 2012. There is nothing wrong with a good, old-fashioned, boring, dull relationship with someone you actually are comfortable to be around. Having to be with someone exciting is over-rated. Don’t be fooled in 2012. Go for the steady, consistent, content type. You won’t be sorry.
Resolution #3 – Quit smoking
This resolution is obvious–ending the purchase of expensive cigarettes and the habit of inhaling smoke and nicotine into the lungs. How about giving up the smoke of everything you hear from those you date, and having a clearer pair of eyes to see behavior that is not compatible with the words?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world where we could just take everyone at their word? You have to consider the actions of those you are dating in order to confirm the words, or realize you are being deceived.
Make a firm resolution to stop inhaling the smoke of empty words like “I love you” and taking them at face value. Stop getting hurt by the deception of those you date who say one thing and do something different. When the smoke clears, an “I love you” must be an action as well as a verbal phrase. Build your relationship on actions, not just a smoke-filled room of empty words.
Oh, and if you really do smoke cigarettes, give them up for your love life, too.
Resolution #4 – Improve Financial Situation
This resolution usually has to do with getting out of debt, finding more enjoyable employment, and the like. How about being appropriate with money on dates?
Men need to spend money on the girl they have asked out. Be a gentleman about it and don’t make a woman feel like she has to offer to pay. And men need to get a job. Women don’t want to risk giving up their own earning potential for someone not able to provide for a family. Give them something to go on. Women need to save money for when they get married, as well as resist objectifying men for what they earn or how much they spend on a woman. Be mutually willing to have dates that are not financially taxing.
Make a firm resolution to not let money be an excuse. Men, make a girl feel special and pursued by paying for the date, and make a girl feel secure about the future by having a good job and/or showing you want to work hard to provide for a family. Women, stop judging men so strictly on their financial situation. Times are tough and they could use encouragement and being valued for who they are, not what they make.
Resolution #5 – Volunteer
This resolution usually has to do with an impetuous feeling of needing to get involved in the community and help others. How about volunteering some of your time to help other singles?
As a single person, it is understandably easy to get absorbed in your own bottom-line efforts to find your future spouse. But one of the commodities singles have is each other: singles know other singles. Yet they tend to be too leery of going out on a limb to make introductions for someone they know, even when it seems obvious two people they know are perfect for each other. We don’t want to risk friendships, so we just leave everyone to chance.
Make a firm resolution to help at least one single person become a better catch and/or meet at least one good match. You need to help each other. Pay it forward. It just might mean you find the love of your life.
Additional Resolution – Appreciate what you have
In closing, I offer this one last resolution to consider. Sometimes you are so busy being shocked by your ex’s outlandish behavior, lamenting the fact that you’re single, or filling up your day with activity that you forget to appreciate the gifts God has given.
Make a firm resolution to become a thankful and grateful person by developing a habit of reflecting on the positives in your life and seeing what is positive in others. You will become a person who is naturally and consistently appreciative. And that goes a very long way in loving another for a lifetime.
Happy New Year and God’s abundant blessings upon you.