Valentine's day

The festive season is over, the last toffee penny has been unwrapped, the mince pies have been demolished and the January blues are starting to kick in. But why spend the beginning of a new year falling into a lonely pit of singledom? You may have spent your Christmas period standing alone at the office Christmas party, consuming an entire tin of Roses chocolates to yourself and generally becoming a third wheel professional.

But it’s a new year and a new you! It could be the year you find love. Right? This year you don’t have to spend another lonely February 14th avoiding Clintons, or restaurants, or just the general public! (Is it just me or do couples flaunt their love more around Valentine’s day?)

It’s time to get your love life in check. Do you want to spend another year being on your own? And what can you do if you’re ready to share your year with another person? Have a read through these points before you take the leap back into dating.

What do you want?

It is very rare that we actually take a second and properly consider exactly what we want, especially when it comes to finding love. So before you put your heart on your sleeve, get your head into gear. What exactly do you want from a relationship? Do you want to fully commit to someone, or are you just ready to get back on the dating scene? It will be simpler in the long run if you know exactly what you’re looking for and it means you can be totally honest with yourself and to the people your dating about what you want from your next relationship.

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Be open minded

Love can be found in the most unlikely of places. So you may think you know what you want, what you’re attracted to and the type of person you what to be in a relationship with. But life is full of surprises. All the guys I have ever dated have not been anything like the person I would have described as my perfect guy.

So whether it be the guy at work who has asked you out for a drink or a girl you see out often giving you the eye from afar. Go and speak to them. Give them a chance. Say yes to new experiences. Because, why not? The worst that can happen is that you don’t have a romantic connection, but at least you’ll find yourself with some pretty good dating stories to tell and maybe even some new friends too.

Don’t settle

The first month of the year is a reflective time for everyone. And in terms of love, it can mean thinking of old relationships and longing to have love in your life again. So if you find yourself reaching for your phone and constructing a text to an old partner or stalking an old lovers Facebook page, stop!

There was a reason it didn’t work out. There was a reason you are no longer in contact. And maybe then it was right for you but something changed. Getting back together with your ex is like going backwards, which is not a good direction of travel.

So instead of traipsing down old love memory lane, focus on the New Year and new relationships. You deserve to find the best kind of person and be in a happy and loving relationship.

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Love has no time restraints

It may seem like everyone you know around you is in a relationship and their love is moving on the lines of marriage and babies and the only thing you feel love for is your Netflix account. It is only natural to compare your life to your friends and peers, but that doesn’t mean where they are in the lives is correct and that you’re behind. You should be happy for your friends who are loved up, maybe you can aspire to have a love like they have, but you shouldn’t put yourself down because you’re not there yet.

Prepare to kiss plenty of frogs

Love and relationships take time. You may be lucky and find your perfect match in a matter of dates, or it could take 100’s of swipes right, awkward dinners and small talk conversations. But finding love has no rulebook. There is no right or wrong way to find a relationship and you may have to spend many a weekend on your quest for love. There’s nothing wrong with you, you just haven’t found the right fit… yet! So pucker up and don’t give up! Your prince (or princess) is out there, somewhere.

Love yourself

They say before you can find love you have to learn to love yourself. And it is so true. How can you expect a person to accept the real you, 100% flaws and all if you can’t do it yourself? Everyone is unique, and there is someone out there who will match you perfectly and could make your year an extra special one. So before you throw your love to someone else, reserve some for you, because you are pretty awesome.

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Put yourself out there

Love will not just come to you as you’re sat on your sofa binge watching box sets. If you want to find love this year maybe make it your resolution to be open to new relationships, new experiences and new people. Get on a dating app or ask your friends to set you up with fellow singles they know. What’s the harm in giving out your phone number or asking someone for a coffee? You never know when you will find someone and it could be your perfect time now, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Elle works as a freelance singer, travelling the world performing on cruise ships and in hotels. Find her on Facebook or check out more about her writing on her website.

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