As the year is coming to a close and new episodes of Love is Blind and Too Hot To Handle are released, you might be thinking that at this point, it’s time to audition for the next season of dating shows yourself.

But, before you call your casting agents that you don’t even have, Dating Coach Michelle Wax has some tips to keep in mind when thinking about this next year of putting yourself out there.

For starters, take a moment and do an audit of the past year and all the dates you went on. What worked? What sucked? What made you want to apply for a dating show? What kind of people were you going on dates with? What kind of setting did your dates take place in?

One of Wax’s favorite quotes is the following:

“If you want something different, you have to do something differently.”

Wax says that going into the new year, it’s time to put less focus on the past and what did or did not happen and think about the opportunities you want to create for yourself in the future.

It’s important to set dating intentions and not necessarily resolutions, for the latter word has a connotation of a timeline being involved and adds pressure to the situation.

“If you set the deadline of meeting someone by February 15th, and it doesn’t happen, you are likely going to feel frustrated and disappointed,” Wax said. “With dating, you have to build the trust of the unique timeline you are on and build the belief that your person is circling closer and closer each day.”

To do so, you have to first get in the right mindset. If you go into dates expecting them not to go well because the past ones you’ve been on were all duds, then odds are, it isn’t going to end well. You need to be aware of the energy you are showing up with but also be aware of the energy that the other person is putting into the date as well.

You might be giving too much energy before receiving it back. For example, if you are the one who made the initial ask, let them pick the place or activity to do. Don’t be the one to ask, make the plan and confirm, because that just shows that you two are probably looking for different things.

As for how you can find someone who is looking for the same thing as you…think about your dating life like an investment portfolio – what can you do to diversify it? That might mean continuing to use the dating apps, but also giving your best effort at meeting people in real life. Or, if you haven’t tried dating apps before, make yourself an account and see how you feel.

BUT – make sure that when choosing an event to attend, that it’s actually one you want to be at and are interested in. It’s important that you get value out of it and it’s not something you are doing just to try and find a date. If you go just to meet someone, that is where the disappointment comes in. Wax recommends finding an intramural sports league, joining a club or connecting through an alumni association. Find something you are passionate about.

She also recommends becoming a local somewhere, like at a coffee shop, a gym, a bar or even an art studio. When you get to know the people who work there or who go there as regularly as you do, the familiarity becomes comfortable and leads to possible introductions. You might not fall in love with your barista, but you never know who your barista may know…

So, whether you join a pickleball league at PKL or go to Trivia Tuesdays at Stats Bar & Grille, Southie’s local businesses are here to help. And don’t think just because you are trying to prioritize your dating life, that means you have to go on 5 dates a week. There is no right number or limit, it all depends on how you feel!

And if you need a little extra guidance, Wax is hosting an upcoming virtual workshop called, “Prioritizing your dating and relationship goals for 2023,” on January 11th. Sign up for the workshop instead of the dating shows!

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