Dating Resolutions: How Not to Suck at Romance in 2019

Love and Sex

Dating Resolutions: How Not to Suck at Romance in 2019

Illustration: Akshita Monga

As the first day of the first month of the new year arrives, we gather around the the fireplace or Twitter and Facebook, making new year resolutions about getting that banger bod and quitting (or taking up) drinking/smoking. But we forget the one thing we should be making resolutions about: The biggest driver of emotional investment and embarrassing phone calls or drunk conversations every year that is dating.

So this year, for 2019, the year of years, the best year ever until the end of this year, let us resolve not to suck at dating. Here’s how.

1.  Don’t Be a Social-Media Stalker  

Sometimes, most times, our rare real-life encounters are converted into dates. We exchange Snapchat ids, and decide to get drinks next week. In that week though, we scour all info on our date, stalking their Instagram to Facebook to LinkedIn (what even are you?), creating a mental image of what s/he might be like. By the time the date happens, you’re prematurely underwhelmed. You’re disgusted at their choice of unfunny, garden-variety internet comics as they ignore Jim Jeffries. Or you’re extremely overwhelmed, seeing how they share the same affection for Frances Ha and obscure hipster bands only you thought you knew about. The date then is always weird, which becomes a game of defying or living up to expectations for both parties involved, defusing the tense naturalness of getting to know someone new, which is, always, ALWAYS, the best part of dating.

At worst, you’ll fleetingly experience something new and interesting.

2. Don’t Go Looking for Your Type

A few weeks ago, my male colleagues and I were discussing scruffy dudes with large eyes in tight jeans and cotton shirts, who walk into a party with a guitar, rock some sad music, and by the fourth drink, run the room. When another woman colleague walked in, we told her the premise, showed her a generic desi balladeer on Facebook, only to have her say, “Hey, he’s cute.”

That wasn’t a great story, but my point is that in 2019, don’t go looking for a “type”. Make a list of people you’ve dated, check their common traits, and date only those people who display none of them. Falling for “shared interests”, is an inefficient way of eliminating potential romances, so in 2019, be more experimental.

At worst, you’ll fleetingly experience something new and interesting. At best, you’ll have discovered your “type”.

3. Say No to Coffee Shops

Since time immemorial, women and men have gathered around courtyards and Reddit to find out how to plan interesting dates. Ladies, Gentlemen, this year, please don’t ask anyone for coffee or drinks.

If you want it to be casual, then newsflash, 9 pm drinks on Saturday isn’t casual, for it might lead to sex. Which leaves you with the burden of later explicitly making it casual. Or not. For if the date is just that, a date, an initiation of attraction to the mind and the booty, then for the love of whatever is holy, do something more interesting than heading to Starbucks.

Take them out for a ride at an ice-skating rink. Let them whoop your arse at pool. Or even try learning something together, like taking a salsa class. Literally anything other than you judging each other’s liver capacity will work.

When you are introduced to someone via a common friend, you don’t know whether you’ll go out for years or fight and never see each other again.

4. Dump Dating Apps

Call me old-school, but the 10 seconds that it takes you to walk across a crowded party or bar and utter the word, “Hey” to someone new, is an extremely underrated action. The adrenaline rush, the stutter in the step, the looking down at your shoe to not seem forceful, are the great joys of being young and stupid.

Unpopular opinion here, but apps like Tinder have normalised “ghosting”, and nullified a primordial reason why we date: the idea of possibility. When you are introduced to someone via a common friend, you don’t know whether you’ll hook up or go out for years or fight or just chat about something interesting. Tinder is goal-oriented, where people explicitly state what they want, eliminating the possibility of surprise. Sucks.

In 2019, change how you meet people. Some of you will be captivated, while some of you will go to bed lonely. Whatever the outcome, you will learn lessons for a lifetime.