So You’ve Decided to Start Dating in the New Year

Dena Landon

By Dena Landon | Jan 12th, 2023

I’m single again, though a bit battered and bruised after the last boyfriend. I think we can all relate to that feeling, even if we were the partner who initiated the divorce, it’s not easy putting yourself back out there for love.

Online dating can be hell. Baggage from the past weighs a little more after a divorce, or you might have added to the set. But the pull and need for human connection, touch and sex, love and intimacy, often override our innate desire not to be hurt again.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find love next year, here are some tips.

First, get right with yourself. No, really. If you’re not in a good space about dating and finding love, you’re not going to attract in the right quality of partner. If you’re feeling needy, you might settle for companionship rather than a great relationship. I’m re-reading several books that have helped me in the past, from “>Calling in “The One” to “>The Soulmate Secret and writing out the exercises.

Therapy has been a constant in my life for years, but I’m focusing on relationships and breaking patterns when I talk to my therapist this month. I want to be in a strong, focused and secure place before I try to find a partner, or I know I’ll just repeat past mistakes. A positive attitude is key, or you’ll attract another negative person into your life. If you find yourself getting cynical, which I often do, take a step back or a night off to refocus.

Second, get out of your comfort zone. A lot of people who made New Year’s resolutions will be at the gym or yoga studio. Or they might have signed up for a pottery class. Now is this time to connect with everyone else looking to change their life before we all crawl back into our caves to hibernate the rest of winter.

Think about common New Year’s resolutions and where new people might show up, and get yourself out of the house. Meet them at a new class, a new studio, or a new restaurant. Keep your eyes and heart open.

A positive attitude is key, or you’ll attract another negative person into your life. If you find yourself getting cynical, which I often do, take a step back or a night off to refocus.

Third, reconnect with people in your life. During the busy holiday rush, it’s easy to let your focus narrow. Kids, family, keeping your head above water at work, it’s harder to see friends this time of year. Make it a point to meet an old friend for coffee, set up a knitting circle, or go ice skating.

Old friends might know single men that they could introduce you to, or a great guy might see you out having fun with your friends and be intrigued. But, beyond this, it fills up your love bank. I worked with a love coach last year, Kavita J. Patel, and she taught the participants in my workshop about keeping our love banks full.

It gets back to feeling less needy. Having completeness and joy in your interpersonal relationships with others even if they’re not romantic takes the edge off your loneliness and ensures that you don’t go out there looking for one person to fill all your needs.

Fourth, jump on an app. If you resolved to find love in the new year, so did many other people. Human connection is a basic need. January is the best time of year for online dating, according to, this is the busiest season on apps. So make the most of it!

I can’t guarantee that I’ll find love, and neither can you. I do know that being open to receiving it and getting myself out there improves my odds. Even if we don’t find romantic love, we’re guaranteed to have richer and fuller lives. That makes it all worthwhile.

Dena Landon

Dena Landon

Dena Landon's bylines have appeared in The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Salon and more. The proud mom of a boy, she specializes in parenting and divorce.


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