By Kate Maurer

I like making lots of New Year’s resolutions. This year I’m going to get more exercise and stop ordering rubbish gadgets from dodgy websites. I have also realised that my social life could use some attention having spent a year of flat-out working. So here’s my list and maybe a few of them could work for you, too!

10. I will explore new hobbies and interests.
You’re thinking, “What does this have to do with dating,” right? Well, a lot actually! Let me tell you, the thing I love the most is when I’m at a party and someone asks what I do for a living. When I tell them I work for, literally the room will come to a standstill and then you’ve never seen someone become so popular so fast. When I tell them I regularly go out on dates, the questions fire out even faster. Dating interests everyone, single or married. I bet you’ll see some of your friends come up in your search results. Go on, go have a look now!

9. I will give someone a chance.
Sooner or later, whether it’s at the local quiz night or browsing, I’ll meet someone who falls outside my description of the person I think I’m looking for.  Yes, I admit, I’m often searching and wondering if George Clooney’s ever going to put up his profile. But just recently, I’ve been checking out a few profiles that don’t fall into “I am a female looking for a Hollywood God” description. Maybe he isn’t 6’2″ with the physique of Johnny Wilkinson or maybe he wasn’t educated at Eton like Prince Wills, but maybe he’s into snowboarding and has a sense of humour that’ll have me falling off my chair. Anyway, I’ll see what happens. What do I have to lose?

8. I will stop falling for the idea of a person.
As soon as I hear that someone has a fascinating occupation or background, I create this story in my head: “If he’s an architect, we could have such profound conversations about composition.” I will knock that off and wait to learn who people really are (I wonder what our house will look like…)! 

7. I will start flirting more.
I don’t know about you, but when I take the tube and bus to work every day, I’ve normally got my head firmly ensconced in a book and rarely check out the other passengers. That’s two hours every day that I could be flirting with a really nice man. So I shall take time to look and if I see someone I like, I may just flash him a flirtatious smile.

6. I will not make too much eye contact.
While it’s sensible and good dating etiquette to look your date in the eye during conversation, gazing too deeply tends to mesmerize the weaker-minded boys or scare off potential winners.

5. I will not tell my life story on a first date.
Nor will I tell him about my ex-boyfriends and how pathetic they were. I’m all for honesty, but a little privacy is good at first. Besides, the present and the future make great conversation, too.

4. I will let him have a word in edgeways.
It is, after all, polite to have a two-way conversation!  

3. I will be straightforward with decent people who I am not interested in
Pursuing a relationship with. I will practice these lines for use in emails and phone messages: “Thanks for your reply, but I don’t think we’re a match. Good luck.” and “I had a nice time on Friday, but I can’t see us working out. Thanks for the evening, and good luck.”

2. I will play my favourite girl-power tunes
Before I go out on a date to get me pumped up and feeling confident.

1. I will bounce better
If I learned anything from last year, it’s that a bit of disappointment is part of the dating game and you’ve got to move on.