Any Tony Robbins disciple or European football fanatic will tell you that it’s important to have goals.
Knowing exactly what you want to achieve allows you to conceive, plan, and execute on a clear path towards a desired future. But an important feature of goals is that in their statement, they drive unquestionably positive measures and resolutions.
In other words, it’s not enough that you have goals; what’s most important is that you have good goals.
Goals and resolutions can be bad by having one of two qualities: an inherent capacity for generally negative outcomes or a potential capacity for generally negative outcomes.
An example of inherent capacity for negative outcomes would be a goal like, “Achieving peaceful indifference towards my child’s level of education and compliance with the law.” Only Dina Lohan and Farrah Abraham would argue that it’s a “good” idea to waive parental responsibilities often associated with the avoidance of breeding dumb hooligans.
An example of potential capacity for negative outcomes would be a goal like, “I want to be rich.” With such an ambiguous finish line and no reflective guardrails, it isn’t hard to imagine someone straying from the ethical centre-lane by pushing low-rate mortgages on struggling families, or by fist-pumping and cheerleading uneducated twenty-somethings into a network marketing scheme, or by making a sex tape and marrying a famous rapper.
The same idea applies to ambitions in your love life.
Match.com, the online dating site with the largest active user base in North America, recently did a National survey of Canadian singles; the survey focused on “romantic resolutions”. We’re not sure exactly how the survey options were presented to the users, but what we are sure of is that the results are more than a little concerning.
52 Percent of Canadian Singles Resolve to Fall in Love in 2015
How can you possibly resolve to fall in love? What’s the follow-through? Will you take “Falling in Love 101” at your local community college? Will you ask your doctor for an under-the-desk hybrid prescription of Ecstasy & Viagra? Will you drastically alter your procedural requirements to exclude pesky commitment hurdles like “getting to know someone” and “looking for signs of Bieber-esque instability”?
It is very important to recognize that “not falling in love” is not really a problem. It’s a symptom of a lot of different factors, both internal and external; like fear of failure or narcissism or maybe not yet meeting someone who’s sufficiently compatible?!
If you are really eager to love and be loved, that’s totally natural and that’s great. That is a perfectly reasonable motive. But that cannot be a resolution. It leaves too much room for corner-cutting and aggressive self-concessions that may lead to the passive acceptance of some life-deflating zero as your lamer half.
Be honest about why you are struggling to find love and then make resolutions to directly and systematically cross the chasm.
42% of Canadian Singles Resolved to Go on More Dates
Only 24% Resolved to Date Outside their Social Circles
WTF ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING TO YOURSELVES?!?! Why is this not 100%??? We know the math curriculums in this country don’t quite stack up to Hong Kong or Finland but we’re pretty sure that anyone with a coin understands probabilities and that we all grasped the economics of alternative channels the minute someone bought a hair-straightener on eBay.
There is no reason to constrain yourself to such a miniscule slice of the population. Are you Beyoncé? No, you’re not Beyoncé. (Beyoncé, if you’re reading this, we apologize for the confusion; you are Beyoncé.) And even if you were, Instagram just bazooka’d over 800,000 of your friends so there’s no point in being unnecessarily exclusive with your romantic options.
Plus, entering a romantic world with no misleading expectations or unspoken pressures is a truly liberating experience and one that can foster more genuine connections.
Straight up, this should have been 100%.
19% of Single Canadians Resolved to Get Married
You can’t see us right now, but the face we’re making looks like we just watched a mother feed their baby a tequila shot. This is mind-blowing. How have people not clued in by now?
You should never want to get married before you meet someone you want to marry. Period.
“Getting married” is not a resolution. It’s a very personal, very serious decision that should be made only when you can clearly envision a long future of growth and inspiration with a very particular person.
Man, this is scary.
Look, nobody is trying to take the winds of romance out of your sky-high sails. As we have said, wanting to find love and connection is natural, and while we should all strive to be comfortable by ourselves, an appreciation for affection is just part of who we are. But if you’re not thoughtful and careful about how you seek out whatever it is you think you need from another person, your resolutions will very quickly turn into regrets.