Although many people don’t particularly enjoy the New Year holiday celebrations, I love them. It’s probably connected to my love for planning and goal setting, but I’ve always loved this time of year. But deeper than planners and new calendar pages, I think my love of this time of year has more to do with the fact that I also love the hope and promise of what a new year brings. There are always opportunities to grow, learn, heal, or pursue a creative dream or talent.
Maybe you have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions, or perhaps they excite you to no end. Regardless of how you feel, as we head into a new year, here’s a handful of resolutions to make (and not make!) when it comes to dating as a Catholic single.
Resolutions to add to your list this year
Learn about your attachment style
I’ve read several books on attachment styles over the past year. They’ve provided helpful insight for me. Seeing what my attachment style was in my family of origin has helped me see how that plays out and affects my dating relationships with men.
Attachment theory looks at how our first relationships to our parents affect our bonding and attachment in relationships as we become adults. Learning about this in your own life can be a helpful and practical tool for you regardless of your current relationship status as a Catholic man or woman.
Create an intentional dating plan
Having a plan for important tasks like dating can allow you to feel more focused and intentional. I learned about this concept from a dating coach I have been learning from the last month or so. Her recommendation is for people to draft an intentional dating plan to help them get the most from their dating experience while looking for and working on personal growth areas.
A plan can hold you accountable and serve as a guide for tangible growth and progress.
Pursue a new creative talent or interest
One of my creative projects is writing. It invigorates me and fills up my spirit. There is something relaxing and thrilling about getting my thoughts and words out on paper. Writing helps me think, learn, and process better. In little ways, it is exciting to see how that interest has opened doors for me in other ways.
This year, dedicate a bit more time to that creative passion or project you have been putting on the back burner. Maybe it is knitting or watercolor painting. Perhaps it is writing or learning a cooking technique from a Masterclass course.
Take the time to nourish yourself by nourishing your own creative interests. Even if they seem small compared to everything else going on in your life, they absolutely matter.
Resolve to leave these things behind
Negative self talk
We’ve all spoke badly about ourselves at one time or another. But that’s not good for our mental, spiritual, or emotional health at all. There is always power in our words, both the positive and negative ones we utter.
Negative self talk is probably one of the worst things we can do to ourselves as single Catholic men and women. All too often, the words we believe or say to ourselves are the words we say to ourselves that we would never say to other people.
What if you stopped (or at least became much more aware of!) the negative self talk towards yourself this year? How would that internal change make you feel differently about yourself? If that has been a struggle for you before, this year could be the year you leave that all behind.
Not having boundaries
If there were one book I think everyone needs to read, it would be “Boundaries” by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend. Boundaries are such an important part of healthy relationships with self and others, yet sometimes easily overlooked or not paid attention to.
Living life without personal and relationship boundaries is not healthy or wise. Choosing to live without boundaries can lead to relational chaos. Boundaries both work to keep you safe as an individual but also help you take responsibility for yourself and knowing where you begin and end and where another person begins and ends.
If you find some relationships in your life are struggling right now, pick up a copy of “Boundaries” to help you evaluate where are some growth opportunities for you as an individual and also in your personal relationships.
Being an unhealthy dater
I know as I look back on my life since divorce and annulment, I have learned a lot about myself. But more importantly, I’ve learned about what it means to be a healthy dater. Part of my healing journey has been unlearning things from my own wounds and hurts, realizing how that hurts me in dating.
Are there unhealthy patterns you sometimes fall back on when it comes to dating? If so, what are they and what can you do about them? When we know better, we do better.
Think of this year as an opportunity to work and grow on yourselves to help you let go of any unhealthy dating patterns.
Are you a News Year’s resolution type of person?
What could be some helpful resolutions to make for yourself?
What would be some non-helpful ones to make?
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