New year, new start, new love?

Okay, by now your hangover should have cleared up (if not, I’m partying with you, next New Year), you’re back at work and the memory of that guy or girl you picked up to get you through the festive season is just a ghost of Christmas past.

It’s the first week of January and it’s time to put a stake in the ground and take stock of your life up to this point. Now, this is not ground-breaking stuff that we’re going to be covering in the next couple of articles but they should serve as timely reminders to prove to be a springboard for what 2012 can hold if you make the best use of your dating sites. Use what you’ve learnt to date – the bad gunky as well as the happier lessons – and dive right in. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll find that the water’s lovely. You won’t even need a rubber ring!

Set realistic goals for your love life – there’s no rushing Mr or Mrs Right

Failure. It’s such a disheartening word but one many people connect with come the second week of the year. That’s because so many people set resolutions that are, frankly, unrealistic.

Falling in love by Valentine’s Day is perhaps a good example, but there are many others.

Weightloss is another classic that millions of people plump for as one year ends and another begins. What happens? Lack of planning, unrealistic goals and a lack of support from others often sees ‘dieting’ hopefuls bingeing before you can say Twelfth Night.

What people fail to appreciate – sticking with the weightloss example for a moment – is that it’s taken perhaps a lifetime of bad habits to get to the point where you’ve decided you’ve got to do something about it. That is a lot to change without professional help, which is why so many people fail before they even start.  Diets – like online dating sites – are not one size fits all, but are successful if you play them to your strengths.

Your love life is really no different to failed diets. If you have a succession of failure, always tripping up over the same hurdles but not learning from the mistakes, you are only kidding yourself by telling yourself you’re going to snare a partner in six weeks, or less if you’ve just decided that February 14th is your cut-off date for kindling that new, special relationship.

My guess is that, if you’re the type of person who got together with someone to get you through Christmas, you’re also the most likely candidate to be looking desperately for someone you can smother on Valentine’s Day purely in the hope of being spoilt, back. Even to the extent that you may already be considering that bod who got you through the last week of 2011, although you were glad to see the back of them come January 2nd?

Don’t do it! You’re just wasting your time and theirs. Instead, take a long, hard look in the mirror and be honest with the person looking back at you. Remember that stake in the ground – remember the bad gunky scars, but do not re-open the wound and bleed all over again – all that stuff’s the other side of your new marker.

From now on, it’s ‘Onwards and upwards’.