The New Year has arrived, and many of us are feeling that twinge that says now is the time to make changes in our love-life.  Here are the New Year’s Relationship Resolutions for today’s professional women that my research discovered as the best ways to be smart about romance.  Make a copy of this list and place it in your handbag, in the kitchen your bedroom, bathroom and car.  Read it out loud and often.

1. I will let go of past hurts and learn from them.  I want to find love that works, so I know I will have to be emotionally brave, open my heart to my partner and be less defensive. Life is short.  If I am serious about wanting to meet men, I will introduce myself to three men each week who interest me.

2. I will stop being so afraid of making mistakes—of any kind. Life is trial-and-error for everyone.  Smart women take moderate risks, try new things and aren’t afraid to make mistakes or look silly.  I can recover from missteps. I don’t need to be perfect in order to be loved.

3. I will use words, tones and actions that I would want my partner to use with me,
and I will say I’m sorry when I should. Critical and rejecting styles are a kiss of death
to love—and so is micromanaging.  No one ever learned from being lectured to or
prevented from developing his or her own successful style.

4. I will make a list of my positive characteristics, accomplishments and triumphs over hard times to remind myself that I am worthy of love.  I am a good person—even if I have done things in the past I don’t like.  I don’t have to settle for an unwise choice or avoid love by being so picky that no man can ever make me drop my guard.

5. I will date “against” my usual type of men.  If dating the same type hasn’t worked, then I know I must change my selection.  “Chemistry” is not necessarily instant. I will give men second chances and learn about my needs, biases and defenses by dating lots of different kinds of men.

6. I will re-examine what my family history has taught me about men, women, trust, love and life in general.  I do not have to abide by these all their views, especially if they have prevented me from having a healthy relationship.

7. I will stop choosing men who disrespect me or whom I have to save, rescue or
excuse.  I will look for a man who is reliable and can pull his relationship weight.

Dr. LeslieBeth Wish is a nationally recognized psychologist & licensed clinical social worker, specializing in women’s issues in love, work and life.  Go to her website to learn more and join her research project for women. Dr. Wish’s expert advice appears in major publications such as “Cosmopolitan,” “Women’s Health, “USA Today,” and in her online features and columns for several major self-help websites.