lasting loveDid you spend another New Year’s Eve alone, watching the ball drop on TV, and eating straight out of a carton of Chunky Monkey? Maybe you were at a New Year’s party with friends, wishing you had someone to kiss at midnight.

If you’re sick of spending the holidays alone, and you want to find lasting love, you can make it happen. And you can even find love this year. No excuses! I don’t care how old or out of shape you are, how dismal your relationship past has been, or whether you live in a small town without any eligible singles. It’s never too late to find lasting love.

You’ll need a positive mindset and you probably need to tweak some of your dating practices. With a little effort, you’ll soon be in a relationship with the love of your life. Really.

5 steps to finding lasting love in the New Year

1. If the chemistry is a ten, run away.

When the attraction is off the charts, it’s almost impossible to be yourself. There’s a good chance you’ll put him on a pedestal, which will leave you in a disempowered position. He can only look down at you, which is not what you want.

Attraction is important in a relationship, but not when you lose yourself. So, look for someone you’re attracted to, but tone down the attraction factor by a few notches. Pay closer attention to the “maybes”. If he’s a seven out of ten, the relationship will have a greater chance at succeeding.

2. Look for a best friend first.

If you’re searching for a long-term relationship, you’ll want a best friend, someone you can trust, confide in, and accept without trying to change. A relationship built on respect and common interests will have a stronger chance of success. And the fun factor will be so much higher. A good laugh with your partner will help you weather many storms. So, take time to build a friendship before you let attraction blind you to potential red flags. Attraction can grow, but a relationship built on a weak foundation will just crash and burn.

3. Make sure she’s not a fair weather girlfriend.

You know those friends who love to hang out with you when things are going well, but when things fall apart, they are nowhere to be found? Those are not your real friends. A crisis brings out your truest friends. They rise to the occasion. Same holds true for a good boyfriend. He’s there to give you a head massage and bring you chicken soup when you have a bad cold, comfort you when your parent is in the hospital, and just show up when life gets hard. Because let’s face it, this is real life. Stuff happens. Choose the partner who is there for you when the stuff hits the fan.

4. Learn how to express your feelings and needs.

Don’t stuff your emotions. Men are not mind readers. Let him know what you need from him and ask him what he needs from you. And speak your truth from day one. It’s not always easy. I have spent the past few decades perfecting the art of honest and compassionate communication, especially when feelings are hurt. The quality of my relationships has improved and deepened in ways I never dreamed possible. So, consistently express your feelings and needs if you want a long-lasting authentic relationship.

5. Have a love vision.

If you can imagine your future boyfriend—not what he looks like, but what his personality will be like, what activities you’ll enjoy together, and especially how you’ll feel when you’re together—you will attract him into your life. Yeah, I know, it sounds a little woo-woo, but this is based on solid evidence. It’s all about getting clear with who your ideal partner will be and how you’ll recognize him when he shows up.

Without clarity, it’s hard to bring anything into your life. Try this: walk into Dunkin’ Donuts and ask for a donut. You might get one that’s chocolate covered, or a strawberry crème filled donut, or one that’s filled with Bavarian creme. Chances are, you won’t get what you really want, even though those other flavors might taste good.

But what if you asked for exactly what you are craving—a classic glazed Croissant Donut with chocolatey fudge filling, topped with white and chocolate icing drizzle? (Is your mouth watering? Mine is!) You’d get exactly what you wanted. And you’d be so much happier. Right? You get the picture.

Imagine this: It’s a year from now. It’s midnight on New Year’s Eve. And you’re in the most amazing relationship of your life, giving your boyfriend a kiss that makes his toes curl.

You can begin to attract true lasting love today by taking these five steps. One step at a time ’til the next auld lang syne, and the kiss of a lifetime.

Happy New Year, Happy New Love!

What steps will you take to find lasting love this year? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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