Life Advice



Erika Ettin: 10 dating goals and mantras for 2023 … and how to achieve them

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

There’s a reason the start of the new year goes hand in hand with creating resolutions and setting goals. Something about tossing out an old calendar and writing a new number every day feels like a clean slate, especially for those in the dating pool. Maybe you didn’t start 2023 off with a meaningful kiss at midnight — but that doesn’t mean this can’t be your best dating year ever.

I asked my Instagram followers what their 2023 dating mantras and goals were, and I was impressed with their pointed answers. If you haven’t set your dating-related resolution yet, feel free to “borrow” from these ideas.

1. Date NATO

I was excited to see a number of people mention they were going to implement the “dating NATO” strategy, inspired by the Amazon Prime show "Transparent." NATO stands for “not attached to outcome,” and it sums up so much of the advice I give to clients about not viewing a relationship that doesn’t lead to marriage/a long-term commitment as a failure. Instead of approaching each first date as the first step leading to your ultimate relationship goal, start at the beginning — meeting a new person — and be receptive to wherever it leads.

2. Go with the flow

It’s difficult to go into a relationship with zero expectations, but it always helps to keep an open mind. Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or seeing someone for a few months, try not to be constantly thinking about the next step. (Are we exclusive? When will I meet their family? Is it too early to discuss kids?) Don’t overthink. Instead, let the relationship progress naturally … and enjoy every step of the process of getting to know someone.


3. Don’t chase

A healthy relationship takes two. When you find yourself always being the first to initiate a conversation, constantly being the one to set up plans or generally feeling like you’re putting in much more effort than your partner, it may be time to move on. Attracting is not the same as chasing.

4. Take breaks when necessary

Dating can become overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to balance it with work, family, friends and all the other responsibilities that come with being a functioning adult. But your own well-being should always come first, even if that means taking a few weeks off the dating apps and sites here and there. It can be hard to not feel a sense of FOMO during these breaks, but don’t worry — Bumble isn’t going anywhere.


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