Are you naughty or nice when it comes to relationships? The only people who may really be able to answer this are the ladies you’ve dated. Since the coming of a new year calls for both looking into your past and moving forward into the future, take a moment to reflect upon your not-so-great memories. Did you miss your chance at love, or perhaps pushed someone away, or maybe you were a little to judgmental? Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can help make yours better.

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1. Stop making excuses

Quit complaining to your best friends that you never meet anyone you like or that no girls like you. Remember, there is someone for everyone—you just have to find her. No one says you have to lower your standards, but maybe you should re-evaluate them. You may be too picky and just not opening your eyes up to a few good ones that you let get away. Put yourself out there (and that doesn’t mean go out a few more nights a week to your favorite pub). Ask your friends if they know anyone that you have something in common with. Your friends can be great judges of character for you—maybe even seeing things in you or someone else that you’re missing.

2. Online dating: Just do it already

You know everyone else is already doing it, so why aren’t you? Get rid of that stigma you’ve created in your head and just get over it already. Online dating websites can teach you a lot about what you’re looking for or what type of girls you’re attracting. Create a genuine profile and upload your best picture, and see what happens. If the women you’ve been matched up with are not your cup of tea, then take a deeper look at what you wrote about yourself or what you said you wanted in someone else. Did you not open up enough?

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3. Recognize that girls are not “crazy”

You don’t have to call girls “crazy” or “psycho” just because you aren’t digging them. Did she call you one too many times or move a little too fast and you got freaked out? Well, she just likes you. And if she’s crazy for liking you, that’s not saying much about yourself. From now on, take it as a sign of flattery, and if you aren’t into her or you’re on different pages just move on nicely. But quit calling her crazy.

4. Remember that looks don’t matter that much

We wouldn’t keep saying this if it weren’t true. Even though she may not have the longest blonde hair, or the leanest legs, she could still be a great catch. Unless you’ve got nothing to talk about, go out a few times. When you start to get to know someone beyond what they look like, you’ll be surprised to find out that you can still find her beautiful regardless of your initial impression. An emotional connection can take your relationship to deeper levels than a physical one. At the end of the day you’re going to want to have a good conversation with someone you’re hot for in other ways.

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5. Get a makeover

Do you look at yourself in the mirror every time you go out? If not, you should. A little extra attention to your wardrobe can go a long way. Girls obviously love shopping and they’re pretty good at it, so why wouldn’t they be critiquing your style? Looks may not be the most important thing, but you should still present yourself in the best style possible. Get rid of your 12-year-old clothes (the hoody, T-shirt, sneaker combo) and check out an Express for Men or Kenneth Cole. Places like these are guaranteed to have your favorite things—only in a more stylish way. If you expect her to care about how she looks when you go out, then why shouldn’t you?

6. Do something childish with her

The typical dinner and movie thing is getting old. Don’t suggest this until you’ve hit the one-month marker. Do something adventurous or even something you haven’t done since you were a kid. If you’ve never gone rollerblading or you have two left feet when you hit the dance floor, trying something you’re not comfortable with can bring you out of your shell on the first few dates. Plus, girls like to see your vulnerable side every once in a while. It makes you more human and easier to connect with. Experiencing something challenging together is sure to bring you closer—or at least make you stand out in the crowd.

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7. Be romantic

Show her chivalry really isn’t dead. It’s just been forgotten. If you ask for her number when you’re out at a bar, call her the next day. Don’t wait three days (we have no idea who made up that silly rule). If you really like her, what’s the point in making her think otherwise? And I said the key word: call her. Don’t text or email. Dial her number and ask her out. Pick her up at her place (flowers are welcome, but not always necessary; she’ll be blown away that you’ve been such a gentleman so far). If you’re going to dinner, ask her what she’d like to order first (remember, ladies first with everything). And if you like her, wait. Don’t try to move too fast. Those fireworks will go off when the time is right.