At the end of every year, the new common refrain we all collectively find ourselves inundated with is “New year, new me.”

While that sentiment sounds awesome in theory, the reality is that many of us drag our same old, tired, and frustrated selves into January 1st and beyond. And whether you’re single or in a relationship, far too many of us make plans to be better people, but we never capitalize on them because, well, change is hard as hell.

But change is not impossible.

Whether you’re looking to find love in 2017, or just be a better man/woman to your significant other, your mentality should be focused heavily on what you can control and cut out of your life as soon as humanly possible. This doesn’t mean inundating yourself with unrealistic and laborious demands; it means introspectively analyzing the things that cause you headaches and committing yourself to avoiding them. Of course we all have different issues, but here’s a list of ten love habits to drop in 2017.

1. Label Begging

“So…what are we?”

There is no damn reason you should be uttering this phrase in 2017 and beyond. If you have to ask, then the answer is not what you want. Contrary to common belief, many relationship titles are willingly dispensed every single day. People are joyously jumping into becoming couples everywhere around you. It is not the tooth-pulling process that some folks have tried to convince you it is, so put your damn pliers away and realize it’s not your job to convince someone you’re “good enough” to be with them. If they can’t see it and they just dodge giving your relationship a serious title in hopes it just remains a “situationship,” then you need to keep it moving for your own sanity.

2. All-Text Convos

Six years ago, when BlackBerry Messenger was the rage, I wrote an article about how more and more people were having their first dates without having ever verbally spoken to each other first. People called me crazy for stating that happened, and claimed I was making stuff up. Fast forward to the end of 2016 where BBM isn’t popping anymore, and that has become almost the norm. The problem with these all-text convos is that people are developing “e-chemistry” which works online, but may not necessarily cross over to real life. Most of us invent the other person’s voice in our head, their laugh, their mannerisms and their cute ticks. But, without talking first and developing actual live-action chemistry, folks are going out and meeting people who are NOT what they thought they’d be in their head.

3. “Hey Big Head”

Do. Not. Respond.

When people try to jump back into our lives, we have a curious way of forgetting why we let that person go in the first damn place. Make sure to remind yourself in the new year.

4. Hope Dating

As we discussed here, date people for who they are today, not who you think they have the potential to be tomorrow.

5. Lost & Found Hunting

If someone you’re talking to goes ghost out of the blue and shuts off all communication with you, it may be reasonable to check on them—if you have a legitimate safety fear, but NEVER let that person back into your love life. They cut you off because they see you as disposable. The idea that you should continually run them down after they ghosted you is ridiculous.

6. Calling Everything “Thirsty”

In an age where showing interest has become “corny,” make sure you’re not joining in with the crowd and labeling folks who just want to get to know you as “thirsty” right out the gate. It doesn’t mean that thirst doesn’t exist (because clearly it does), just avoid grouping genuine requests in with the musty, dehydrated ones.

7. Catcalling

This IS thirsty…and stupid…and pointless…and disrespectful. Approaching a woman in real life is not a bad thing, but yelling, “Eh big-batty-gyal in the blue shirt!” followed by some Dipset/National Geographic bird call is not what’s hot in the streets.

8. Richard-pic Sending

Sending d*ck (or Richard if you’re classy) pictures is not what’s hot in the streets. There’s a million ways to conduct your own successful thirst-trap without subjecting Richard to an improptu photoshoot before he’s even had an opportunity to bathe, lotion, and shave his scraggly hairs.

9. Shot Clocking

Stop racing against the clock. You’re not “too old.”


10. Third Chances

If you find yourself in a circumstance where you’re experiencing the worst kind of deja vu, that’s a sign that you need to abandon the situation you’re currently in.

[bonus] Love ultimatums

Please stop playing the, “Do this or else” game in 2017. It’s childish.

Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.