Life & Culture

All I want for 2024 is my own meet cute

Findng love in unexpected places happens all the time, says our dating columnist, so why not to her?


What are your romance goals for 2024?

It is the beginning of a new year so naturally, those out in the wild (or on the dating scene), are reflecting on their past 12 months of dates. Or, as some might like to call it, their 2023 dating adventures wrapped. How many times were you ghosted or were you the ghoster last year? How many suitors did you meet on dating apps, in real life or on set-ups? What was the winning date location of the year? Did coffee dates take top spot or did the pub pip dinner to the post?

Looking back and reviewing your yearly dating statistics is a humbling exercise. Being able to laugh at yourself and fully embrace the absolute chaos that dates can be is a superpower we shouldn’t downplay. First dates in particular can be brutal and wildly unpredictable. You could be about to meet a narcissist or your soulmate or anything in between. Nothing can really brace you for a first date (other than some tequila).

Now let me remind you, I went on 28 blind dates in 28 days in February 2023. Some might say I peaked too early. I set the bar numerically pretty high near the top of the year. But for me, February was a dating voyage like no other. It may have given me a head start in terms of number of first-date stats for the year, but the lessons I learned about myself, about fellow singletons and the ability to connect with people mattered far more than the figures I racked up.

What followed was a well-deserved dating hiatus for a couple of months. As the summer season approached, I ventured back out in the wild and stacked up some fun stats to add to February’s antics.

There was a solid second date with a guy from south London, a tentative second meet with “dog man” who turned into a mutual ghost and then there was one guy who well and truly did a number on me. We won’t talk about him.

Now that 2024 has landed it is the perfect time to set your dating goals for the year. Perhaps you want to say yes more to spontaneous social plans. Or are you going to be more open to dating shorter men?
Maybe you are saying no to dinner dates this year and adopting my get-in-and-get-out first-date strategy. Claim your own dating era rather than letting it claim you.

I, for one, am on the meet cute train this year. I am fascinated by the serendipitous ways people have met their other halves; it is the first question I ask any couple I meet. And I am pretty sure it can happen to anyone, so I’ll be embracing the weird and wonderful ways we meet and connect with people this year.

Whatever this may look like for you, being honest with yourself about your dating goals is an great way to ring in the new year. Making even the smallest adjustment to your approach could be the road that leads you to your very last first date. It’s time to make your own rules — they don’t call it the dating game for nothing.

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