Every new year brings with it a renewed sense of motivation. You are imbued with a euphoric feeling that makes you re-organise your closet, take up bullet journaling, or set several alarms because you have suddenly decided to become a morning person. As the novelty of the new year wanes, and the mundane humdrum of life takes over, some of these resolves might wither away. However, the one resolution that young Indians, the world over, are firm about is to make all possible efforts to find love.
For K.S., 28, a London-based lawyer, the turn of the year is a reminder of how other people her age have settled down. “I was in a very long relationship that fell apart about two years ago. I never thought I would have to start over again,” she says. Having grown up witnessing her parent’s robust marriage, she knows what she wants—even though she’s uncertain if she’ll find it. “I'm scared that I'll become too jaded the longer I go without at least trying.”
Abodid Sahoo, a 29-year-old artist and researcher from London, is also reeling from the aftermath of a broken relationship. “My last relationship helped me understand my love language, what attracts me to someone physically, emotionally and intellectually, and how my own conditionings and past traumas in life affect the way I get attached to people.”
The idea of intentionally finding love via actionable, practical steps isn’t as bizarre as it might sound. Afterall, a great deal of the culture surrounding dating today is pretty methodical—down to construction of witty bios on dating apps and algorithmic determination of compatibility.
People have found many unique ways to make this resolution come true. Harshita Mallareddy, a 26-year-old management student from Mumbai, has her plan set in classic Type A fashion. “My plan is to cut off all my situationships, finish my MBA and find a really good job, get fit, and open all channels to find someone new through parents, friends, dating apps. I want to find communities, through book clubs or other activities like hiking, where I can meet like-minded people.”
Some, like Prishita Amin, a 22-year-old content writer from Gujarat, take the visual route to find clarity—she makes a visual board every year on which she lists out goals she intends to achieve. For others, like Manika Manocha, a 22-year-old literature student from New Delhi, it starts with a simple rule of going on at least two dates per month. “I’ve been single for a while and was so happy by myself that I wasn’t giving people a chance, even when they came into my life on their own,” says Manocha.
To seek a healthy love, one also needs to be ready to receive it. The resolution to fall in love then inadvertently also becomes one of improving oneself in order to be able to give and take love, as is the case for Sahoo. “While I’m looking to marry someone now, my own financial stability and clarity in my work and life is important. Without that I am unable to be the best version of myself, which is perhaps affecting the kind of people I am inviting into my life.”
Of course, just by expecting that the new year will magically help one find love might not always yield great outcomes. And while the tendency sounds bizarre, the idea of resolving to find love at the start of the year reminds me of this quote from the romantic classic, Before Sunrise (1995), which puts it all into perspective: “But loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it and stuff. But isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”
Delhi-based Nona Uppal writes on love and relationships. She is on Instagram @nonauppal