Here's Why — & How — I'm Drastically Changing My Love Life

I dated a lot last year. Like, a lot. I had one night stands, months-long flings, and revisits with exes. But I finished the year pretty much single, and I made a lot of mistakes. I took someone back who I knew I shouldn't have; I spent way too much time with someone completely inappropriate; I hooked up with a lover's friend; and I foolishly tried to turn a fling that was obviously not going anywhere into something bigger.

I like being single, and I love dating — those first whisky-blurred nights, the butterflies, the moment your crush messages — and I don't intend to give it up. But I have given too much time this year to the wrong people, to pining over someone who would only ever invite me out at 9 p.m., or watching in horror as an ex's new relationship unfurled on social media, or weeping at a bus stop because someone who everyone said would let me down eventually did.

Dating now is a minefield of ghosting, social media stalking, and longing. It can be rough out there, and you have to feel the roughness before you realize that you not only need to protect yourself, but reserve your time for the people who are worthy of it. So, here are my dating resolutions for 2016 to ensure my personal life is fun, rewarding, and empowering — not a trial. I'm ready for you 2016.