This is part nine of Looking for Resolutions in all the Right Places, in which we look at the top 10 most commonly chosen New Year’s resolutions and see if they are all that and a bag of potato chips (so to speak).

If by “fall in love” for this New Year’s resolution you man mean Ryan Gosling will come along and hey-girl you silly then you will be disappointed. I don’t think even Ryan Gosling is Ryan Gosling enough to be Ryan Gosling.

None the less, let’s try and narrow down what “fall in love” means in the New Year’s resolution context:

  1. I think we can assume you will want to fall in love in the way that has sexy results. This excludes platonic love, friendzone love, comradely love, family love and pet love.
  2. Let’s also assume you are going to want to still be in love with this person when not under the influence the of drugs and/or alcohol.
  3. We can also exclude long distance and online relationships – you’ll need to actually meet this person before you can fall in love with them. If you own your own private jet and can travel this expands your options. If you live in an airship that constantly travels the world however you have unlimited options and it would just be totally cool.
  4. A bit of attraction on some level is also probably going to be required since it is a bit hard to fall in love with someone if you find them repulsive.

So already we’ve cut down the list of people you can potentially fall in love with, now comes the hard part – they also have to fall in love with you too.

Falling in love is easy. The hard bit is coordinating it with someone else.

You will never, ever, under any circumstances force someone to love you.

Sure, you can try being sneaky, pretend to be someone you aren’t, fake a pregnancy, murder all the competition, constantly feed them an endless supply of mind altering drugs and/or chain them to your repulsor sled,but none of these strategies will work in the long term. If TV has told us anything, it’s that faking a pregnancy is a lot of work, as is murder. Mind altering drugs are expensive and there’s always a chance your love interest will overdose and die on you. As for chaining them to your repulsor sled – well all it takes is one upstart Jedi and all of sudden you are being strangled by the chain you secured them with and then someone goes and blows up your expensive sail barge. Regardless, tricking someone into loving you means that deep down you will always know it is a lie.

This is where this New Year’s resolution starts to unravel. New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be about things that you can do to make changes in your own life. The “fall in love” resolution on the other hand requires the willing participation of someone else. So if you insist on putting this one on your list of New Year’s resolutions, here are 4 steps to completely redefine it and make it actually achievable:

Step 1: Exclude the desire for sexy results

Sexy results require consent. If you don’t get consent for your sexy results, you are engaging in either rape, paedophilia and/or bestiality depending on who is involved – and those things are definitely not love. Sex with consent and the exchange of money is called prostitution, which isn’t love either, that’s just a business transaction. Sexy results require consent, consent is out of your control, anything on your New Year’s resolutions list should be something you can control, so there should be no expectation of sexy results on your New Year’s resolution list.

Step 2: Exclude living things

As we found out in Jurassic Park, “life finds a way” – and that way largely involves doing something completely outside your control. For example, you might show your bonsai a lot of attention, water it, feed it, sing to it – but it’s still just going to sit there photosynthesising all day whether you love it or not. Your cat doesn’t love you either, it’s just looking for a meal and someone to mark its territory. As for dogs – a dog isn’t showing you affection when it licks your face, or wants to sit in your lap, to a dog that means it is dominant and you are the runt of the pack that gets them food. You can’t force a living thing to love you, therefore it can’t be on your New Year’s resolution list.

Lady and the Tramp - Disney

Lady and the Tramp – Disney


Step 3: Exclude inanimate objects you can buy

In the absence of sexy results and living things, most people resort to buying stuff to fill the emotional void. While it is true that you have control over the objects you buy, the fact that it is relatively easy to acquire them ultimately undermines the value of any loving relationship you might have with them. Plus inanimate objects can’t love you back – unless you have a robot, but all of the robots these days look kinda creepy and aren’t too bright so they don’t love you either, they just just pretend to. Then they run into walls and fall over and need you to stand them up again.

Step 4: Fall in love with an idea

Having excluded sexy results, living things and inanimate objects, that doesn’t leave much right? Well actually it still leaves the best thing to fall in love with – and idea!

Good ideas are hard to come by. Even if you just copy someone else’s good idea it still requires a lot of work. Loving an idea is hard – people will question it, test it, analyse it, criticise it, mock it, challenge it, call it names, misunderstand it, misrepresent it, try to steal it off you, try to destroy it and generally try to mess with it. True love for an idea can withstand all those things however and like breaking a bone in a street fight with a crime lord, it will only grow stronger with repeated stress.

You don’t need permission to love an idea, and the idea will love you back unconditionally. It’s your idea after all, you can make it do whatever you want.

Some examples of ideas and their lovers

The Socialist who attends every protest rally in the hope that this will be the rally that sparks the Revolution so they can can tell their Revolutionary children stories about how they were at the barricades the day that the ruling class was overthrown and the proletariat took control of the means of production.

Vive le Revolution: the lover that is always just out of reach.

The Gym Junkie who only ever works out his biceps and never works on his legs. He loves the idea of big biceps and looks in adoration of them every day so his build is completely out of proportion.

Every day is Arms Day: the lover that can lift heavy objects in one very specific direction.

The Business Tycoon who is so in love with the idea of being famous that they spend millions of their wealth securing naming rights to a cash strapped charity. Every time they look upon that giant sign with their name on a large building next to a major road, they don’t think of how much it cost them, they think about how in love they are with how big their name is. 

Naming Rights: the lover that keeps on giving as long as you do. 

The Scientist who doggedly persists in loving the scientific method in a world of deniers, nay-sayers and conspiracy theorists intent on distorting evidence, arousing fear and making wild allegations.

The Scientific Method – the lover that no one understands, but you.

The Verdict

If you put “fall in love” on your New Year’s resolutions list this year, then you’re doing New Year’s resolutions wrong. You want some loving? Writing an ambiguous and unrealistic expectation that someone else you love will suddenly feel the same way at the same time is not going to work.

Should “fall in love” be on your next set of New Year’s resolutions? Only if you’re prepared to fall in love with an idea – it’s not going to work for sexy results, living things, inanimate objects and Ryan Gosling.

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