Dating Resolutions for 2000.

Don't.

Ba-da-bing! Thank you. Thank you.

I told my dad I was writing this piece and he suggested that opening. Pretty good, huh? Easy for the Pops to throw that one out there since he's been happily married for nearly 30 years. It's been a long time since he's had to navigate the dating jungle. Dad, I've got news for you, it ain't pretty.

Anyway, since I'm not planning on walking down any aisles anytime soon, I decided maybe I should reevaluate my approach to the dating scene. I polled a bunch of friends (men and women) on what they're resolving to do in 2000 when it comes to dating. Here are six resolutions (a top-10 list is too cliche these days) culled from their responses and my own.

Disclaimer: The author hereby releases herself from any responsibility or obligation in that these resolutions may or may not result in a quality date or otherwise enjoyable experience and that said resolutions may prove to be completely pointless/useless. By perusing said resolutions, readers accept them at face value and realize any use of them is at their own risk.

1. This is an easy one. Resolve that you won't say "I'll call you" if you really won't after a date. Can't we PLEASE get past this one? It would make dating so much easier. If you're not interested, you know you're not being sincere by uttering those dread words in the first place. It's just as easy to say, "I had a nice time, take it easy" or something to that effect. By taking that approach, you won't leave your date wondering what's going on. If you change your mind and do decide to call again, then it'll be a welcome surprise. If you don't ever call again, well, you covered yourself: no explanation needed.

2. A follow-up to Resolution 1. Resolve that if you're going to go out on a real date, call before Wednesday to set it up. Don't think you can call Thursday night and expect to go out Friday night or even Saturday or Sunday. Forget it. Most people make their weekend plans early. You should do the same.

3. Regarding e-mail love/dating: I'm sure that those of you who are fans of the movie "Swingers" know the six-day rule by heart. The rule goes like this: Once you get digits (a phone number), you wait approximately six days to call. Slightly ludicrous, but adhered to by many more people than you think. The resolution: Try to NOT follow this "rule," especially NOT to e-mail correspondence. Be courteous. Check your e-mail regularly and respond promptly. It's really just too easy to not do so. Consult Resolution 1 on what to do if you're not interested, and apply a similar stance on e-mail.

4. Resolve that if you're a parent, you'll stop harping on your kids to date more or, even worse, ask when they're going to settle down (especially if they're not dating anyone at the present time). Newsflash to the rents: This is highly annoying. We're well aware that we're single. The last thing we need is for you to reconfirm our status for us. Believe me, we'll let you know when we've found someone who is worthy.

5. Resolve to place more stock in men/women who make you laugh than who make you drool. Pretty simple: Brains over "Baywatch."

And finally,

6. Resolve to have no fear when it comes to the dating landscape. Instead of cursing dating in general and swearing off all men/women because the current prospect pool appears to be about as enticing as swimming in shark-infested waters, change your attitude: Approach each social outing and new date as an audition. If that particular audition doesn't result in a starring role, then look to the next one. You never know what's around the corner, so get out there.

I'll give my friend Scott, a lawyer in Atlanta, the final soapbox. He sent me an e-mail on this topic that said: "Dating is not so hard if you're just honest. Don't play the game. Just let people know whether you dig them or you don't. It may hurt some feelings, but it's always better than leading them on or letting them get their hopes up, only to be dashed later."

Exactly. It must have worked for Scott since he just got engaged. So, forge on, single comrades. There's hope for us all.