New Year's Eve has come and gone, and you may have celebrated with a fun night out, a midnight toast or something more low-key at home. Either way, the beginning of another year is the perfect time for those resolutions. Often, these goals include eating better, exercising more and having a better year. But if you've been single for a while, whether due to divorce, death or just not finding the right person, you may want to resolve to put yourself back in the dating scene this year.

If you're ready to meet new people and ignite that special spark that happens when you click with a man or women, these tips will be helpful to get you back into the dating world:

Be ready: There's an old saying that essentially says, "date because you're ready, not because you're lonely." That's true. It's important to feel completely ready to put yourself out there. As a senior, you may have experienced a previous love and maybe even had a marriage and children. It can take time to be ready for romance again following such significant life events. It's important to be happy with yourself and your life before inviting someone else to be a part of it regardless of your age. Dating requires that people be vulnerable, so if you're feeling ready to let a new man or woman see those parts of you, get out there and book some dates!

Focus on the here and now: As an older adult, you're bound to go into dating with some baggage, both good and bad. That's expected, but it doesn't have to weigh you down or become the focus. When out with someone new, it's best to keep the date in the present tense, at least for a little while. Eventually, you'll want to deepen how well you know each other and learn about each other's pasts. Until then, discuss what you enjoy doing currently, whether it's a new fitness class, a great book you've read or a new hobby you're trying. This keeps the conversation light while still getting to know someone to see if it could work.

Be yourself: There's no reason to use a pretense when dating. The real you will come out eventually, so it's in everyone's best interest that you simply be yourself on a first date. It can be exhausting trying to only display the best aspects of your personality or pretending to be interested in something just because someone else is. Instead, let all of that go and allow your personality to shine. It's OK to engage in some friendly debate if you have differing opinions, or to discuss things you don't have in common in addition to things you do. It's better for someone to appreciate the real you, and if they're worth getting to know, they'll be grateful you didn't try to hide.

Know it's OK to feel silly: If you haven't been on a date in a while, whether it's been months or years, it might feel awkward and nerve-wracking. This is normal. You may feel like a teenager again with butterflies in your stomach instead of a mature, grown man or women but that's part of the fun. It's exciting to explore the unknown and meet a potential mate. If that makes you feel a little bit silly, go with it. Chances are your date is having a similar reaction if they're getting back into the scene as well.

Trust your gut: By now, you should have a good understanding of what your instincts tell you as well as when it's right to trust those feelings. When it comes to dating, you'll be able to tell whether or not you can make it work with someone either on the first date or one shortly after. If, for whatever reason, your gut says it doesn't feel like a good match, it probably isn't. That's the time to say next, and try again. On the other hand, if you get the sense that the person you're seeing could fit into your life in a positive way, you'll want to continue to explore that notion. Keep the lines of communication open in either case, so both you and the person you're dating can talk about if it's working or not.

Be patient: Patience is a virtue, and necessary when it comes to getting back in the dating scene. Sharing your life with someone again can benefit your health and wellness, but only when it's working. Patience can be a challenge because once you feel ready to let someone in, you may hope to find someone right away. This could happen, or it could take some time to find a man or woman you're compatible with. It's better to be patient and wait for someone who's worth it rather than rush into something or stay with someone just because you don't want to be alone anymore.