Dating During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas and New Years quickly approaching, the holiday season is that time of the year when the unattached feel the most single. The dynamics of dating are complex as it is, but the holidays add a whole new level to the dating scene that can make things even trickier. Some singles panic when they think about going solo to their holiday work party or having to answer the inevitable “Are you seeing anyone?” inquiry from family members over Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few ways to avoid the unnecessary pressure that comes with being single around the holidays:

Relax. The best things usually happen when you’re not expecting them so don’t set unrealistic goals and expectations for dating just because it’s a certain time of the year. Instead, enjoy the fact that you don’t have to deal with the stress of figuring out the perfect gift for a significant other or negotiating where you’ll be spending the holidays. Stay optimistic and channel your energy towards being the best version of yourself. Keep dating just like you normally would and if something happens, then it was meant to be. Let things happen naturally and don’t force them.

Focus on family and loved ones. Holidays are meant to be spent with family, friends, and loved ones. Rather than fixating on the fact that you’re single, why not take a moment to focus on the people that are already present in your life? Countless studies have shown that practicing gratitude every day leads to long-term happiness. So, pick up the phone and call the cousin you grew up with but haven’t spoken to in over 6 months. Or write a handwritten card to grandma to express your gratitude and remind her how special she is to you.

Stop watching holiday rom-coms on a Saturday night! It won’t do you any good to sit at home wishing you had a relationship like the ones you see in cheesy, Hollywood rom-coms. Reality check: Love Actually and Bridget Jones are not realistic portrayals of how love and dating actually work in real life! Also, you’re certainly not going to meet anyone sitting at home. Instead, be proactive and pack your calendar with nights out on the town with your single friends. Instead of going to the same bars in your neighborhood where you know all of the regulars, do something different. Check out a local sporting event, attend an event at an art gallery, or book a table at restaurant you haven’t tried before with a fun bar; you never know who you’ll meet!

Own it. When you’re single, it’s sometimes hard to remember all the awesome things that come with being unattached. This is the time when you can focus on “me” rather than “we”, so take advantage of it! Say “yes” to every holiday soiree that you’re invited to and plan your own holiday festivities . The sense of opportunity and possibility during holiday season is endless. Remember: there’s nothing more thrilling than kissing a cutie for the first time to ring in the New Year so go for it!