Downtimeonline Holidays The Field Guide to Surviving the Holidays

The Field Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Whether you’ve recently discovered he’s just not that into you, or she’s not answering your calls, or you still haven’t found what you’re looking for — the holidays pose a uniquely stressful and frustrating time for singles. Relationship expert Barbie Adler, president of Selective Search, Inc., the nation’s leading personal matchmaker tells singles one may feel blue, but it doesn’t have to be the loneliest number during the holidays. The right approach is everything.

“For singles, the holidays can either be a great gift or a real test of will and self-confidence,” says Adler. “Having put so many couples together, I know that during the holidays, the act of being unattached is a petri dish of emotion — frustration, stress, loneliness — and the social pressure of the holidays can make you feel like you’re a relationship outcast. That’s a tough emotional hurdle to overcome.”

As family and friends gather, singles come under a microscope. The family scrutiny over ‘why they’re still single’ increases, there is mounting pressure to find a date for holiday events and work parties and as couples shop and entertain, the season of ‘being together’ can become overwhelming — all scenarios which amplify the frustration and loneliness of not being in a relationship. Adler’s approach — be prepared. To equip singles for this holiday season, she recommends these tips:

A Field Guide to Surviving the Holidays:

Always Be Prepared
Have a strategy. Map out the functions you’ll attend single and those you’ll want to bring a date to. Be strategic by taking advantage of parties where you can meet new people. Bringing a ‘filler’ date will only lead people into thinking you’re off the market.

Equip Yourself – The Family Minefield
Come fortified to any and all family holiday events with perfected lighthearted responses. And turn it back on the questioner. When they ask why you’re still single, ask why they haven’t fixed you up with anyone yet!

Develop Character and Citizenship
Focus on the internal you, rather than focusing on not having someone in your life. Dive into volunteer opportunities, or help a charity. Get outside yourself, focus on helping others.

Heighten Your Brand
Who says you have to go to everyone else’s party. Host your own. In fact throw a party that has nothing to do with the holidays and everything to do with matching people up — you could find the love of your life, or help a friend find theirs.

Take Risks
See and be seen. Put yourself out there. Go to the parties you’re invited to, even if you fear you’re the only single who will be there — married people know singles.

Get Out of the Forest
If you don’t want the high pressure of the holidays, get away somewhere that makes you happy. If you can’t travel for the holidays because of family obligations, then plan something fun for just after the holiday to keep your spirits up.

Lower Expectations
Who says you NEED to find someone before New Year’s? Take the pressure off yourself. Spend New Year’s Eve with friends or by yourself. Take comfort in knowing that half the population is in bed before midnight.

Be Mentally Fit
Get in the right mind frame. It’s a guarantee that if you’re not feeling upbeat or positive, you won’t attract a future date. Keep your game face on and remain approachable.

Enlist the Help of a Professional
Work with someone who specializes in matchmaking. You can go through hundreds of online or blind dates that lead to blind alleys, when a personal matchmaker can filter out the random and inappropriate matches and accelerate the process by only introducing you to the kind of person you are holding out to meet.

Reward Yourself
One of the best stress busters at your disposal is to pay attention to yourself. Take at least 60 minutes out of your week and schedule “you time”. You’ll feel better about yourself and it will show through when meeting new people.

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