This time of year is supposed to be festive and hopeful, when we fend off winter with bright lights, gift giving, and time with friends and family. But if you are single and still looking for the right romantic relationship, the season can feel empty and depressing.
The changeover to a new year, instead of a gala celebration, is a disheartened reminder that time is slipping away. Ugh! Such a gloomy point of view is tempting for some singles. By all means, indulge yourself in the holiday blues—if you don’t mind sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge, who said to the Ghost of Christmas Past: “I’m too old and beyond hope! Go and redeem some younger, more promising creature.” Or you could say “Bah!” to the very idea that hope has an expiration date.
You could choose to believe that romantic opportunity is never perishable. The key lies in advice that is good all year long: Lighten up! Don’t forget to pack your sense of humor—and sense of adventure—as you set out to take inventory of the year gone by and anticipate the one ahead. This is the season when wise people make use of two uniquely human traits: the ability to learn (from the past) and to dream (of the future).
Here are some ideas for doing just that:
1. Take yourself on a date. Do something you love. Unlike other dates, there is no need to worry about what someone else might enjoy. You are the sole object of your attention today. Be as whimsical, silly, indulgent, childlike, and extravagant as you like. This is to remind you that, with or without romance, you are alive and life is good! G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “The true object of all human life is to play.” So get out the toys and hop to it.
2. Hold an awards ceremony. This technique is most fun when shared with friends willing to laugh (and sometimes cry) with you. You will give out honors for the year’s best and worst dating moments. Examples might include: * Worst Dating Train Wreck * Funniest (Dullest, Goofiest, Best Dressed) Dating Partner * Dumbest Comment on a Date (yours, his, or hers) * Best Original Date * Biggest Missed Opportunity Have fun, but don’t forget to take note of what you’d do differently next time around.
3. Make a romantic wish list. Chances are, you’ve made one before, cataloging things you want in a partner. This time, try something new: make a list of all the things you’d like to be as a partner. Be honest as you determine qualities you presently lack or which are underdeveloped. Looking forward, think of ways to improve the picture your future partner will see the first time he or she lays eyes on you.
4. Identify the good, the bad, and the ugly of your strategy. If you were involved in dating relationships (or tried to be) during the past year, you probably did some things right and some things not so right. Learn from experience. Were you too passive, too aggressive, or just right? Were your dates generally fun or boring–and why? Were you pleased with the way you communicated with members of the opposite sex, or not so much? The idea is to pinpoint the things you’d like to continue doing and what areas need improvement.
As you look ahead to romantic possibilities, take time to assess where you are and where you’ve been—so you can get where you want to be.