Take Advantage of These Surprising Holiday Dating Strategies

new years adviceThe holidays are a wonderful time of year to connect with friends and family, but if you’re single, it can seem as if you’ve had to put your online dating life on hold for weeks. You don’t want to ask anyone out on a date because you don’t want to interrupt their time with friends and family or take them away from their packed and important schedules. On the other hand, you might be reluctant to accept a date because you feel overwhelmed with your giant to-do list. The “first of the year” looms as a long-awaited paradise when normal life can resume. Don’t wait until then.

1) Take advantage of your free time: Most of the working world is shut down, and holiday plans can occupy only so much of your time. So you probably have a few extra hours when you’re sitting at your computer and wishing some potential dates would come out to play. They’re probably just as bored. Even if dates aren’t available to meet up until the new year, this is the perfect time to catch up on emails and reach out to new people. Talk on the phone. Exchange a few extra flirty emails and fill up your January schedule.

2) Seize the moment: Don’t worry about reaching out to people during the holidays, either. Chances are that we all don’t have the fabulous plans we’d like everyone else to think we do. I have a friend who was feeling lonely on Christmas Eve because he was away from his family and wasn’t meeting friends until Christmas day. He sent a couple “Merry Christmas” emails to dating prospects that afternoon. One woman, who was in the same boat, responded right away. They had a Christmas Eve date a few hours later and are celebrating their first-year anniversary this week.

A few years ago, I had an impromptu New Year’s Eve date – on the phone. After flying back from San Diego to New York and landing just before midnight (yes, it was a cheap ticket), I returned a dating text on my way home from the airport. He called me immediately from a boring party, and we celebrated New Year’s Eve together.

3) Use the opportunity to reconnect: Holidays are the perfect time to text a “Happy New Year” greeting to that former sweetie you fell out of touch with. (Okay, I mean the woman you broke it off with so you could date someone else, but now you’re broken up, and you’ve been thinking about her. And you don’t know how to get back in touch without seeming like a douche.) Well, anyone can send a “Happy New Year’s” text to anyone, so it’s an innocent way to test the waters. It’s also a good way to just be a nice person and spread some goodwill in your dating community. Everyone could use a little this time of year.

4) Be thankful to everyone along the way: During this year-end review period, we have a tendency to look at our goals in black and white – as in did we find love or not? Are we in a committed relationship or not? Even if you aren’t, you probably had some fun during the journey. And you probably met a lot of folks who gave you something who got you to the next date and the next. Maybe he said that you had the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen, and you’d never thought of your eyes that way. Maybe she kissed you a certain way and helped you get over a breakup. Maybe you had some interesting conversations or tried some new restaurants.

These are all little “wins” that help us get closer to the love we want and make the search a little more tolerable. Take these boosts of confidence with you, and you’ll be in prime shape for the new year.

About the Author:

Sarah Elizabeth Richards is a journalist and the author of Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Slate and Salon.

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