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Find Love- Keep Love : Romance News : Dating Tips : Need a date for the holidays? Here's some great ideas!

Need a date for the holidays? Here's some great ideas!

    

It's beginning to look a lot like... Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and (last but not least) New Year's Eve. Yes, it's almost that time of year when people seem to be celebrating with their significant others... and if you're single, it can get downright depressing. But don't fret. There's still time to snag yourself a cutie before the season shifts into full meet-me-under-the-mistletoe mode. Check out these tips to meet potential new prospects and (who knows?) add a little romance to your holiday plans:

Go mall-hopping
The mall isn't just a fantastic place to find gifts for your nieces and nephews; it's also crawling with cute strangers. But how do you shift from present shopping to paramour shopping? "Just ask someone for his or her opinion about something you're looking to buy for your brother, cousin, sister etc.," says David Wygant, founder of FlirtDaily.com. "It's an easy opener and great conversation piece--this can work with any object in any store during the holidays." In other words, see some dashing dude in the electronics section? Ask which MP3 player is the best. Not sure if your sister digs such-and-such designer? Ask the fashionista next to you for advice. You get the idea.

Do good deeds
Charity and goodwill take center stage this time of year. So get involved! And while making the world a little better is probably the main reason you'd choose to give up your free time for soup serving, it's OK to have ulterior meeting-other-people motives as well. "Holidays are about family gatherings and when you're single and kinless, this can be agonizing," says Patrick Raymond, 37, from New York, NY. "Volunteering is not only useful to the charity, but it's a great way to put your solitude in perspective and maybe meet someone else who's also single and looking." And the caliber of possibilities is sure to be high.

Giving of yourself through "donations" also provides terrific opportunities to connect. "I suggest going to a blood drive and seeing how many people you can meet," says Lynne Freid, 38, of Dallas, TX. "Just think of the conversations you can start while sipping apple juice and devouring Oreos or Cheez-Its afterwards... and if you get a little woozy, you can always ask someone for a hand."

Winterize your profile
Got visions of sleigh rides and lazy afternoons by a fireplace in your head? Why not share your plan by seasonally updating your online profile? By inserting a seasonal reference in there, you give people a reason to get in touch, says Laurie Puhn, J.D., author of Instant Persuasion and a communication expert. "Plus, people will know you're actively on the site, not just someone who has had the same profile parked there for months and months," she points out. Just remember to change your holiday-specific headline once the festivities are over.

Be a party person
No doubt it's the season to be social. And as the invites pour in, don't even think about letting your single status keep you from RSVPing. Parties are prime meeting territory since people are usually more open and chatty thanks to holiday cheer (or maybe the spiked eggnog). Whatever the case, grab a bottle of wine for the host, throw on something festive and get thee to the gathering.

Once there, opening lines are easy. Wygant suggests trying, "What are your plans for the holidays?" or "What was your favorite holiday gift?" to get things rolling. "With the first question, you can immediately suss out if they have someone special in their life, so you know how to proceed," explains Wygant. "And question two puts them in a happy place which sets up a nice conversation."

Another idea? Throw your own holiday bash. Perhaps a gift-wrapping gathering? Have people bring their presents... and another single person. You never know what might happen between "Pass the scissors" and "Who has the tape?"

Take a trip to the altar
It's easier to skip worship-time in August when the sun is shining, but as soon as the holidays hit, more people tend to find their way back to their religious roots (or get dragged there along with their parents/relatives). The good news is this widens the pool of potential dates. "Plus, if you meet someone at your house of worship, you'll likely find a date with similar values," says Kathryn Wilson, 23, from Austin, TX.

And don't forget about attending socials, craft bazaars, bake sales or other events at your church. "During the holiday season, churches tend to present musical concerts and have all kinds of activities after which everyone is invited to an informal reception," says New Yorker J.A. Smith, 31. "Over cookies and punch, you may see an attractive stranger across a crowded room." Go talk to them.

Try a cold-weather sport
Picking up a winter activity can also lead to picking up a winter cutie. For example, if you live in a city where there's an outdoor holiday skating rink, try taking advantage of your less-than-Olympic-caliber skills. "Strap on some ice skates and gently crash right into the person you were scoping out on your way in," suggests Avery Young, 25, from New York, NY. "A little collision forces you to make a connection!"

Or think sledding, skiing, snowboarding... and all that goes along with it. "Last year I was looking for snowboarding gear for my first snowboarding trip when I spotted the cutest boy, so I asked him to assist me in picking out proper equipment," says Glendale, CA resident Erin Gallagher, 27. "He ended up offering to give me private snowboarding lessons." And if athletics aren't your thing, still consider joining friends in this kind of outing... keep in mind there's always the opportunity to bond over hot cocoa in the lodge.

Reconnect with relatives
Chances are that in the next two months, you'll be seeing aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins twice removed, etc.... Instead of dreading the family reunion, use it to your dating advantage. "This is a time of year when you see people you might not see year round," says Puhn. "Work into conversation that you're still single and looking and see if they know any other fun singles where you live. You never know." If the answer is yes, the person does know of someone--don't wait for them to follow through because in the holiday madness they might space out about that setup. "Call your relative and remind them you'd like to meet his or her friend," says Puhn. You just might be surprised who surfaces, thanks to your family tree.

Take advantage or planes, trains and buses
It's high-volume travel time. Whether over the river and through the woods or jetting cross country, people tend to hit the road in droves during the holidays. Headed home for Christmas? Chat up the cute stranger next to you on the bus or sitting in the airport bar. You can always ask his or her destination or who this person is visiting to get the conversation started. "If you're both going to the same place for the holidays, chances are you have something in common like favorite restaurants or having friends and/or family in the same area," says Diane Snyder, 36 from New York, NY. "It gives you something to talk about and maybe the foundation for something more." Like a date for New Year's Eve? Could be...

---Courtesy of Kimberly Dawn Neumann and Match.com
She is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and Fitness. She is considering carrying mistletoe with her at all times this holiday season.

***For some other great places to find eligible singles, visit Where & How to Meet Men

 

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