I was standing in line waiting for my latte at Coffee Bean when I overheard two women talking about dating during the holiday season.
“I refuse to go alone to holiday parties ever again. Last night was miserable,” a tall, slender 30-something-year-old said to her friend.
“Was is that bad?” Her friend responded.
“The worst. All of our other single girlfriends bailed and the only single guys there were terrible.” She rolled her eyes when she said terrible for dramatic effect.
“Why were they so bad?”
“For starters, they were at least 20 years older than me and looked like they were closer to my dad’s age than mine. Then every time one of them talked to me they either talked about how they’re thinking about buying another company or trying to find time to go to their vacation home that they just never have enough time to visit. It was such a turnoff that they were relying on just their money to try and impress me, not to mention the fact that none of them asked anything about me. It was all about bragging time for them.”
“Yikes, that IS pretty bad. I don’t know how you do it. I don’t blame you; don’t put yourself through that again. It’s not worth it and you’re too good for that. Mark and I will set you up with one of his friends so you don’t have to deal with that nonsense.”
By now they’d called my name several times because my coffee was ready and I had no choice but to go and get it lest the women know I’d been eavesdropping on their conversation. I was dying to interject, but I held my tongue and instead came home to write a post about it!
Dear Married Friends: Stop discouraging your single friends from dating! Do not let yourself be their crutch where they can tell you their sob stories about dating and you tell them to not subject themselves to that. This is not helping them. You can listen, be supportive, and still tell them to dust themselves back off and get back out there. Don’t baby them- push them out of the nest, AKA their comfort zone. Believe me, they’ll thank you in the long run.
Dear Married Friends Part 2: Only set your single friends up with someone if you’ve really really thought it through! And don’t dangle the carrot unless you actually have someone in mind. If you mention to a single friend that you’re going to set them up, they will hold onto that morsel like a rabid dog, so don’t disappoint them. If you do set them up then you better put some serious thought into it. If you’re setting up a girlfriend, ask yourself these questions about the guy:
- Will he get in touch to make plans?
- Is there any chance he’d bail?
- How well do I really know him?
- Would I want him around in the friend group if they do end up dating?
- How awkward would it be if they dated and then broke up?
- Do I actually think they’d be good for each other?
If these answers check out then you should proceed with the set-up. If not then it’s not worth your time or theirs because guess who will be picking up the pieces should things go south? Exactly…. you.
Now that we have that out of the way, let me get back to the single girl…
Get over it! There’s always going to be someone hitting on you that’s not worth your time or who you have zero interest in, but take it as a compliment and quickly move along. There’s no point in dwelling on how terrible they are or how you have no interest in them.
Instead, you should be directing that energy towards scanning the room for any viable prospects. Make sure you work the whole room so you don’t miss anyone. Then if you still don’t see anyone that interests you, find a way to casually ask the host if he/she is expecting any others. If you’ve been there for an hour or more and there are no prospects on the horizon then start making other plans. And no, those other plans should not include going home, snuggling with your dog, or ordering takeout on your Uber ride home. You’ve already put significant time into doing your hair, putting on your make-up, and picking our your outfit. This is no small feat and the energy should not go to waste.
Start texting your friends not at the party to see what they’re up to and see if you can join them. Do not be tempted by the comfy pajamas waiting for you at home; they’re not going anywhere but your future boyfriend might and it’s up to you to get out there and find him!
My last piece of advice for single ladies during the holiday season is to say Yes to every holiday party invitation you receive, especially if they’re theme parties! It’s a well-known fact that people tend to drink more when dressed in costume, therefore inhibitions are lowered, more mingling happens, and more people could potentially meet and start dating as a result of some awesome Tacky Christmas sweater party. Just make sure to go the Rachel McAdams route when dressing up for a theme and not the Lindsay Lohan route. You can dress tacky but still look cute so you don’t ruin your chances with the host’s hot next door neighbor that pops over for a drink and can’t resist your ridiculous elf sweater.
If holiday invitations are scarce this year and it doesn’t seem like enough parties are happening then take it upon yourself to host a party! Join forces with a friend so that it won’t be stressful, you can enjoy yourself, and you get the added benefit of diversifying the guest list. Make it a theme party, have plenty of alcohol, and make it clear that people are allowed (and encouraged) to bring friends. Put some serious thought into the guest list and stack the party with some great people. The more fun people are having at the party, the longer they’ll want to stay, and the more likely they are to let their friends know to come join in on the fun.
It’s all about being proactive in your love life, so if enough opportunities aren’t being presented to you then make your own!
By Mary Stuart Deibel