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{Single Saints} Dating DOs and DON'Ts for a Fun and Fabulous Holiday

There are many "dos and donʼts" that singles need to observe relative to parties, gift giving, and define-the-relationship conversations over the holidays. To navigate these issues effectively, read my previous article on "5 Secrets to Dating Success During the Holidays." The advice there is essential to avoiding the major pitfalls that many singles experience. The focus of this article is on the dos and donʼts for making your Holidays fun and fabulous.

DO plan dinner parties. DO go to singles events. DO accept party invitations. DONʼT cancel.
To have a fun and fabulous holiday season you need to be active, social, and involved. Nothing will kill your holiday like walling up in your room. Additionally, the more involved you are, the happier you will feel. The happier you are, the more confident you will appear (and feel). The more confident you are, the more desirable you will appear. And so on. You donʼt have to feel social or have a strong desire to be active. Just fake it til you make it (even when you want to cancel at the last minute). Put your best foot forward and do your best and you will see that you often feel better too. After all, doing nothing wonʼt make you feel better.

DO look beyond yourself to others. DO make others feel great. DONʼT compare yourself or your life to others.
One of the best ways to combat depression, anxiety, shyness, or loneliness during the holidays is to think of others and to invest in making them feel great in some small way, whether through service, inviting them to do something with you, or just listening intently and expressing your love. Doing this can make a huge impact on your holidays especially if you also guard yourself against the temptation to compare your life to others. 

Engaging in the comparison trap almost always ensures that you will compare your troubles and trials to other's strengths and blessings, making you feel worse about your life (not better). If you want to feel peace and happiness this holiday you canʼt afford to be distracted by the marriages, children, possessions, talents, or blessings that others have. God knows you individually and is always extending his love and blessings. If you stay focused on his blessings in your life you will find both individual peace and the strength to make others feel great too. To do this keep a daily gratitude journal. Youʼll be amazed at how much this can build your faith and confidence in yourself, your future, and in Godʼs plan.

DO focus on whatʼs going right. DONʼT focus on whatʼs going wrong.
If you want to enjoy your holidays this season, be sure to: 1) take action in your own life, 2) count your blessings, and 3) keep a record of whatʼs going right. Bad experiences are unavoidable and occur about 20 percent of the time. Unfortunately, itʼs common for people to give their negative experiences 80 percent of the attention. If you do this you will become convinced that there is little good occurring in your life, which is not true. But if you, instead, minimize or ignore the negative and then keep a daily record of everything you do, say, or accomplish that helps you make meaningful connections (and all the things others do or say in return), you will start to see how much good there really is in your world.

DO put all of these principles into action at every holiday event.
To apply all of these principles to your holiday, try doing five of the following behaviors at your next social opportunity. Once these are completed you may leave, but if you are having a blast, try to stay another hour and do a few more.

The following behaviors can be used at a work or family party to make other singles feel great (in hopes that it might end in a date) or to make a date (and their friends or family) feel great:

Give a sincere compliment about someoneʼs personality, clothes, sense of humor, or the way they treat others.

Learn someoneʼs name and use it several times during the event. Doing this makes others feel important and endears them to you.

Offer to help others; look for opportunities to open doors, share a seat, help with food preparation, move furniture if needed, or clean up.

Accept help and express warmth and appreciation. If someone offers to open a door, take your coat, or do something kind, say, “That would be great. Thank you,” “ Wow! Thatʼs so kind of you” “Iʼm impressed."

Introduce yourself, ask the other person's name, and use their name before you end the conversation. (For instance, “It was such a pleasure meeting you Sally.")

When someone starts a conversation, respond warmly, and be sure to ask questions of them. A great way to do this is to answer their question and then ask them the very question they asked you, such as “Iʼm from Florida. Where are you from?” or “Have you ever been to Florida?”

Listen to what others say so you can ask follow-up questions, make comments, or share something relevant about yourself (so that they feel you are willing to share, too).

When shaking someoneʼs hand, put your second hand around theirs. A two-handed handshake is more warm and personal.

Use physical contact. When someone says something kind, touch their upper arm and say, "That was very sweet, thank you."

Downplay embarrassing moments. If someone does something embarrassing, say “I hate it when I do that. No worries; youʼre with friends.” This shows them you are human and makes them feel accepted.

Start conversations that make others feel comfortable, appreciated, or helpful, even if they're in a small group. For example, you can ask someone who is on the periphery of a group, “Excuse me. Iʼm new here; can you tell me who is in charge of the party or food? Iʼd like to say thank you.” You could even just ask them if they know where the restroom is. When they respond or offer help in any way, introduce yourself, ask their name, and then say, “Thank you. Youʼre so kind. It was a pleasure meeting you. I hope I can talk with you again later.” Then repeat their name.

Follow up on prospects. And, if the person with whom youʼre enjoying a conversation appears to be single and interested in you, add before you leave, “Iʼd love to get to know you better. Iʼd love to do something sometime.”

These may seem like simple techniques that many people use, but that's exactly why they deserve to be repeated now. Those who do these things tend to stand out, make a stronger impression, and feel more at ease in almost any environment. They stand out not because theyʼre so great, but because these techniques make others feel great. Additionally, focusing on others and making them feel good is a wonderful way to combat anxiety or shyness. These actions can do more to ensure a fun and fabulous experience at any event this holiday season than anything else you do. Plus, it can increase your chances of getting dates and making a better impression when on a date.

Discover more advice like this from Alisa Goodwin Snell, such as the 5 Steps to Quality Dating and the 3 Secrets for Creating a Secure Relationship. Alisa is a dating coach who has had 17 years of experience as a marriage and family therapist. Alisa is the author of the “Itʼs Not You— Itʼs Your Technique” dating system. To learn more, visit ItsYourTechnique.com.

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This article is sponsored by Alisa Goodwin Snell.
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