The traditional idea that being single during the holiday season means you’re sad and lonely is bogus. At Kelleher Matchmaking we believe “the most wonderful time of the year” offers ample opportunities for singles to get creative on the date-planning front. We’re sharing some of our favorite winter and holiday date ideas to get you off the couch and into the “holidating” spirit.Kimberly Colgate, Kelleher’s director of matchmaking, admits, “Often clients want to crawl into a cave and avoid dating during this time of year. It's like their hibernating season. But, the holidays are such a great time to date and meet new people! Everyone is feeling festive and winding down their work responsibilities for the year. Don’t lose your momentum - keep putting yourself out there because you never know what might happen.”
On an annual trip home for the holidays, two of Kimberly’s clients happened to be traveling from Los Angeles to New York. She arranged for them to meet while in NYC and they ironically enough ended up on the same plane. “They spent a few hours together on the cross-country flight. It was a pretty unconventional first date, but it worked,” Kimberly explains. “When they arrived at their destination, they realized their families lived very close, and they shared mutual family friends. The two Kelleher clients ended up seeing one another again on the trip and then continued the relationship back in LA.”
The holidays offer built-in opportunities for romance; you just have to know how to harness the charm. Kelleher’s Faith Busby recommends planning dates around the magic of the holidays. “Strolling through twinkling city squares or enjoying cocktails in a beautifully adorned hotel lobby adds to the experience. Choose a restaurant you know goes to great lengths to create a festive mood and follow dinner with a holiday symphony or ballet,” she suggests.
If you’ve been out with someone a time or two and are interested in getting a little closer why not invite them over for hot chocolate and holiday cookie decorating? It’s a fun way to be near one another without the pressures of getting romantic too soon. Of course, a cozy fire and snuggling on the couch with a classic Christmas movie can change all that if you’re feeling the chemistry.
Sometimes “holidating” can propose logistical challenges. Kelleher senior matchmaker Patty Russell reminds, “Try to be patient and respectful of other people’s family commitments and travel plans.” Planning dates early in the week keep those key evenings free for family commitments and holiday parties where you might not be ready to bring along a new date. But, it also gives you the option of adding a +1 in case that Tuesday night date goes well.
For singles involved in long-distance dating connections, the holidays offer a fun option for exploring. Patty describes a client situation where a new couple recently found a holiday halfway point to rendezvous, “I work with a woman in Austin who is currently seeing a beau in California. They’ve just finalized plans to ring in the New Year together in Telluride, CO. It’s a romantic and beautiful location they chose together.”
Matchmaker Erin Soskin agrees that New Year's Eve is a fabulous time to forge a new relationship if you’re seeing someone new. “Why not charm your date with a light-hearted evening including some of your groovy dance moves or a romantic dinner with a heartfelt toast to new beginnings. Either way, you’ll both feel the anticipation of that first kiss of the New Year.”
Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated! Keep your perspective and recognize there are always some pressures around the holidays, but none that an open-heart and open-mind can’t fix. Matchmaker Ellen Shmunis suggests, “Say “yes” more than you say “no” to holiday parties, ugly sweater parties, and New Year’s festivities. Get out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to be excited by the possibility of meeting someone new. Don't be afraid to go to an event solo either - you never know where the night may lead. And most importantly, remember that a genuine smile is your best accessory.”
We hope you’ll take our advice and keep your dating momentum going during the winter season. Don’t let the short days and early nights get you down. Stay active, be present, and enjoy the unique moments the holidays create with the people you love.
Do you have questions for the Kelleher matchmakers? Maybe you have your own fun "holidating" tips or advice you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call or leave a comment below.