Looking for love this season? With great advice from top experts, celebrities and happy iVillagers all over America, there's no need for single girls to rely on mistletoe alone! Here's to making this year your best yet -- with or without Mr. Right.
1. Bring in the new: "Throw a 'new blood' party with friends. Everyone has to bring someone new, someone your friends don't already know."
2. Go online: "I started using a couple of those Internet dating services, and it's actually working. After I rejected several interested men, I began emailing this guy that I have a lot in common with. We started talking on the phone and really liked each other, so now we are dating. It has been four dates so far and going good."
(Not sure where to start your personals search? Try 14 Ways to Find Love Online here!)
3. Be bold: "Believe in your dream of meeting someone wonderful and show that you really believe by taking action. Go to the party, chat, and if you meet someone special, consider inviting him out for a cup of coffee. It is the 21st century!" --Marcia Wieder, America's Dream Coach and author of Making Your Dream Come True
4. Pet-sit: If your friends are going away over the holidays, offer to take their dog for a day or two. I have a dog who sleeps over a couple of times a year, eats her kibble in a bowl of my chicken soup, polishes off those old rinds of cheese and never forgets me between visits. Short of a trip to the pound and the long-term commitment of adoption, pet-sitting is cheap, unconditional love. --Elinor Lipman, author of The Ladies' Man: A Novel
5. Be proactive: "Being 33 and single is sometimes tough. People ask 'Why aren't you married? ... blah blah blah.' I found myself focusing on 'poor me' until I decided to do something about it. I joined a mountain biking group and a singles outdoor activity club. Try it; what do you have to lose? Believe me, you will feel better just knowing you are doing something to change your life." --iVillager funbiz
6. Have no regrets: "Make plans well in advance this year. Don't regret not having anything to do."
7. Go dateless: "Instead of whining about not having a date, go places by yourself. Be secure in yourself and all else will follow. Someone at one of these events is going to see you and think, 'Wow, I wish I had her courage and confidence.' And that will lead you to greater things. I went to the movies alone (it was relaxing), to my class reunion alone (made quite the impression), and to a New Year's Eve party alone, which is where I met Mr. Right -- the party was in his house!"
8. Make new friends: "Make an effort to make some new women friends. That way, you'll have more people to go out and do things with." --iVillager potatocakes
9. Read up: "I have read several books on being a single person. Most of them have been a tremendous help. You may want to give some of them a try: The Art of Living Single by Michael Broder, Women Living Single by Lee Reilly, Being Single in a Couples' World by Xavier Amador and Living Alone and Liking It by Lyn Shahan." --iVillager jiselle
10. Be grateful: "Holidays bring out mushy feelings in people. We tend to wish for what other people have -- such as husbands -- but we don't actually know what's going in their lives. We would all be better off if we spent less time envying others and more time appreciating what we have. I recommend making a list of the 10 things you were grateful for in 2002. It's a good way to welcome the new year." --Sherry Amatenstein, iVillage's Dating Doyenne
11. Have fun: "Have you ever heard the saying 'You'll meet someone when you least expect it?' It's true, it will happen when it happens. In the meantime, have fun doing things for you. Go out with friends. Have one too many and laugh a little too loud. Who knows, maybe the laughter will catch someone's eye."
12. Boost your mood: "If you're nervous about attending a holiday party, do something (besides drinking alcohol) to make yourself feel good. See a funny movie, work out, whatever works for you." --Sherry Amatenstein, iVillage's Dating Doyenne
13. Set goals: "Set a goal for yourself about what you want to experience during the holidays, sexually and otherwise." --Dr. Patti Britton, iVillage's Sex Coach
14. Use all the right moves: "When trying to meet Mr. or Ms. Right, you need to keep in mind the three rights: right place, right time, right attitude. Without all of those, your efforts will probably be in vain. You need to put yourself in the right place -- a place where the odds will truly be in your favor. The right time means that when you do meet someone, you have to want the same thing at the same time. Otherwise, it won't work. The right attitude means you have to stay positive and open-minded. No one wants to date someone with the wrong attitude." --Robin Gorman Newman, author of How to Meet a Mensch in New York
15. Get comfortable: "Remember, you have to be at peace with yourself before someone is going to be comfortable with you. When you like yourself, people will clamor to date you. You'll have so many men you won't know what to do."
16. Ban the bar scene: "You don't have to deal with the bar and club scene if you don't want to. Buy a magazine and visit a local coffee shop or restaurant. Browse bookstores. Sit back, relax, read and look around. If you like art, visit an art gallery. Being single doesn't have to hold you back."
17. Head home: "If possible, head home for the holidays. Return to your roots and the people who nurtured them." --iVillager Susan
18. Get personal: "I have at least five friends who met their spouses and spouses-to-be through personal ads. Where I live, it's a really popular way to meet other singles, since we're in a rural area and everyone lives far apart. Placing or answering a personal ad is a great way to meet people, especially for the over-30 crowd who don't have the desire to mingle in bars." --iVillager potatocakes
19. Be a friend: "Arrange with a buddy to phone each other every other night during this stressful period. A show of friendship makes a world of difference." --iVillager Susan
20. Say thanks: "Thank yourself for the gifts you have given yourself or brought into your life over the past year." --Dr. Patti Britton, iVillage's Sex Coach
21. Start a recycling (men) program: "Throw a 'leftover guy' party. Ask everyone invited to bring a dish and a dishy guy. It doesn't have to be a formal Saturday-night type thing; you can make it a casual brunch instead." --Sherry Amatenstein, iVillage's Dating Doyenne
22. Be a blind date queen: "If people say they have the 'perfect friend for you,' let them set you up." --iVillager eire2728
23. Collect kisses: "At holiday parties, stand under the mistletoe. Hey, it can't hurt." --iVillager snorkeldude
24. Have a slumber party: "Invite over all the girls and have an old-fashioned good time." --Sherry Amatenstein, iVillage's Dating Doyenne
25. Join up: "Join a club devoted to one of your hobbies or interests. It's a great way to meet both men and women." --iVillager potatocakes
26. Head out of town: "If you're worried about not having a date over the holidays, plan ahead to get out of town. Go to a vacation spot geared toward singles." --Sherry Amatenstein, iVillage's Dating Doyenne
27. Take up golf: "I've heard it works to go to a certain type of place to meet a certain type of man. For example, if you like musicians, go to concerts or music festivals; if you want to meet a businessman, try taking up golf." --iVillager rave007
28. Celebrate your friends: "Have a party for all of your girlfriends -- no boys allowed. And no makeup or dresses, either. Serve great wine and food, and ask each person to bring her favorite CD or movie rental. This is an ideal time to revel in the beautiful relationships that you share with your girlfriends, especially any you may have neglected recently." --Terri Conn, Katie Peretti on As the World Turns
29. Love yourself: "In order to love others, you must develop a relationship of love with yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and acceptance. Remind yourself that you are complete as is and don't need to have a companion to enjoy the holiday season." --Susan Taylor, Ph.D., author of Sexual Radiance: A 21-Day Program of Breathwork, Nutrition, and Exercise for Vitality and Sensuality
30. Reflect: "The holiday season is a quiet, reflective time for me. Because I'm single and have no family, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want -- no compromises, no hassles. It's a wonderful gift to be able to decide how to spend each day and not have to worry about all the family-related have-to's and must-do's that I see overtake almost everyone I know." --iVillager debsmz
31. Be a do-gooder: "The holiday season is a big time for fund-raisers and doing volunteer work. If you want to meet a mensch (a decent, responsible person), doing good for others is a great way to meet someone else with a big heart." --Robin Gorman Newman, author of How to Meet a Mensch in New York
32. Do the mother-daughter thing: "I will be spending New Year's Eve with my daughter, who is coming home from college for the holidays. A while ago, we made a pact that we would spend this time together. I feel so honored that my 20-year-old daughter loves her mom enough to carve out special time for me. She cares enough to bring her boyfriend with her, too. I'm so proud and so happy." --iVillager corleen
33. Remember reality: "The holidays tend to make single people think that everyone else is involved in a relationship, that the holidays are all about couples and family, and that they're inadequate if they're alone. This is mythology. The holidays are really a time for everyone to acknowledge and celebrate being alive." --Dr. Patti Britton, iVillage's Sex Coach
34. Make the first move: "Make Sadie Hawkins your patron saint and reach out to the man who makes you quiver. Real men love women who make the first move." --iVillager Susan
35. Satisfy your travel bug: "Over the holidays, I sometimes travel to Europe. It's great fun. Generally, no Americans are traveling because of the holidays here, so I meet lots of interesting people from around the globe." --iVillager debsmz
36. Throw a "personals party": Invite your friends over, ask them to bring a potluck contribution and a notepad. Who better to ghostwrite a personal ad for you or for your other single friends than good girlfriends who appreciate them? My next-door neighbors met through an ad her pre-teen sons wrote! --Elinor Lipman, author of The Ladies' Man: A Novel
37. Read The 50 Best Things About Being Single. --iVillager nshe
38. Plan a feast: "Arrange to have a holiday feast, whether you end up inviting a new man or three girlfriends." --Dr. Patti Britton, iVillage's Sex Coach
39. Do a to-do: "Choose something off your to-do list that you have always wanted to do but have never gotten around to doing, and do it. Now is the time to go for it." --Annie Parisse, Julia Lindsay on As the World Turns
40. Spend time with friends: "Don't forget to spend time with your friends, whether single or attached. They need you as much as you need them." --Dr. Joan Irvine, author of Recipes for Hot Sex
41. Look your best: "Before you head out to a holiday party, make sure you look your best -- get your hair done, buy a new dress. If you look good, you will project positive energy, which will, in turn, attract men." --Sherry Amatenstein, iVillage's Dating Doyenne
42. Exercise: "I spend more time at the gym over the holidays. It's virtually empty, so I don't have to worry about using the machines I want. Working out makes me feel strong and sexy." --iVillager Lori
43. Help out: "During the holidays, I enjoy helping out my friends, especially the ones with children. I have an annual date with a friend to baby-sit while she goes shopping, then help her wrap gifts for her brood." --iVillager debsmz
44. Hit the slopes: "Go to a ski lodge with a bunch of friends." --Robin Gorman Newman, author of How to Meet a Mensch in New York
45. Be realistic: "My mom always told me that I should marry someone who is tall, handsome and successful. The trouble was that I'm just okay-looking, short and middle class. I had to be realistic, and I found the love of my life." --iVillager cas9
46. Read about romance: "Buy a romance novel and spend an evening tucked under the covers, sipping hot chocolate and escaping into an improbable love story." -- iVillager Susan
47. Get out and play: "Single women should gather a group of girlfriends and spend a day ice skating." --Joie Lenz, Michelle Bauer Santos on Guiding Light
48. Throw a "giving" party: "Throw a party and ask guests to bring canned goods and clothing to donate. Making a difference in needy lives will fill you with good feelings. Make this an annual event." --iVillager Susan
49. Shop till you drop: "Think of holiday shopping as a great way to meet men. It is a great way to get out there, be seen and meet new people. The best department to browse? Men's!" --Dr. Joan Irvine, author of Recipes for Hot Sex
50. Give to others: "If you're feeling lonely during the holidays, the best way to beat it is to perform an act of kindness toward others. There's no other feeling like it!" --scootergirl2000