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Dating Advice: Five Ways to Cope With the Holidays


Rosh Hashanah is coming fast. Then there is Thanksgiving. Christmas. Hanukkah. Are you doomed to a miserable holiday if your relatives drive you crazy? What if you are just introducing your family to a serious date, someone who could be the One? Does Aunt Millie always cluck about what a shame it is that you are single? Even if your family is a battlefield, or you are super stressed-out you can turn any holiday one of the best holidays you’ve ever had. Simply use my five-step dating advice “secret sauce” for singles that have to deal with problem relatives at the traditional family gatherings:

1. Shock your troublesome ‘bad egg’ relatives into being cordial or even likeable. List three things, even small things, like hair color or crossword puzzle ability, you truly appreciate about them. Work these things into your conversation in an authentic way at the beginning of the family visit. This will tend to shock these ‘bad eggs’ into being ‘good eggs.’

2. Use the therapist’s secret. When you’re facing a battleaxe relative, win by refusing to fight. Accept comments about your appearance, weight or singlehood that used to upset you with a nod and say “That’s the way you see it.” This really throws them and saves you from a lot of holiday stress.

3. Stop worrying about looking good. Maybe you’ve just broken up with someone who your parents liked. You feel loser-like, vulnerable and lonely coming to the family dinner. You worry about how you are dressed, the extra pounds you’ve put on and various other assorted silly ideas. Realize that the way they see you doesn’t really matter. Underneath whatever they say, they probably love you to pieces. So forget about looking good. Your real job is to have fun and enjoy yourself.

4. Set up a positive bond when a new boy/girlfriend comes to a holiday dinner with your family. Beforehand, tell both the family and your friend all the “good news” about each other. Introduce discussion topics both have interest in. If you are the newbie in the family, bring an incredibly thoughtful gift for the occasion, ask questions and listen a lot. Appreciate any and all good things about the meal, the house and the family members and remember to tell them what you enjoyed!

5. Set your intention for this holiday. You can make up your mind to have a happy holiday, no matter what your family relationships are like. Decide something like, “This is the happiest Rosh Hashanah or Thanksgiving I’ve ever had.” Remember to use the present tense. Instead of engaging in family relationship battles, as soon as it’s possible, give yourself your own fun—excuse yourself and go for a walk or make snow angels with the kids. As it is in other life situations like work and career, setting your intention, is the most important step. This holiday you will probably be just as happy as you decide to be.

You can learn much more about the latest research on creating intentions especially in dealing with friends, frenemies and family in my new book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love.

psychologist, dr. diana kirschner, appeared on oprah and is a frequent guest on the today show. for 25 years she has helped thousands of single women find love. her acclaimed new book is love in 90 days: the essential guide to finding your own true love. for her etips, blog, dating articles, daily affirmations discussion forum visit http://www.lovein90days.com

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Listed: October 14, 2008 8:08 pm