The winter holiday season is often one of the most joyful times of the year. The food, decorations, movies and songs all fill us with festive cheer. But the holidays can also be stressful, especially for singles. You’re probably seeing couples all over the place, holding hands in the frost and kissing under the mistletoe. Plus, your grandmother keeps asking when you think you’ll get married. It’s enough to make anyone curl up under the blankets and not come out until after January.
Don’t do that though, because now more than ever is when you should be putting yourself out there and dating online. In fact, dating sites often see a huge increase from Christmastime to Valentine’s Day. Imagine all the people you could meet! To help you not just survive, but thrive, during the holidays, follow these five online dating tips specifically for this time of year.
1) Update Your Profile to Reflect the Season
Static profiles are an online dating no-no. Not only will sprucing up your profile make you show up higher in the site’s search results, but it’s also fun. Get into the season and show potential matches your festive side by adding some text and photos that highlight your favorite cold-weather activities, and make sure you’re wearing red or festive colours in your main picture. Studies show that you’re more likely to attract people to your profile if you do.
2) Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Online Daters
When you’ve been online dating for a while, it can be easy to compare yourself to other people and wonder what you might be doing wrong. Maybe your best friend found her soul mate on a dating site after only a week of signing up. Or maybe you’re reading all of these success stories and wondering how long it’ll be until you get to share yours with the world. Whatever the situation, remember this is your life, no one else’s, and if you’re doing everything you can, it’ll all work out when it’s supposed to.
3) Take Some Downtime
It can be tempting to log into your account at every moment to see if you have any new messages, or send a bunch off yourself, particularly if you have a work holiday party or family gathering and you need a date. However, this can quickly lead to poor decision making and online dating burnout. You don’t want to bring just anyone to these kinds of events, so it’s worth taking your time.
Don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself, use downtime to clear your mind, do something nice for yourself, spend time with friends or think about ways to improve your dating success, without actually dating. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
4) Stay Positive to Shake Off the Holiday Dating Blues
If your love life isn’t where you want it to be yet, online dating is the number one way to do something about it. We mentioned earlier this is the peak time, so find comfort in the fact that there are millions of people who are in the same position as you. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and keep an upbeat attitude by finding stress-coping strategies that work for you, whether that’s exercising, painting, meditating, or anything else you’re passionate about.
5) Stay Safe Online
Another important tip is to remember is to never share your personal information with someone you don’t know, report suspicious activity to the customer support team, and meet your date at an agreed-upon location instead of your house. Be fun and spontaneous but remember to take reasonable safety precautions!
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in making the season perfect that we forget they’re supposed to be fun. The same thing can happen when we’re online dating. Put the two together, and that’s even more pressure. This season, focus on enjoying yourself, getting to know new people, and possibly avoiding your grandmother until the new year! The rest will fall into place.
Hayley Matthews is editor-in-chief at DatingAdvice.com, a popular site featuring advice from more than 250 dating coaches, matchmakers, and other relationship experts. In addition to expert tips and guides, the site also publishes reviews of the most popular online dating sites, where Hayley and her team rate Match.com as the #1 dating site. When Hayley isn’t writing about dating and relationships, she’s listening to The Beatles or watching Harry Potter.