How to survive the party season if you’re single

Tis the season to be jolly, but having nobody to be your ‘Plus One’ can really take the jingle out of your bells. Here’s how to ensure you’re not lonely this Christmas.

DO Host a Christmas party at your place. It’s the best excuse ever to invite people you’ve secretly fancied all year to spend time with you, but is low-key and light-hearted. Set the date for early in the season (now is good!) so people aren’t busy with work parties and shopping, and keep costs low by serving mulled wine and warmed cider that can successfully be made with budget booze. Invite your single friends, everyone you have a crush on, and confident couples who are good at circulating. Decorate your place with festive lights and every Christmas card you’ve ever received – and lots of mistletoe.

DON’T feel pressured to accept every invitation you receive, especially if you’re feeling a bit harassed as it is! But if it’s impossible to say No, then realise it’s perfectly acceptable to make only lightning-fast visits to events. Arrive early, work the room, then leave after an hour or two. Not only is this perfectly polite, it’s also alluring. Remember, Cinderella left the party early! The next day, call the hostess to thank them for a wonderful time and catch any gossip you might have missed.

DO Sign up for volunteering if you’re feeling lonely and unimportant. The Christmas season is odd – busy, harassed couples envy your freedom, but you might quite easily envy their commitments. If your Christmas Eve and Boxing Day aren’t busy with trips to see relatives, then check the opportunities on Timebank. Not only will you be making the most use of your temporary freedom, you will boost your own self-esteem by doing something truly worthwhile. And where better to meet people who are also single this Christmas?

DON’T Think this is a bad time to try online-dating. In fact, it’s the BEST time. Very year at Match.com, we have our biggest influx of new members at the end of December. Those long, lonely days between Christmas and New Year hit everybody hard, so we happily welcome hundreds of sign-ups. Be a part of the action! Create a charming, up-beat, positive profile now and upload it today. Check in daily (even briefly!) to keep your profile marked as “active” – this way, your details will be sent to the maximum number of singletons. Fill those dull days before you return to work with light-hearted Christmassy-coffee dates.

DO Get out and about. The festive season is unfailingly romantic, so make the most of the magical atmosphere by seeing-and-being-seen as much as you can. Even if you’re only popping out to buy a present for your Grandmother, be sure to wear your nicest coat, a bright scarf and a big smile. If you literally have NO plans one night, take yourself off to a sociable venue (ice-skating rinks are ideal!) and make it a secret mission just to speak to three people you don’t know. This way, you will recast yourself as someone who is active and out and about in the world.

DON’T Be scared to reconnect with the One That Got Away. I can’t think of a better, more casual time of year to get in touch with exes. Whether it’s a brief Facebook “Hi” or a Christmas Card, feel free to use the festive period to reconnect with a lost love. It’s the perfect excuse, “Just thought I’d wish you a lovely Christmas and a wonderful 2013”. If you don’t hear back from them, don’t worry – we have plenty of new dates just waiting to meet you over at match.com – Good luck!