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Home of Dr. Christine B. Whelan

Single on New Year’s? You’re Not Alone

A new CatholicMatch.com poll has given us some data to prove what we already know: The holidays are a tough time to be single. Among more than 3,700 online CatholicMatch users polled in the December survey, 40% said that Christmas was the roughest time of the year to be unhitched… with New Year’s Eve a close second with 32% putting it in the number one “ugh” slot.

“I think all holidays are bad without someone special to share them with, but I have my family for most of them,” reported Michelle-407188. “I would have to say the worst is New Years. New Years is for being with close friends! I is way more fun to share it with someone special then alone!”

Women were slightly more likely to vote their solo New Year’s as most depressing – 35% of women compared with 28% of men – and the older you were, the worst it seemed to watch the ball drop without someone to smooch at the end.

If you’re ringing in the New Year solo this year, try to get with a larger group of friends and head out to a party or local bar. There will be other singles there, too, and who knows who you might meet. Or try online dating: It’s going to be a New Year’s Resolution for many to get online to find a good match.

A few other tips for finding true love in 2010:

1. Get out there. No, seriously. Leave your house. I hear from many of you who tell me you’re looking for a relationship, but you’re too tired to go out when you come home from work, or you spend Friday and Saturday nights with your closest friends at someone’s house. God is very powerful, but it seems unlikely that Mr. or Ms. Perfect will appear with flowers outside your door. Go out and meet some new people!

2. Host a singles pot-luck dinner party. Invite four single friends, and tell each friend to bring a single friend—and something to eat. Make sure you’ve got even numbers of guys and girls, and see what happens!

3. Use props. Dating coach Nancy Slotnick recommends wearing or carrying something unique with you to provide a conversation starter. I have a friend who wears six watches on one arm, and another who has various funny-sloganed pins all over her bag. Even a hat might do the trick…(Check out a Q&A I did with her a few years back.)

4. Take a class. Boys, cooking school classes are a great way to meet girls. Ladies, your local climbing gym, perhaps? Classes where it will only be your same gender don’t count. Mix things up a bit!

5. Ditch your bad attitude. When someone pays you a compliment, do you explain yourself, downplay yourself or otherwise diminish the achievement? Be positive and upbeat—and be free with your compliments to others as well.

6. Throw out your list. So many of us have a checklist of things we’re looking for in a mate. “He has to be these 10 things and then I’ll know he’s the one…” or “As long as she can be all the best of myself, my mother, my sister and my best friend all combined, she’ll be perfect.” I met the man who was all 10 things on my “perfect-match” list…and he was a total dud. Love evolves, emotions can surprise you. And you’re not perfect, so your partner won’t be either!

7. Girls, ditch your “Cinderella Complex.” You are a successful accomplished woman in your own right. You don’t need to be rescued. Your success and accomplishments enable you to broaden your horizons in your search for a husband. The idea that you would only marry a man who has more education and makes more money than you do is antiquated—and might cause you to overlook your soul mate.

8. Guys, leave your ego at the door. Among men and women in their 20s and 30s, the majority of college grads are women—and women also make up the majority of master’s degree recipients as well. Women are climbing in the ranks in every career—including those that were traditionally male-dominated. If you meet a SWANS (Strong Woman Achiever No Spouse don’t be intimidated! Be proud of her success and enjoy all the benefits.

9. Enjoy being single. Ninety percent of Americans marry, so odds are good that you will meet the right match for you and get married. And once you meet the person you’re going to marry, you’ll never have another first kiss, or that rush of adrenaline when you wonder whether the words “I love you” might burst out. You’ll look back on your single years and wonder why you were so worried all the time. Have fun, be confident in your odds of meeting the right person and enjoy all those nights out with friends and new potential dates. Enjoy the ride!

10. Check out Gretchen Rubin’s new book, The Happiness Project. … and create a Happiness Project of your own that involves finding out who you are. Remember, before you can say “I love you,” you must first know how to say the “I.”

But single or married, engaged or having relationship problems, I wish you blessings and new joy for 2010. I hope this new year, this new decade is one of love, laughter and happiness for us all.

Happy New Year!

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December 30, 2009 Posted by | Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman's Guide to True Love, Relationship Tips, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Feelings Worldwide: We Feel Fine

Feel festive, cheerful and blessed around the holidays–but then slide into the doldrums in the first weeks of the New Year? Financially illiterate and then suddenly started blogging about how the ups and downs of the stock market impacted you emotionally? Felt patriotic–or depressed–when Obama was elected?

Oh yes, the internet knows.

Talk about following the zeitgeist: Computer programmers Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris have spent more than four years collecting some 12 million emotions posted on Internet blogs. Turns out we’re a pretty predicable bunch: Patterns of the calendar, news events and even the weather influence how we say we feel. And as an increasing number of bloggers worldwide share their lives publicly, we’re developing a new relationship with computers, our fellow bloggers and ourselves.

And this holiday season, you can track your emotions in their strikingly beautiful, glossy gift book, We Feel Fine (Scribner, Dec. 1), that uses sophisticated computer science to underpin its findings about modern human emotion. The brainchild of Kamvar, a professor of computational mathematics at Stanford University, and Harris, a systems designer, the data collected comes from a program that scans all blogs every few minutes and extracts the sentences that contain “I feel” or “I am feeling.” Since blogs often have public profiles, the duo was able to determine the gender, age, and location of the people expressing these emotions to boot.

Kamvar said he and Harris hope to tell both macro stories of emotional trends, including informational graphics and maps, and micro stories of individuals complete with a photo and corresponding feeling. “We wanted the reader to be able to seamlessly transition between the high-level statistics of emotion and the individual stories that make up these statistics.”

“Our [original] intent was to show that there was beauty and humanity in the web,” said Kamvar of their 2005 website born as social networking media was coming of age. ” As time went on and we collected large amounts of data, we realized that we were also building an archive of emotional history.”

As We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion hit the shelves yesterday, Kamvar, a college classmate, sat down with me for a Q&A.

Check out my interview on the Huffington Post… and tweet it up for one and all!

December 30, 2009 Posted by | Academic Musings, Self-Help | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment