The holiday season brings to mind such wonderful thoughts; love, joy, happiness to the world – you know the picture.
But it can also have some serious drawbacks when it comes to dating and navigating the silly season’s countless social commitments when your relationship status is currently set as single.
From family gatherings with nosy relatives to office Christmas parties and overdue annual catch-ups with old friends who demand to know the latest in your love life, the pesky questions thrown at you are never-ending.
More than any other time of the year, the pressure is on to be in a relationship.
To celebrate the DVD release of Bridget Jones’ Baby, relationship expert and sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein dispenses some survival dating tips based on lessons learnt from everyone’s favourite unlucky-in-love big screen romantic.
1. Wear the pants and make the first move
Nothing is more attractive to a man than a woman with confidence. Bridget goes after what she wants, whether it’s a job, a story or a man. Avoid the needy, lusty damsel in distress vibe, men love women who can take control – and that’s the kind of man you should be looking for.
2. Put your best briefs forward
Spanx are a girl’s best friend appearance wise but your worst nightmare for wandering hands. This is where a slightly medium size handbag comes in use. If things are getting heated, sneak to the bathroom and quickly change your underwear from frumpy to fabulous. However there are some versions of shape wear that are impossible to quickly remove. Stay away.
3. Surviving an awkward date
Date plenty so you become well practiced at small talk and meet a wide range of personalities. However, a girl must never commit to an entire meal with someone she is not sure of, – always start with a coffee or a drink. But if you do find yourself in a rather awkward situation, which is likely with the rise of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, there are a few options. Firstly you could start drinking (which never really ends well) or do the classic and run to the bathroom, call a friend and ask them to call you back with an emergency.
4. Dealing with smug married couples at parties
Remember that many married couples don’t always have much sex, often suffer from boredom and often envy the single lives of others. However, putting the single life down justifies their marital status. If you find yourself faced with criticism due to your single status, start telling stories of the amazing things you get to do and all the fabulous people you have dated. Don’t let anyone shame you by celebrating the positive in the life you have.
5. R.E.S.P.E.C.T – Love yourself and your single life
You will miss it when it’s gone. Celebrate it and embrace it. Make sure you are currently doing all the things you can’t do when you are partnered or married. Talk to your friends who are married and ask them what they miss the most. Then go out and do those things. Put yourself first, focus on other areas of your life like fitness, your career and friends.
6. Give the guy in a reindeer jumper a chance
Don’t have a type when it comes to dating. On first appearances, Bridget and Mr Darcy are polar opposites but have a better love story than most. We are often drawn to a particular type of person when dating but challenge where you get these ideals of this person. Good looks might seem fun and flirty, personalities exciting, but focus more on how someone treats you and how you feel when you are with them. They just might come in a package you never thought was for you.
7. Handling meddling mothers and interfering family
Know that their perceived nosiness comes from the heart and wanting good things for you. Otherwise, drink lots and lots of wine to conquer the inevitable moment your mother asks you about your love life.
8. Rules of engagement for casual encounters
Casual encounters are not only a way we date these days, but also can hold surprises. They might turn a date into a hook up buddy or you might discover chemistry you never knew was possible. Keep an open mind but be aware of the consequences, both physically and emotionally. Make sure you set clear rules first and wear protection (that’s not biodegradable and dolphin friendly as in Bridget’s case).