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WINTERIZE YOUR LOVE LIFE: A GAMEPLAN FOR SOCIALIZING THIS SEASON
OK, so you're single and survived the holidays, right? For many, December can be a tough month. The days get shorter, the weather becomes biting, and venturing out of the house to socialize is that much more of an effort. On top of all that, it is the time of year that summons a feeling of togetherness. Families gather, friends come out of the woodwork, (sometimes those you haven't spoken to in ages), and co-workers get chummy, even if just for some fleeting holiday cheer. But, you may be thinking, what's all the festivity worth if Mr. or Ms. Right is no where in sight? While romance may not have bloomed for you in the midst of the snow flurries, frantic gift shopping, office parties, etc., now that all the Christmas dust has settled, the new year represents a prime time to pursue an active social life. In fact, each season offers its distinct advantages, but for now, let's talk about "winterizing" your love life.

January is self-rejuvenation month. People get introspective, including myself, and typically take stock of their lives to assess where they're at both personally and professionally. As The Love Coach, one of the exercises I have clients do is to make a list of those qualities they are seeking in a mate, along with a list of their own personality traits and interests. By so doing, it gives you an opportunity to assess your own strengths and weaknesses and see how they might stack up against those of a potential mate. More often than not, people come to realize that they are seeking too much, and that their "laundry list" of qualities needs to be pared down. It doesn't mean you're compromising your standards, but you're being realistic.

It's also helpful to examine your interests to see which you are actually pursuing. It's amazing sometimes how much we actually think we are doing because life feels so full at times, yet part of the excitement of life is to try new things, experiment, and take risks. This is especially true when you are trying to meet someone. It is critical to break old patterns. You must make the time and commitment to yourself so that you can explore some new directions. This can be as simple as walking on a different side of the street as you head to work, or it can mean finally signing up for that golf or scuba diving lesson you've always wanted to try. You need to get into the mindset that the same energy you dedicate to your career and other aspects of your life warrants investing in social pursuits. You don't want to obsess about finding someone, but you do need to actively put yourself out there, in the right places, so that it is more likely to happen for you.

What does that mean? One approach is to go where you'll find the opposite sex in numbers. Women should pursue sporty or outdoors activities. Consider taking a share in a ski house or going on a ski trip, or join an indoor volleyball league, take tennis lessons, etc. Men should attend a singles theatre night at such places as Second Stage Theatre and Roundabout Theatre in NYC, and seek out other cultural activities like a film or dance class, museum outing, etc. These are always female-dominated. If you need a winter break, consider a trip to Club Med or try a singles cruise. Club Getaway offers one periodically -
http://www.clubgetaway.com/

Check out the following links of various socializing groups and
activities worth exploring,

http://www.socialcircles.com/

http://www.dripcafe.com/

http://www.whytravelalone.com/

http://www.nassaumuseum.org/

http://www.talkingmovies.net

hhtP;;,www.swissskiclub.com

http://www.docsparties.com/

Now that you have some idea of where to go, let's get your socializing skills in shape. The week of February 11, 2001 is International Flirting Week (which, of course, includes Valentine's Day). I'm going to help you gear up with some tips to get you in prime flirting form.

How To De-Freeze Your Flirting Skills:

TIP #1: HAVE A PROP
Breaking the ice is never easy when you see someone you would like to meet. That's where having a prop comes in. Props come in many sizes in shapes. The point is to have one that will catch someone's eye. For example, women might consider wearing an interesting pin, scarf or t-shirt with a distinctive logo or design. Imagine yourself at a gym, doing your workout, and because of the wording on your t-shirt, a man approaches you because perhaps he went to the same school, also loves that pop group, adores pets, etc., etc.: depending on what your t-shirt reveals about you. A man might wear a distinctive tie or hat. Dogs, too, can be a great prop. Dogs are "people magnets," and the right dog can work wonders. I've witnessed people stopped in the street because they were walking a cute dog. Once I even visited a Dog Run in NYC and saw tons of dog owners mixing and mingling as their dogs ran wild in a fenced in area.

TIP #2: MAKE THE CONNECTION
What good is trying to flirt if the person you're flirting with has no idea he or she is the object of your interest. You must make direct eye contact and smile, so that you've made the "connection" and it becomes clear that you are trying to get his/her attention.

TIP #3: PROJECT OPEN BODY LANGUAGE
When you make the effort to go out to socialize, it's important to look approachable. This does not mean standing with your arms crossed staring down at the floor or into space. You should either keep your arms at your side or hold a drink and look about the room, preparing to make eye contact with an interesting stranger. Don't surround yourself with friends. That's a good way to scare someone off.

Tip #4: GO FOR THE COMPLIMENT OR CHUCKLE
When you're not sure how to kick-off a conversation with someone new, consider paying a compliment or making them laugh. If you can make the other person feel good about themselves or enjoy your sense of humor, you will look all the more appealing.

Tip #5: PUT ON YOUR LISTENING CAP
Silence is golden when it comes to dating. If you're out with someone or even beginning a conversation with someone new, the key is to show you're interested in them. The best way to do that is to be a great listener. You want to be just inquisitive enough so that you engage them in conversation, but you don't want to ask for the "verbal resume." Allow them to share while you focus your attention on them so that they feel as if they are the only person in the room.Armed with all the above advice, you will soon be all set for the week of March 19 -- National Spring Fever Week so go forward and enjoy!!

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copyright 2007 Robin Gorman Newman. All rights reserved.