Admittedly holidays can be hard if you don't have a special someone to share them with. But holidays also bring out the best in people--the joyous, generous, celebratory side. Positive values are on display this season, along with the colorful store windows, and now's the time to think about your own values and how they make you special. These values are the magnetic center of your being, which draws others with similar values close. Polish up your values this season, and you may find other loving hearts attracted to yours.

The holiday season is a good time not only to be thankful to others, but to be grateful for your blessings and good qualities. Being thankful for your strengths--whether they include your intelligence, your good looks, your kindness, your selflessness, or whatever is best about you--can help you gain confidence in yourself. When you're confident about your own gifts, you'll be able to use your strong points to attract other people.

If you consider yourself compassionate, it's likely you're hoping to find this same value in a potential mate. This is the season to be your most compassionate self. You could try expressing your sense of caring by volunteering at a holiday food pantry or a toy-wrapping party. There are even organizations that help singles find volunteer opportunities together, such as the national group Single Volunteers and the New York area's Singles for Charities Who knows--while you're volunteering, you might meet someone who places the same importance on giving back as you do.

One idea to consider when you're feeling low about your dating life is to go out with someone you wouldn't ordinarily consider dating. The holidays are a good time to try out people you might not ordinarily consider your "type." During this spiritual season, for example, you may find yourself opening up to someone kind and thoughtful but not particularly good-looking. You may find that good character traits outweigh your usual prerequisites when it comes to job title or income in those you usually date. Or you might consider being set up by a relative--even if you've avoided this kind of thing like the plague.

If your dating life is in the doldrums, it's time to try something new. When looking for love, it's easy to stick with trying to meet people through traditional options, like a friend's party or your church singles group. If those aren't working, 'tis the season to try doing things you might not ordinarily do. Expand your own horizons and increase your odds of meeting someone great when you go on a midnight graveyard tour, sign up for a photography class, or a take ski trip.

Truly get into the spirit of the season by using the next few weeks as a time to focus on your own inner life. Taking some time to understand your own spiritual needs and figure out what is missing from your life can give you a better handle on what you need from someone else. A spiritual focus might have the added bonus of leading you to uncharted dating territory--everything from Friday night synagogue services to weekend meditation retreats are likely to be attended by soulful singles also looking for love.

It might take guts to attend a holiday party alone when everyone else is bringing a date, or to face questions from your entire family after recently breaking off a relationship, but you need to ramp up your courage and attend the party or event. As the expression goes: showing up is half the battle (you never know who else will show up too). And remember that being brave doesn't mean going it alone: if you're sad about being single this season, share your thoughts--and even your invitations--with a caring friend.

This is a joyful season that offers the opportunity for a fresh start. Love may find you when the New Year begins. Know there's a right time for everything. Keep an open mind about your dating possibilities, have fun, and be hopeful for the future.

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