Dating Coach Jo Hemmings

Christmas dating tips!

Seasonal advice from Jo Hemmings - maximise your dating opportunities this Christmas

We're coming up to party season and while internet dating is a great way to meet people, there are bound to be other party opportunities out there at this time of year – whether it's an office party, a bunch of friends getting together pre-Christmas or just a organised do at a pub or bar.

Christmas party Make your Christmas a cracker with Jo's top seasonal dating tips

Let's look at just some of the ways you get make the most of those opportunities:

A Christmas party can be the perfect meeting place. Your hosts are already in celebratory mode. There are likely to be at least a few fellow partygoers that you already know and there are bound to be a few singles too.

Girls can seriously pamper yourself before you go, dress up big time and look your very best. And guys, you've got the perfect excuse to ditch the jeans for a night and look smart and sexy.

There's often a connection between the person that looks like he or she might be cool to talk to and the host or hostess and if you know them well enough, you can always discreetly check out who they are, what they do for a living and whether they are available for further investigation. Trouble is, unless you move deftly and directly, the attractive and unattached can get monopolised by other singles very quickly. Suddenly the party's drawing to a close and the nearest you got to chatting to anyone remotely single was someone who you didn't remotely fancy, but looked in need of some Christmas spirit. So what to do ...?

Try not to get to a party too early – you'll be worse for wear by the time most of the other guests arrive and there's an air of desperation at turning up at 8 o'clock on the dot. Then again, don't wait until the increasingly fashionable bar chucking out time to arrive – it might be too late to snap up the best deals! 9 to 9.30 is usually about right.

Work the room, chatting to those guests that you do know, keeping one eye open for attractive singles along the way. Try not to get stuck with the loser from accounts or the old friend that wants to catch up with the last few months in point by point detail. Excusing yourself to the loo is still the best way of extricating yourself from that sort of situation and wasting potential man or girl hunting time.

Christmas party Make your Christmas a cracker with Jo's top seasonal dating tips

Chat to a variety of people, men and women, as networking can lead to all sorts of further opportunities.

However nervous/excited you are, remember that being the worse for wear, drink wise, is never a sexy look. Enjoy but pace yourself…

If you see someone that you like, check out his or her ring finger. Not a guaranteed method of eliminating the attached of course, but it certainly helps.

The simplest method of approaching someone who looks interesting is simply to ask them their connection to the party. So how do you know James/Sarah?" Anything starting with "My wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner" or even "We ..." is probably a dead end.

Boys – don't hang out with your mates/colleagues, get bladdered and talk footie all night – make the most of the opportunity.

Girls – keep the top low or the skirt short, never both or you'll simply be hit on by someone who just wants a little one-night fun.

Once you're chatting to someone who has taken your fancy, try to relax and enjoy. Ask questions, be a good listener and check out whether there's any eye contact. And if they excuse themselves to go to the loo and don't return within a few minutes, or goes off to get another drink without offering you a refill, take their departure in good grace. Perhaps this time the attraction wasn't mutual; maybe next time you'll have more success.

And if it does look promising, offer to give them your number. The ball is then in their court and you have noting to lose ...

© Midsummer's Eve 2007