By Cathy Maxwell

No one special in your life? The holidays can be tough for single celebrities and non-celebrities alike. Many activities around this time can intensify whatever doubts we are feeling about ourselves or our relationship status, if we let them. The main piece of dating advice is to enjoy all the fun of gatherings without the angst of being the odd man out. Or worse, wallowing in pity for being alone.

So, how do we do that? First, I believe in grabbing hold of life with both hands. I not only survive the holidays, but thrive by putting into practice three sparkling principles:

Love is a word of action.
I love. Feel the power? The statement breathes. It speaks of me: I love ideas. I love community. I love men with glasses. I love being at the gym. I love to read. The list of my passions goes on and on. When I focus on what makes me feel alive, I get out of my own head and begin to enjoy what is happening around me. Who cares if there is an odd number at the table and I’m the one responsible? Let’s talk about books, movies, tidbits from the news. Better yet, let me love my friends for who they are. Let me demonstrate my care for them by being interested in their lives, instead of mooning over what mine lacks.

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Always be ready to participate.
Yes, this goes for introverts as well. Just because I don’t have a date doesn’t mean I shouldn’t spend some money on myself for fun holiday polish and bling. Indulging is what this happy time of the year is about. Winter is coming; shine now! And life should never be lived waiting for some mythical someone to come along. Or feel I must shoehorn myself into a relationship to fit in with social groups. Yes, I understand shyness. Without a partner, it would be easier to stay home . . . but the cost is high. We were meant to live fully and completely. Decorate where you live. Act as if the holidays have meaning. Take part in the traditions. When you are invited out by friends and family, don’t say no automatically. Remember, you are special exactly the way you are, and don’t be afraid to flaunt it. There’s power in being able to come and go as you please. Use it.

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Create the party.
I adore dinner parties. When I found myself single, I refused to be cut out. I invited the most interesting people I know to my place and I sit at the head of the table. If I want to go to the movies, I put out the word. If I want to carol or go dancing or hiking, I’m happy to organize. Plus there are groups I can join and form new friendships around these activities. When I found myself single, I let people know I wanted to be included by reaching out first. There is more to me than the man in my life. Yes, it is a couple-ly universe, but true friends value my presence.

After all, life is meant to be celebrated and I don’t want to miss a second of it.

Cathy Maxwell believes Love is so important, she devotes her writing to it. She is the USA Today and New York Times best-selling author of over thirty historical romances. Click here to order her latest novel, The Match of the Century. Fans can contact Cathy at