A Survival Guide to being single at Christmas

There’s no need to feel embarrassed about not having a significant other at Christmas. OK, those couples parties are coming along, restaurant romantic festive dinners for two, mistletoe and fireside cuddles with a glass of wine, a million adverts showing happy couples with perfect teeth and hair smiling to a festive backdrop of streets blanketed with a light carpet of alpine clean snow and decorated trees worthy of a Harrods shop window all backed up by wall-to-wall romcoms with scripted lifestyles no real life couple can possibly live up to on TV.

While women tend to watch the romcoms and dream of a lifestyle to match, flying in the face of the traditional idea of the happy-go-lucky bachelor who is more suited to single life than his female equivalent, recent studies indicate that single women tend to be more robust on their own and it is men who feel more pressure (71%) being single at Christmas.

Male or female, don't panic and throw yourself at the first person who comes along with their eyes and nose in roughly the right place! That’s the same as buying a dog which you find you can’t maintain (for whatever reason) come New Year. Not good for anyone concerned.

There’s a reason this time of year is called ‘cuffing season’ - a time of year when people get into more serious relationships, essentially tying down to commitment - this only applies if you are already in a relationship, not those looking to initiate one.

Desperation shows. Independence and confidence are attractive qualities. The opposite sex are more attracted to those chilled about being single over those who clearly can’t function unless they are in a relationship.

It’s all about attitude so don’t overthink festive single-dom but embrace it and focus on the good stuff. No family politics, no unwanted social events, turn the mistletoe to advantage by carrying a sprig round in case you like the look of someone - nothing ventured - and on a darker yet strangely positive note you also get to avoid Black Monday - the third Monday in January when divorce lawyers get 60% of their annual business.

So, get out wearing your number one smile, pick out your favourite foods, choose the parties you fancy going to, and approach Christmas safe in the knowledge that there is no better time for a fresh start.