The festive season is over, and singletons everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. Being single over Christmas is hell. From your friends' "What should I buy my partner" conundrum to that dreaded New Years kiss, you've spent your last few weeks weeping into your mulled wine, and you're done.
No, I don't want to spend five hours figuring out what kind of underwear to get your girlfriend. It makes me want to cry.
But can you really blame anyone but yourself? If you're still alone after all the plus-one peril, here are the main culprits for why you're still single.
1. You're Not Looking Properly
Do you think that women just fall out of thin air? I mean I realise we've all been taught by Sandra Bullock that love will pop up when you're busy being a strong, independent woman, but this isn't a Romcom. Miss Right isn't going to be your bolshy boss or best friend. She won't just turn up.
Sitting back and waiting for it to happen is the one biggest mistake we make. Stop expecting love to magically appear and get proactive. Which brings me nicely to...
2. You're Not Looking In The Right Places
Stop being proud! The best way to meet women is online, and there's no denying it however squeamish it makes you. Ignoring dating platforms is a rookie mistake.
My bestie often enthusiastically slags off online dating sites as apparently "only the crazy, desperate ones are on there" but she's straight. The gay community are in the minority, so seeking each other out isn't as easy as going to the bar in a push up bra. We're all online, won't you come and join us?
Also, let your friends know that you're looking; It may spark their matchmaking interests. Think of it like professional networking and start asking for referrals. Yes I realise that analogy takes all of the romance out of it, but if you're strong at work you know I'm right.
3. You're Going Too Fast
I'm going to make my point here with a personal story.
One day at the gym (the only day I ever went) my Personal Trainer set me a goal to go a certain amount of "fast" (that's not the technical term) on the treadmill. When left to my own devices, I found it impossible to reach that speed without feeling like I was breathing in hot ash, but I still wanted to achieve my goal. So I had a brainwave... Why waste all this energy building up the speed? Why not just set the treadmill to the appropriate setting and then jump on? A genius idea, right? So I set my feet astride the moving band thing (another techie term there) and pressed the "up arrow", thoroughly proud of my ingenious loophole.
It's pretty obvious what happened next. The point I'm making is that many of us meet a woman and suddenly hit the speedometer. And yes, while gay women are famous for the U-Haul effect, this is a not necessarily right for you, and may scare the shit out of her.
Don't make the mistake of going full force after three dates. Take time to build up the speed, and you won't end up jumping on to a quickly moving treadmill, having your feet fling up from under you and face-planting the dashboard.
No I'm not allowed back in that gym. Yes I learned my lesson.
4. You're "Straight-Centric"
If, like me, most of your inner circle is straight, you're a bit stuck... So branch out! Spending all of your time with your straight friends in pubs is going to dramatically decrease your chances of meeting anyone. And although I detest dating someone "on the scene" it's a good place to meet friends and widen your network of eligible women.
Even one night a week, start spending more time in specifically LGBT places- 1. We're just more fun and 2. You're much more likely to meet your other half. It's simple logic, really.
5. You're Happy Single
Ahah, got you! For those strong single ladies out there who've clicked on this article ready to shout at me, you can hold fire. Consider single-dom not as a waiting room to your real life, but as a chance to have your freedom. Sometimes, happiness can be enjoying having your time, all of your closet space and the ability to spend all of your money on yourself/pets.
But if your resolution for 2015 is finding that special someone, then may the odds be ever in your favour. Happy homo-hunting.