It's Another Year5 reasons you’re still single.

The festive season is over, and singletons everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. Being single over the holidays is hell.  From your friends’ “What should I buy my partner” insensitive questions to that dreaded midnight kiss at New Years, you’ve spent your last few weeks weeping into your mulled wine as your matched-up mates flaunt their relationships, and you’re done. No, I don’t want to spend five hours in a mall with you figuring out what kind of underwear to get your girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. 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 sleeping single.

1. You’re Not Looking Properly

Do you think that women just fall out of thin air? I mean, I realize 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 strong willed boss or the best friend you always had who is now growing on you. She’s not going to drop into your lap.

Sitting back and waiting for it to happen is the 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 the fact that modern technology and dating platforms are making the world smaller is a rookie mistake.

My bestie often enthusiastically slags off (British term for ‘is rude about’) 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? Filling in that “About Me” box may seem daunting, but that app will become your new treasured hobby in no time, trust me. Get online.

Also, let your friends know that you’re looking; It may spark their matchmaking interests. They probably know just the right person for you, it’s just that they don’t know you’re on the market. 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” (yes I realize 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 and about to faint, 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? What 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 myself for finding my ingenious loophole.

It’s pretty obvious what happened next. The point I’m making is that many of us meet a woman we like and suddenly hit the speedometer. And yes, while gay women are famous for the U-Haul effect, this is a generalisation and not necessarily right for you, plus may scare the shit out of her.

Don’t make the mistake of finding yourself with a woman and 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, hearing only that squeaking sound unique to rubber scraping over smug skin.

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 straight bars is going to dramatically decrease your chances of meeting anyone. And although I dramatically detest dating someone “on the scene” it’s a good place to widen your social circle and, thus, your network of eligible women.

Even if it’s one night a week, start spending some more time in places that are specifically LGBT for two reasons: 1. We’re just more fun, and 2. You’re much more likely to meet your other half. It’s simple logic, really. And although my bestie refuses to set foot in a gay bar (*silent seething*) I do spend as much time as I can with Twinny (also gay) and always find myself meeting at least one or two new potentials.

5. You’re Happy Single

Aha, got you! For those strong single ladies out there who’ve clicked on this article ready to shout at me on Twitter for assuming everyone needs to be coupled-up, 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 is finding that special someone, then may the odds be ever in your favour. Happy homo-hunting.