A (single) dating expert’s guide to surviving the holidays

Anita Chlipala

Raw Snacks: A series asking experts to share a personal story of self-discovery. Responses are edited for space and clarity.

Being single during the holiday season can be downright frustrating. But what if you are also a successful dating expert and author? Things tend to get a bit more challenging.

“You might be thinking: ‘How can you be a relationship expert and be single?’” says Anita Chlipala, Chicago-based dating expert and author of “First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love.”

Did you guess? Turns out, guys are intimidated by the prospect of going out with someone who knows everything about dating.

So when clients ask her for tips to navigate the holiday season, she speaks from experience. And she usually starts with a candid confession: “As much as dating can suck sometimes, I know I have to keep putting myself out there throughout the year.”

Yes, you might be hesitant to date around this time of the year. The pressure of buying gifts, meeting families or not knowing if it’s too soon to spend New Year’s Eve together are all legit concerns, Chlipala says. “But if you want to find love, you have to be proactive,” she points out.

Listen to Chlipala explain what she does to stay sane as a single person from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. Hint: she doesn’t stay in watching Netflix and gorging on ice cream.

Follow her on Twitter or book her services.


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