SINGLE belle, single belle, single all the way? Don’t worry, you’re not alone in being alone.
Latest figures from the CSO show that 44% of Irish people aged 30-39 will be on their tod under the mistletoe this yuletide.
With women outnumbering men everywhere apart from the Midlands, meeting someone to snuggle up with as temperatures tumble can seem even more ho-ho-hopeless for all the jingle ladies out there.
From tweaking your online dating profile to donning Santa’s favourite shade, however, there is a way to avoid joining the elf on the shelf this Christmas, our experts agree.
Here are our top tips to finding Love Actually this festive season.
Turns out Mr Claus could be onto something, after all.
A study by the University of Rochester in New York has shown that women who wear the colour red are seen as more sexually attractive by men.
Real-life Santas even told researchers how they’d be willing to splash more on a Christmas gift for a lady in red.
There’s only one way to find out by swapping your ‘LBD’ for an ‘LRD’ this party season.
Wheel of fortune
Just like Bridget Jones — who first met Mark Darcy at her mum’s dreaded turkey curry buffet — Cupid can strike in the unlikeliest of places at yuletide, according to Eithne Buckley of Cork-based dating agency All the jingle ladies.
“Be open to the idea that you could bump into a possible mate anywhere,” she says.
“I know of a couple who met in the supermarket while doing their Christmas shopping.
“She was having trouble with a wonky wheel on her trolley; he helped her wheel it to the checkout before asking her out for a festive drink.”
Back away from the PJs.
As the party season gets into full swing, Rena Maycock of Intro Matchmaking Agency in the capital urged singletons to put themselves out there.
“Attend every event, celebration, lunch, dinner or drinks you are invited to,” she said.
“Whether you’re dating in Dublin or Cork, every bar and restaurant is full of prospects at this time of year so attending every opening of every envelope is mandatory.
“Sitting in catching up on I’m a Celeb is an opportunity well and truly wasted!”
Don’t leave it to fate
like Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack in Serendipity.
The 2001 festive rom-com tells the story of two strangers who decide to leave it to chance whether or not they’ll meet again after sparks fly.
Back in the real world, signing up to a matchmaking agency, downloading a female-friendly dating app such as Bumble or even just making a vision board of your ideal man are all far more proactive ways of ensuring your own Hollywood ending this Christmas.
As the British prime minister and his tea lady, Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon amorously embarked upon the ultimate office romance in 2003’s Love Actually.
Now a shock survey by Ann Summers has revealed how 39% of workers have followed suit after hooking up with a colleague at the annual company bash, with HR workers ironically among the most likely to dip their nib in the office ink.
Sadly, locking lips with your boss is more likely to lead to red faces by the photocopier than dad dancing in 10, Downing Street like Hugh - so don’t, actually.
Express your elf
Channel Buddy the Elf by making your feelings abundantly clear this festive season, advises Rena Maycock, who’s also the founder of online dating agency http://www.arealkeeper.ie.
“Nonchalance only gets you one thing this Christmas,” she warned, “a cold, lonely bed.
“If you spot someone you fancy across a crowded bar, don’t just glance and look away — make eye contact.
“If it lingers for more than five seconds, or if they smile at you after catching their eye, then chances are you’re in!”
Between Christmas Day and Valentine’s Day is the busiest time for online dating, with Match.com reporting a 30% spike in signups during the seven-week period.
Specifically, 8.52pm on the first Sunday of the year most popular time to search for Mr Right, so get ready to sleigh the competition by ensuring your profile is on point.
Data crunchers at the e-dating service found that both girls and guys who mention surfing and yoga among their interests are deemed the most dateable.
While namechecking Radiohead could also help ensure you’re not left ‘High and Dry’ this yuletide.
Don’t worry if Santa doesn’t deliver your very own Prince Charming this December 25.
Simply ask your pals to make a list of eligible bachelors who are both naughty and nice instead.
It worked for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, after all.
In their first official interview together since getting engaged last month, the lovebirds revealed they had been set up by a mutual pal.
“It was definitely a set-up,” the former Suits actress told of her first date with the royal, orchestrated by fashion designer Misha Nonoo.
“When she wanted to set us up I had one question — ‘is he nice?’”
With a royal wedding just around the corner, the fourth in line to the British throne clearly made the right side of Saint Nick’s world-famous list.
From mulled wine to hot toddies, ‘tis the season to be merry — just not too merry.
Researchers at Basel University Hospital in Switzerland have discovered that not only are ‘beer googles’ real — but that they affect women more than men.
Drinking a single glass of beer makes us more attracted to “happy faces” and less shy about sex, according to the study.
So just imagine what impact Aldi’s new three-litre bottle of Prosecco could have under the mistletoe!